May the Rey-active power be with you all you Jedi's & Sith's out there!
Our days at Nor-Cal Controls are spent working hard and also playing hard. Us Nor-Calians (that’s what we call ourselves here at Nor-Cal Controls), are made up of a diverse group, with many different types of interests and hobbies. Yes, you can even say that a few of us are indeed Star Wars nerds.
With our company’s defined niche in the PV-solar and Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) industry specializing in SCADA/DAS solutions, and Energy Management Systems (EMS), we dared to ask the question:
How is the energy from the TIE Fighters (T/F’s)' solar panels distributed and
controlled for optimal maneuverability and fighting?
The answer is never as simple as one would hope for this padawan author, as we take a closer dive (bomb) at the iconic T/F’s in the Star Wars universe.
TIE Fighters as you know are a symbol of the Imperial Fleet, carrying Star Destroyers and battle stations. A fast paced, single-pilot vehicle that perhaps was made in quantity and lacked in quality. The T/F’s character trait is the black hexagonal wings that contain twelve solar panels. It’s powered by a twin ion engine (TIE) system that accelerates ionized gases as a substantial fraction of lightspeed to allow for maneuverability with limited fuel reserves. Developed by Sienar Fleet Systems, one of the empire’s most prized military manufacturers, they produced these T/F’s in mass quantity. They were made to turn and burn, but these crafts were also a pretty penny to produce.
What about when a hop is in the black or at night?
We all know how a solar panel works, but just in case you are in the beginning of your Jedi training, solar panels capture energy from the sunlight (or in T/F’s case, energy is captured from stars) that is absorbed by the pv cells in the panels. The energy captures electrical charges that move to an internal electrical field in the cell that causes electricity to flow.
Back in the blue or rather, here on earth, our sun’s atmosphere hits about 250 watts per square meter. We currently harness about 20% of that energy. The current solar technology available
provides about 50 watts of usable power per square meter. With that solar energy fact, If T/F’s were intended for extended missions, these solar panels on the wings would not suffice and certainly not in the dark of night.
Which brings us to the “TIE” into our wonderful solar & storage industry!
T/F’s indeed must have had a controller such as a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system, that would allow its pilots to transfer power from engines to the laser cannons at a drop of a dime. The “mother” SCADA or “mothership” otherwise known as The Death Star if you will, would control all the baby SCADA systems within the T/F’s. Back here on earth, we call the “mother” SCADA an Enterprise SCADA System. These baby SCADA’s while theoretical, are probably not as cute as Grogu. But, really, not many things in the galaxy are…
Back to the T/F’s
Perhaps these panels were also used as a back-up to assist with powering the vessels’ weapons. And if indeed that was the case, those twelve solar panels would not need the sun at all to power them, but a Battery Management System (BMS) that would assist in charging these vessels when in a hangar.
Ever heard of an Energy Management System (EMS)?
It’s certainly a hot topic in today’s renewable energy news!
Power droids, also known as Gonks (for the low honking sound they made), were essentially power generators with legs that recharged vehicles and other types of machinery. Gonks were often found in less developed planets that did not have an extensive power grid in place, but they were also known to be very important in military operations that included the Rebel Alliance, and yes, you guessed it, even the Death Star where thousands of T/F’s were based. The Imperial Army was far too busy to worry about manually ensuring that the batteries were charged on the T/F’s. So, it is quite possible that Gonks had their own Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) in place that was controlled by a reliable EMS solution in order to take down that rebel scum! These little walking battery droids spent their days powering-up T/F’s while going through life barely noticed, yet they still managed to leave their mark. Er, charge rather.
At least those are the theories we are going with for now regarding powering the T/F’s. Yes, SCADA can truly be found everywhere! At Nor-Cal, we believe energy storage has the potential to accelerate to a galaxy far, far away! In our corner of the universe, we are well-positioned to handle SCADA and PPC requirements for PV solar projects and Energy Management Systems (EMS) for projects that include BESS. Our engineering team can meet all the control mode requirements for a project at lightspeed.
Schedule a call with us today.
May the Fourth be with you. And, stay Rey-diant!
Collaborators: Annabelle Haley, Troy Morlan, Nashvinder Singh, Matt Winchell