A power converter is the generic name for any device which converts power (presumably electrical charge) from one mode to another. A power converter is used to take power input from a source in one form and output it into another form, more useful to the task at hand. This can take many forms, such as tapping the main municipal power supply of a locality, which is likely to be extremely powerful - or else weaker than needed - and converting it to a form which could be used for taking the power produced by a vehicle's power plant and converting it to operate the vehicle's systems, such as display panels or engines.
Squat green and orange boxes with power couplings on top could often be found in Rebel and Imperial holdings, both starships, smaller vehicles (such as AT-ATs), and installations and structures, throughout and after the Galactic Civil War. These whole devices were effectively nothing but power converters and capacitors; the green boxes restored energy to a personal energy shield (and presumably other devices which ran on the same modal energy, since Kyle Katarn was the only known user of such a device during those times,) while the orange boxes were apparently capable of transforming the energy from their internal capacitor into a form usable by many weapons, including blaster pistols and rifles (the energy from which was apparently usably interchangeably on some models, such as the Bryar pistol (and presumably the rifle variant), BlasTech DL-44s, E-11s, to esoteric weapons such as Bowcasters and Stouker Concussion Rifles, despite the ammunition supply for such weapons not being interchangeable once converted to that weapon's supply.
These boxes were certainly capacitors, given their limited storage capacity, and they apparently transformed energy from the mains source which they tapped very slowly, given that they never re-charged during the limited time during which they were visited by Kyle Katarn or Jaden Korr. It is possible they were recharged by the Gonk or EG6 power droids which roamed the facilities in question, which is a hypothesis which gains credibility given that many such units were located in natural locales in which they could have been transported by labor droids or laboring humanoids, but which were almost certainly not hooked up to mains power. They were also certainly transformers, given their ability to supply a broad range of weapons and defensive devices, and presumably other equipment of the sort which neither Kyle Katarn nor Jaden Korr carried with them.
This bank of power converters was the ignition system for a starship. It converted energy from the ship's primary power source to its propulsion units to achieve thrust. Power converters had a power supply unit and a circuit inside the unit which regulated the current of electricity. The circuit traveled extremely fast, regulating the current so that the power converter could stabilize it to a selected voltage. The current would then be sent directly to the engine. Without it, the engine for the starship would be fried instantly when someone would try to turn it on.
Behind the scenes
Power converters in the Star Wars universe appear to serve the same purpose as transformers in the real world.
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