Power Regeneration and TOS

Discussion in 'Trek Tech' started by blssdwlf, Mar 22, 2010.

  1. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    I ran across this quote from "The Mark of Gideon" and it struck me as rather interesting:

    Strictly TOS (as I didn't find any example in TNG/DS9/Voy) does that mean the TOS Enterprise is like a flyng Prius and gets really, really, good antimatter mileage?

    On a similar note, what does the Enterprise do with the excess energy it generates? I mean, with the M/AM reactor fired up, I can't really see all of the M/AM energy being used up during daily operations unless it is something high energy like powering the warp engines or shields or weapons. I'm assuming it stores everything in batteries and/or reprocessed as fuel for the fusion reactors? All pretty hypothetical on my part and with no more TOS it'll still be a mystery but I thought I'd put it out here :)
     
  2. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    I think we have to assume that the recycling facilities on the Enterprise are top-notch, so energy wastage would be at a minimum to start with.
    As for "regenerating" the energy it uses, perhaps that is a reference to the Ramscoops, meaning that under nomal operations (standard speed, non-combat conditions) the Enterprise is able to draw in enough interstellar hydrogen to keep itself going.

    As for excess energy - why would the ship generate more than it needs to? I agree that even with the engines "ticking over" there's going to be energy produced, but all that gravity, recycling and lighting has to be powered from somewhere - it's a big ship!
     
  3. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Let's remember that Kirk was thinking ("let's see") in terms of having his starship idly floating in space while keeping alive a grand total of two people. Whatever process there might be for regenerating the power that those two consumed might not be capable of regenerating anything of real significance, not if the ship were expected to actually operate, move, or even sustain a full crew.

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  4. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Maybe so. It just looked like the ship can operate on batteries for hours and fusion reactors for months so I figure that running up the M/AM reactor to idle would generate way more energy than it would normally need during the day (excluding phasers, warp, and shields).

    And when say the phaser banks are charged from the reactors to full power but not expended is the power returned to the batteries? Or the warp drive reversed to slow down would there be points where the ship can recycle that energy back like a regenerating brake system?

    Just pondering :)

    @Timo - although that is true that Kirk and lady friend probably wouldn't use up much power by themselves, I don't recall the Enterprise ever running out of power under normal conditions (which would parallel nuclear aircraft carriers) but there was an episode where they were hijacked and were going to fly for 300 years to the Andromeda galaxy and power (or fuel) didn't appear to be a concern despite the sustained high warp. Then again, it could be just a really really big and dense antimatter fuel tank :D
     
  5. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    You're thinking of the episode By Any Other Name. The Kelvans had made certain adjustments to the engines, perhaps they were super-efficient and could manage on a smaller quantity of fuel?
    I'm not sue how much interstellar hydrogen there would even be in between galaxies!
     
  6. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    Kirk did supposedly sign "fuel consumption reports" ("The Deadly Years")...

    I'd argue that without Kelvan modifications, the ship would have needed refueling after something like half a decade of uneventful cruising, or half a year of combat, emergency response, pursuit or evasion missions, whichever came first. Propulsion systems would have been the main culprit, and perhaps impulse drive might have been the greater fuel hog (if impulse engines were semi-rockets and actually expelled part of the fuel from the ship as propellant mass).

    The "regenerating" thing I'd like to speculate to be somewhat akin to what the Prius on the driveway does right now: after Kirk and Odona have consumed enough of the ship's secondary (or tertiary or quaternary) power resources by straining the life support systems, the primary power systems briefly kick in to recharge the batteries, then go idle again. That is, Kirk doesn't need to worry about keeping a secondary level power generation system active, nor does he have to worry about draining the secondary level power storage system, because automation will take care of the secondary level by every now and then tapping into the immensely bountiful primary level. And the automation is going to last longer than either Kirk or Odona, since the primary systems only need to go active for brief moments at great intervals, instead of being on hot standby all the time.

