Qulirian Energy Converter
Qulirian Energy Converters (QECs) are without a doubt a very important bit of technomancy. They provide power to homes and businesses across Ghyll, and without them, the book industry would be nowhere near the size it is today.
QECs consist of two distinct parts: the collector and the energy storage vacuum. The collector piece of the QEC is placed on top of the building to which it provides power. It consists of a tall lightning rod that goes down the length of the building, connecting with the energy storage vacuum. When struck by a lightning bolt, the lightning rod sends the energy down its length and into the storage vacuum, where the bolt has as much energy drawn from it as possible. Not even the power of the largest storage vacuums known can stabilize a lightning bolt, let alone store all the energy, so the bolt is quickly shot back up the rod. The re-discharged bolts often leap off and arc to other nearby lightning rods, and particularly powerful bolts can jump across many rods. For this reason, stormy nights in places with many QECs can provide some spectacular light shows.
The energy storage vacuum stores the collected energy in an airless environment. The specifics of exactly how this works is a secret only a small number of technomancers and engineer types know, mainly because it is extremely complicated and they only teach it to others of their persuasion. The vacuum itself is encased in a metal shell. The exact devices inside the vacuum are unknown to all but the creators of the devices themselves, but suffice to say that wherever technomancers are involved, weird things happen.
The original QEC system was developed by a group within the Aminfarances Institute of Science and Technomancy. No one can recall exactly when, or precisely who the group consisted of, but it is commonly thought that the earliest forms of the system came into existence in -151 EC, shortly before Andelphracian Lights became widely available. It is unknown where the word "Qulirian" comes from, but it is assumed to be the name of a leading member of the development team.
Two companies manufcture 90% of all QECs made. They are the Technomancer Crafts Guild, a group renowed for its talented technomatic design teams, and Energy Industries, which is wholly controlled by the Darvekian Party. Independent groups of technomancers make the last 10%, and also provide most repair services as the two major companies have few repair teams.
Today, QECs are the power source of most devices that are not self-powering, occultic in origin, or do not require an outside power source. The book printing industry is the largest customer of not only QEC systems and replacement parts, but also repair services, as the systems are know to be quite tempermental. This fact, along with the Darvekian Party's... history, has led many conspiracy theorists to belive that there is a racket going on somewhere in the QEC industry, though no proof has surfaced as of yet.
--Darus Ixa 14:09, 4 Feb 2005 (EST)