Naquadah generators are advanced reactor units that produce tremendous amounts of clean energy from small amounts of refined Naquadah.
Naquadah generators were originally developed by the Orbanians but were later adapted and further developed by the Tau'ri. They have since been used to power many technologies from Earth, with several variants having been created as a result of continuing advances in the technology.
The naquadah reactor was originally developed by the Orbanian Merrin after having studied the technology for over ten years. This research ultimately resulted in a reactor module capable of producing energy from relatively small amounts of naquadah. The device itself was composed of a dark-colored metallic housing in the shape of a small rectangular prism, approximately 12 inches long with side dimensions of approximately 6 by 6 inches. This casing provides shielding against the radiation emitted by the device in its use. A dark blue light emanated from the center of the device when active. Two known components of the reactor are the carocev (a heating element) and the Fodinaire. (SG1: "Learning Curve")
Tau'ri prototype design
The first prototype naquadah reactor constructed by the Tau'ri was created in 1999 by reverse engineering the Orbanian device using materials native to Earth. This device would appear, overall, visually similar to the inner workings of the Orbanian device, with a much more form-fitting outer casing of lead being used to shield against radiation, in lieu of the prism design of the original device. However, overall the device appeared to be much bulkier while still maintaining full functionality. (SG1: "Learning Curve")
A reactor of this same design would later be used in 2000 on P5S-381 to provide the power for an Enkaran city, being able to do so for up to one year before depleting. The device would later be converted into a bomb by creating a feedback loop, a process in which the energy would build up in the device instead of being released, ultimately resulting in an explosion. (SG1: "Scorched Earth")
By 2002, research and development continued toward creating viable generators capable of being mass-produced with a Russian program, supervised by Dr. Rodney McKay, working in consort with a US-based program. (SG1: "48 Hours")
Mark I production model
By 2003, after several years of further development, the Mark I model of the generator was developed. The Mark I appears visually similar to the original prototype model, though is far more streamlined and compact; it may easily be carried and transported by a single individual. Devices may be interfaced with the generator by connecting cables into ports of either end of the device.
When active, the generator becomes illuminated on both sides by a series of white lights, with small blue lights illuminating near the top of the device. A gentle and distinctive hum is also emitted. An interface is located on the top of the device between its two protruding 'arms'. The device is deactivated when the top of this interface is removed and re-inserted into the generator sideways. When deactivated, the illumination ceases, and the sides may be pushed in to render the generator more compact.
The Mark I has seen widespread uses among the Tau'ri since its creation. Uses of the Mark I naquadah generators include:
- Powering a Stargate without a Dial Home Device on another world for interstellar dialing-out, either manually or with a dialing program installed laptop. (SG1: "New Ground", "Bad Guys")
- Temporarily powering various alien devices, should their own power source be depleted. (SG1: "Ascension", "Forsaken")
- Powering the Prometheus and Daedalus-class series of warships. (SG1: "Ethon")
- A miniature mark I naquadah generator was developed to power the X-699 directed energy weapon (SG1: "Bounty", "Continuum")
- Providing limited power the city of Atlantis in lieu of Zero Point Modules.
In 2005, the Mark II series of the device was developed. It is capable of achieving up to 600% of the power output of the Mark I. However, it can attain this maximum output only when operating in a state of barely controlled overload, a state which rapidly drains its power. Two of these devices can power an Ancient Control chair for a limited number of uses, which normally requires a Zero Point Module to operate. (SGA: "The Siege, Part 2", "No Man's Land")
In 2009, the Mark IV series of the device was developed. Just one of these devices can power an Ancient Control chair and a city-ship's shields. Perhaps even an entire city-ship, which normally requires a Zero Point Module to operate. (SGA: "Gateways 1", "Gateways 2")
In 2009, the Mark VI series had been developed. It is capable of generating enough power to run the McKay/Zelenka Attero device. One of these generators is also used to power life support for the Stargate hub. (Gateways 3: "Singularity 3")
In 2004, Colonel Jack O'Neill utilized a naquadah generator in modifying the Transportation rings of a Tel'tak to emit a beam capable of drilling through a mile of ice in Antarctica. (SG1: "Lost City, Part 1", "Lost City, Part 2")
During the expedition's first year, the generators saw extensive use in the city. Five generators placed around the city, each of which powered a different section of the city, were used to provide limited power in lieu of a ZPM. (SGA: "The Storm", "The Eye")
A self-destruct mechanism was later developed for the city utilizing an overloaded naquadah generator in case the Wraith threatened to capture the city. A naquadah generator was used to lure an energy-based creature trapped in Atlantis through the Stargate. (SG1: "Hide and Seek")
After a ZPM was installed on Atlantis, naquadah generators functioned as a back-up energy system. Several located in the main power room further served to supplement the city's existing ZPM power. (SGA: "Critical Mass", "McKay and Mrs. Miller", "Quarantine")
- In an alternate timeline, Naquadah generators continued to gradually advance to the point where, in the 2030s, a Mark XII series of generators had been developed. These were so advanced that only one was needed to power the shield of Atlantis (which normally requires at least one Zero Point Module to function) for almost 800 years (with assistance from solar panels) after having laid dormant for 48,000 years. (SGA: "The Last Man")
- Naquadah generators contains enough reactants to generate an explosion of 20 kilotons following an overload, with such an overload occurring with 30 seconds. In the case of such an explosion, an Electromagnetic pulse is generated. (SGA: "Hide and Seek", "Hot Zone")