    It would be a different matter if the impulse engines were actually constantly active, a situation that would require supervision, like in "Court Martial" where Kirk shut down the engines due to lack of manpower when hunting for Ben Finney.

    (I trust the primary level rechargers would be the impulse engines, since I don't see the fantastically complex warp engines automatically starting and stopping, ever...)

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  7. kkozoriz1

    kkozoriz1 Fleet Captain

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Centrelea, Nova Scotia
    I've always considered the batteries to be banks of small fusion units rather than some advanced chemical system. Regenerating them would simply be a matter of topping up the deuterium.
     
  8. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Location:
    An "American" in Friedrichshafen, Deutschland
    Then they would have been called "reactors" instead of "batteries", and considering that The Mark of Gideon was produced after the departure of Gene Roddenberry and Harvey Lynn from the show it may be wiser to ignore tech dialogue from this or any other S3 episode when attempting to construct a self-consistant technological mythology for the NCC-1701.

    SLR
     
  9. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    That kinda limits the field a bit!
     
  10. GodThingFormerly

    GodThingFormerly A Different Kind of Asshole

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2002
    Location:
    An "American" in Friedrichshafen, Deutschland
    Tell me about it. :( OTOH, Gene Roddenberry's 1967 Star Trek Writer & Director's Guide (Bible) and The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield & Gene Roddenberry (Del Rey, 1968) contain a wealth of background technical data, some of which never got to the screen.

    SLR
     
  11. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    ...And some of which got contradicted by the episodes! I guess it's up to to everyone to draw their own line in the sand.
     
  12. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Exactly.

    Interestingly (for me) the "regenerating power" does seem to refer back to the earliest episodes where the Enterprise's engines are damaged and are unable to regenerate on their own and needed outside resources to be "regenerated".
     
  13. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    I'm not as sure they're connected, but that's the good thing about the term "regenerate" - it's vague enough to refer to several things!
     
  14. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    What onscreen evidence do we have of any starship collecting gases at warp speeds?
     
  15. Timo

    Timo Fleet Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2003
    None that I'd know of. The ramscoops are described in two TNG episodes, but in neither of them do they actually ingest gases - they expel them. In ST:NEM, they ingest gases at sublight, in a manner quite unrelated to "regenerating of energy"...

    Does VOY perhaps have examples of the ramscoops working the way the TNG Tech Manual suggests they work?

    Timo Saloniemi
     
  16. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    In fact, almost the opposite! In Demon, the ship almost grinds to a halt because they run out of deuterium. If they can suck in interstellar hydrogen, surely they'd be able to synthesise deuterium from it? It's only hydrogen with an extra neutron, after all.

    Of course, the science in VOY of often extremely dubious, although plot contrivance tips the balance in this episode: The fact that they run out deuterium before anti-matter is unbelievable enough, but it's not until they have only a weeks' worth of deuterium left that energy conservation measures are implemented!

    "Janeway, you so crazy..."
     
  17. blssdwlf

    blssdwlf Commodore Commodore

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    ^^ yeah, that's why I only asked about TOS. Different production, different interpretations :) I would imagine each series being its own little universe, IMHO :D
     
  18. Ronald Held

    Ronald Held Vice Admiral Admiral

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Location:
    On the USS Sovereign
    My intent was that you have to carry all of matter and antimatter for your warp travels. Stopping at a planetary system to gather the deuterium and converting some of it to antideuterium would be highly time consuming.
     
  19. Mytran

    Mytran Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2009
    Location:
    North Wales
    True, but a starship would have to replenish it's fuel sooner or later. Normally this would be done at starbases, but it makes sense to have the facilities on board to manufacture fuel if the need should arise. Better to spend a few weeks or months in a solar system refilling your tanks than to come to a dead stop in deep space!
     
  20. SoM

    SoM Captain Captain

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    Where would you get the energy to do the conversion though? Surely running the fusion engines long enough to do it would more than exhaust whatever D they had on board.