Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Will An Emp Destroy Solar Panels

Are You Ready For The Aftermath

How To Protect Solar Panels From EMP & Lightning

The entire purpose of prepping is to be ready for anything. I dont know about you, but I want to be one of the remainders left alive to rebuild. I want my family and friends to survive, and that includes you. My family has all systems in place to ride out whatever comes, and our bug out bags are ready to get out of Dodge on a moments notice if it comes to that.

Do you agree with the points covered here? Tell me what youre doing to protect your family, home, and your solar system from a catastrophic EMP event in the comments below!

Solar Flares Lead To Emps

As you can see, a solar flare and an EMP are two separate things. Still, as someone with a solar power system, you must understand that solar flares lead to EMPs, damaging your setup.

To reiterate what I said above, solar flares and EMPs likely wont damage solar panels themselvesthe exception being some rare but possible damage to the circuitry of the panels. But this doesnt mean other components of your solar array will go unscathed.

An Electromagnetic Pulse Is A Phenomenon That Can Fry Electronics Across A Wide Area Solar Panels Are Often In The Kit Of Anyone Planning To Survive The Next Zombie Apocolypse Or Other Crisis But Will They Still Work After An Emp

An electromagnetic pulse is a burst of electromagnetic energy. Like any magnetic field its invisible, but if its powerful enough it can knock out electronics or even the power grid.

This happens because a moving magnetic field can generate an electrical current in a conductive wire. In fact, this is how a generator works. If you take a really big moving magnetic field and apply it to a really big wire – such as the transmission wires of the electrical grid – the resulting surge of electricity could be large enough to cause widespread damage to power plants, electrical substations, and other major infrastructure.

Smaller equipment can be affected too, especially anything with electronic components. Computer circuits might be designed to handle only a few milliwatts of power, so it doesnt take a lot of excess power to destroy modern devices. Its not just obvious things like laptops and smartphones, but your car and appliances all have circuit boards in them.

How about solar panels? Parts of a solar panel system can be affected by an electromagnetic pulse. A grid-connected solar array will be knocked offline if the grid is disabled by an EMP. Off-grid systems can be impacted too, but it is possible for a solar panel system to continue to work even after an EMP.

Read more to learn how you can ensure that you have solar electricity available during this type of emergency, but first lets learn about what an EMP is and how it can happen.

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After An Emp Or Solar Flare What Happens To Your Solar Panels

Within a certain range, most solar panels can withstand EMPs caused by natural phenomena such as lightning. If lightning strikes within 500 feet of your panels, they will be unharmed, but the wiring and circuitry connected to them will usually be destroyed.

After a solar flare, you can expect a similar situation.

The solar panels should be fine on their own. They may experience a slight reduction in output after being subjected to an EMP, perhaps by 5%. The diodes, which send energy from your panels to your homes battery bank, are the only part of your solar panels that are likely to be affected.

The more solar panels you have, the more likely you are to be damaged by an EMP attack. Particularly if you have a complex setup with diode strings or rows of photovoltaic modules.

So Really Will Solar Panels Survive An Emp

Living Prepared

In short? Probably not so well if theyre plugged in and working at the time of the pulse. Sorry to be a downer.

The good news is solar panels in and of themselves contain very little electronics that could be affected by an EMP. The bad news is theyre usually connected to wires with current flowing through them, which makes them susceptible to damage.

Thats because wires act like antennas that gather the pulses signals, as in the case of the E3 component of the EMP. Any panels attached to the grid will almost certainly be affected by a nuclear EMP. The Pulse might not completely zap them, but its likely their functionality will be greatly reduced. Even if the panels are hooked up in an off-grid solar configuration if theyre connected at the time of the explosion, theyll likely suffer serious damage.

On top of that, the sensitive electronics inside a solar inverter and charge controller would likely be fried by E1 before the panels go, too. Theres a chance that means the panels themselves could survive the blast, but then youd have to replace the rest of your components.

How to save your solar stuff with EMP protection

But to be especially sure, you need to employ some method of EMP protection, like

Build a Faraday cage
Get an EMP-hardened solar inverter

Check out Sol-Ark Inverters/Charge Controllers here, and have fun watching this video of them zapping various objects with EMP:

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What Is An Electromagnetic Pulse

So, what is an electromagnetic pulse? An EMP is a brief spike of electromagnetic energy the induces current into various electrical gadgets such as power lines. EMPs have the potential of damaging electronic and electrical appliances. Electromagnetic pulses can originate from solar flares, nuclear detonations, and lightning strikes.

Average people can only experience nuclear EMPs through naturally occurring events like lightning strikes. You can protect your appliances from such events using power surge protection systems. However, coronal mass rejection is hard to safeguard against, although it rarely affects the earth.

The electrons from an electromagnetic pulse fall on a power plant or solar panel and cause a power spike-a spike in power fries electronic gadgets. However, most electromagnetic pulses do not affect people directly. They only cause harm when produced under extreme conditions, like the explosion of munitions.

