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Electro-plasma system

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Secondary plasma system

A graphic of the secondary plasma system

The electro-plasma system (EPS for short, or more specifically the electro-plasma distribution network, as engineers like to call it) is the primary form of energy distribution on starships.

The technology is based on storing energy in a highly energetic plasma, "electro-plasma," and distributing it throughout the ship via plasma conduits, called EPS conduits. The system of conduits is also referred to as the plasma grid. EPS conduits usually start at a matter-antimatter reaction assembly, also called the warp core, where matter is converted to energy, and extend to all areas of a ship. Plasma conduit power levels are regulated by plasma coolant ducts, and monitored by plasma conversion sensors.

EPS manifold

EPS manifold circa 2151 technology

Very large conduits extend from the warp core, through the nacelle struts, and into the nacelles to facilitate the massive power transfer to the warp coils needed to create a warp field. A plasma stream is directed by plasma injectors at the warp coils.

In addition to distributing power to the warp nacelles, various EPS taps are placed on the conduits throughout the ship to enable other systems to access electro-plasma wherever it is needed. From the EPS taps, the energy is distributed through conventional electricity; however, this conversion often occurs deep inside the components of a subsystem. Some systems use plasma distribution manifolds (or plasma manifolds, for short) to manage the power conversion level.

Electro-plasma can also be bled off into plasma canisters or a plasma infuser for mobile use as an energy source.

The USS Enterprise-D had a primary plasma system and a backup secondary plasma system. Additional systems were the life support power flow and the auxiliary replicator system. (TNG: "The Mind's Eye")

A massive EPS explosion in cargo bay 4 was detected by internal sensors in 2368, it later turned out that it was just a malfunction caused by tampering with the conduit by solanogen-based lifeforms. (TNG: "Schisms")

Engineer in command Lieutenant Paul Porter assumed a problem within the EPS conduits caused the environmental control's problems when the temperature in main engineering increased. (Star Trek: First Contact)

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