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Replicators were shut down to save energy on the Voyager. However, with fusion technology which is available to all starships, energy shoud be dirt cheap. Why is the fusion power generated on the Voyager not enough to keep the replicators in operation? In comparison, there were no problems with the other starships. Picard, Kirk, and Sisko never had to shut down their replicators to save power. Furthermore, if replicators had to be shut down to save power, it contradicts the post-scarcity economy that Star Trek boasts about.

marked as duplicate by JakeGould, phantom42, Politank-Z, Aegon, Valorum star-trek Apr 1 '17 at 9:45

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  • Also this one might clarify the question. – JakeGould Apr 1 '17 at 2:53
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    Post-scarcity economy doesn't exist in the delta quadrant. Even the Enterprise needed to refuel now and again. – ApproachingDarknessFish Apr 1 '17 at 3:04
  • @ApproachingDarknessFish, I'm surprised that post-scarcity didn't exist in the delta quadrant. I got the impression that the species in delta quadrant is more advanced than alpha quadrant. Borg and Species 8472 are more advanced than humans. – user486818 Apr 1 '17 at 3:06
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    @user486818 They were more advanced in different ways, less advanced in others. Borg copy all their technology. Species 8472 "tech"nology is actually biology based. The Vidiians are advanced in medical science, but not nearly as much elsewhere. Kazon are not advanced at all, they stole their ships. Hirogen have fairly advanced technology, but aren't all that into research like humans. – Izkata Apr 1 '17 at 3:09
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    @user486818 Not only was replicator technology alien to most of the delta quadrant, but many species were hostile. Neither the Borg nor Species 8472 were likely to give Voyager a free pit stop. – ApproachingDarknessFish Apr 1 '17 at 3:20
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Because fusion takes fuel, and the Federation doesn't have resupply depots in the Delta Quadrant.

Technically, it's matter/antimatter annihilation that primarily powers Starships like Voyager. But its besides the point, they both take fuel.

Post-scarcity doesn't mean unlimited resources; indeed, this is prohibited by conservation of energy. It just means that you can always produce enough to meet all demand without the need for competition--and Voyager is cut off from production facilities. Within Federation territory, starships are part of a vast support network. Thousands of light-years away and surrounded by often unfriendly aliens, Voyager had to be much more careful about conserving resources than a typical Federation Starship. They could power the replicators, but chose not to so their fuel would last longer.

We see the reason why Voyager needs to conserve energy demonstrated in the episode where they run out of energy! Running short on deuterium, the matter component of the matter/antimatter reaction that provides the bulk of the ship's energy, Voyager is forced to land on a dangerous planet to refuel. Under normal circumstances, they presumably would have visited a Federation refueling station.

Also you can't (usefully) replicate deuterium, because you'd have to consume deuterium to generate the energy needed for the replication. The second law of thermodynamics: there's no such thing as a free lunch.

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