Freedom Amongst The Countless Stars
Power Plant Modules
|Plant||Area Units||Mass (tons)||Energy Output||Cost|
The power plants available to ships are as widely varied as the ships themselves. They generate power from chemicals, ﬁssion, fusion, solar cells, antimatter, or some other source entirely. You should determine how your ship is powered.
The smallest power plant covers two area units, has a mass of two metric tons, and has a cost of 2,500 credits. It provides 25 energy units to the ship. Adding more power increases the size by one additional area unit and two additional tons for each extra 15 energy units, with a cost increase of 2,000 for each upgrade.
The power generated from the plant is used to run all of the systems on board the vessel. Ship designers must make sure that their power generation meets their needs as if every system is operating simultaneously. Obviously, systems like the interstellar drive will not be running constantly, and only need to draw energy when in use, but ship designers need to make sure that they don’t ﬁnd themselves with an energy shortage, having to juggle systems on and oﬀ.
Main power plants can last for about one year before needing to be refueled. (Ships that don’t use much of the energy output can make the plants last longer.) Most give a warning — such as an audible signal, a ﬂashing light, or a computer-generated message — about one month before they quit.
Battery plants are simply storage batteries that hold energy. They are small and popular in short-run ﬁghters and shuttles. They can charge oﬀ of larger plants at a rate of one minute per energy unit generated. They can run for one day per energy unit generated before needing to be recharged. Unused battery plants keep their charge indeﬁnitely. Burned-out batteries, generally because they were overloaded in a massive power draw, are replaced rather than repaired. Multiple units purchased may be considered part of a single battery or a linked series of small batteries.
Similar in size and capacity to battery backups, burst capacitors oﬀer a brief “burst” of power to one system (generally the drives). They are much cheaper than batteries, but once used, they need to be replaced. They last for a number of hours equal to their energy output. Designate whether multiple burst capacitors are part of one unit or a series of smaller units.
Shields and the Power Plant
Shields are one of the last components added to the ship. Designers who want to have them in their vessels need to include enough energy to power them. Shields have a draw of one energy unit per pip of protection.