Solaris, the solar-powered town
Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity, either directly using photovoltaics (PV), or indirectly using concentrated solar power (CSP). CSP uses a series of mirrors and reflectors to focus a large area of sunlight into a tight beam, PV converts light into an electric current using the photovoltaic effect. The relatively small town of Solaris uses an experimental version of both PV and CSP, called HEPV(High Effeicancy Photovoltaics) and UCSP (Ultra Concentrated Solar Power) to create its power requirements for its 20,000 population. the USCP is out the outskirts of town, with the HEPV being present on all buildings. A building cannot be built-in Solaris without the HEPV being present. Other power systems are available but there are not as important to the town as solar power. It was this dependance that gave the town its name.
Founded 15 years ago as an experiment in renewable energy, Solaris is a home for testing new or improved design in energy production. Many are welcome to apply to test their designs here, as the nearby ocean, the constant sunlight from the desert and the remoteness make it the ideal place for testing. The town governors are all scientists in their field, but anyone is welcome to live here, providing they pass the security checks and there is room. The population is fixed at a most of 20,000. As such children and newborns are banned unless you get permission. Failure to abide by this rule will result in eviction from the town. Apart from this ruling and the national laws, there are relatively few town rules. Despite these requirements, Solaris is a prosperous town that exports energy to the rest of the country. Everything they can’t produce or handle locally they import.
People from all over the world apply to work in Solaris. The application process is quite rigorous. You have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you can help in some way contribute to the town, from either providing energy or something the town requires. The current waiting time is 18 months.
Hooks & Rumours
- There is a popular theory that Solaris was built to power a weapon or something hidden underground.
- A legal battle has begun over the right to who came up with the design for both the HEPV and UCSP. Two different camps ae both claiming that the design was their own and both have compelling evidence to back up their claim.
- Some are fighting the edict of no children without permission. Most are against lifting this limit as their experiments need a relatively stable population to test their designs.A few more ration are asking instead to have a cap on adults, but to allow children.
- The primary HEPV system was sabotaged by unknown forces. Luckily the backups worked fine but only a few people had access to the damaged systems.
- Plans are underway for an Orbital Microwave transmitter to be placed into geo-stationary orbit above Solaris, to give transmitted microwave power from an orbiting satellite power plant. The 1st stage has been approved but there is concern it could be used as a weapon.
- There is a slight snobbery that has emerged from those who work on the experimental HEPV and USCP systems. Some are claiming that this gives them rights and privileges that others do not have.
Inspired by :Solar Power
Volume 7 of the compiled and updated Campaign Chunks is available at DrivethruRPG.com