Can A Power Line Be Damaged By An Emp

The damage will vary, depending on the severity of power of the EMP while small, hand-held electronic devices may recover from an EMP attack. Still, systems connected to power lines, like an electric-powered grid network or a landline might experience permanent component damage when exposed to EMPs.

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Its Mostly Out Of Your Hands

Unfortunately, even if you shield all of your own devices , most of those devices rely on local or national systems. Without those systems functioning, your devices would be useless.

As Popular Mechanics reports, some utilities take steps towards EMP protection by shielding control rooms, power cables, and transformers.

These steps are not required by utilities, though. As GE reports, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has no mandatory standards in place. Further, mandatory standards arent going to be set unless they would mitigate the EMP threat effectively and at a justifiable cost.

Since Homeland Security didnt include Electromagnetic Pulse Attacks as one of its planning scenarios, its unlikely that any standards will be initiated soon.

Preparing For A Small Emp

We EMP Solar Panels, iPhone, PC, & more!

Prepare like you would for a hurricane, tornado, earthquake or other extended natural disaster. The government recommends 72 hours of supplies. We recommend 7 days to start, 30 days as a target and your stretch goal of 1 year. Stockpile food and water, fuel, prescriptions, general medical supplies, personal hygiene items the basics you need to survive. Use those stocks first in first out .

Plan for cooking, shelter, self defense, heating, cooling, clothing, hygiene, handling medical emergencies and garbage disposal as if you were camping without power. Having 72 hours to 1 year of food and supplies stashed can serve you regardless of the event, even as simple as a job loss.

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Would A Solar Flare Of Emp Damage Batteries

Since batteries dont have electronic components, solar flares and EMPs are not powerful enough to damage them even if connected to a working solar power system. When electricity is needed, it enters the battery, stays there, and then returns to the system when needed.

So, theres no reason to worry about your solar batteries, whether you have lead-acid, alkaline, or any other kind of battery.

But, if you have a backup generator that uses gasoline or diesel fuel to run, then an EMP could be a problem for you. The reason is that the electronic ignition systems in those generators are vulnerable to EMPs.

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Emp Will Stop All Electronic Communications

One of the things that is protected from EMP is our nations communications, especially the telephone system. The automated phone switchboards which are the heart of this system are required by FCC regulation to be in a building that is shielded from EMP.

They are also required to have backup generators with tanks of fuel. The question then becomes whether those backup generators will start, which will all depend on how much electronic controls they have.

Of course, even if they do get the generators to run, their fuel supply will eventually run out. But there should be communications for at least a few days, allowing families to check on each other and emergency plans to be made.

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Can An Emp Go Through Concrete

Nebraska engineers Christopher Tuan and Lim Nguyen have developed a cost-effective concrete that shields against intense pulses of electromagnetic energy, or EMP. Electronics inside structures built or coated with their shielding concrete are protected from EMP. Electromagnetic energy is everywhere.

How To Protect Electronic Equipment From An Emp

EMP Proof Solar Generator for energy independence

Solar panels should be disconnected from each other and any junction boxes. Everything should be disconnected from the grid and put inside a Faraday cage, or bag for smaller devices. A Faraday cage shields devices from electromagnetic fields and is the quickest way to protect your solar inverter and other essential equipment.

Once the EMP danger is past, you should be able to re-connect your system and enjoy up to 90% of the previous capacity. Those around you with no solar, or unprotected solar, will have no electricity.

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Which One Is Worse For My Panels

There are differences in effect and magnitude between nuclear high-altitude EMP , geomagnetically induced EMP , and nuclear low-altitude EMP . You have to know them in order to protect properly against their different effects.

NHEMP occurs when a nuclear weapon is detonated in the upper stratosphere or higher. Gamma rays interact with the earths magnetic field causing it to re-radiate a powerful EMP and scatter high energy electrons, creating a thousand times the EMP that the same weapon would cause in a lower-altitude burst.

NHEMP is not a single EMP pulse, but rather, it a pulse consisting of three separate components: E1, E2 and E3.

  • E1 is an extremely fast and brief pulse that induces very high voltages in electronics within roughly line of sight of the detonation. It affects all electronics that have sufficient conductive area, whether they are connected to the grid or not. It happens so fast that surge protection used in the power grid cant clamp fast enough to stop it and will be disabled by it. Although surge protection with fast enough clamping times exists, it is not typically used since its more expensive and more commonly occurring surges are much slower than E1.
  • E2 behaves very much like lighting. Much of its effect on the grid would be protected against by lightening protection, if the lightening protection circuits were not already burnt out by E1 when E2 arrives. Like E1, E2 can also effect electronics whether they are plugged into the grid or not.

The 3 Waves Of An Emp

Electromagnetic pulses dont destroy things physically as an explosion would. Theyre pulses of magnetically charged energy that come in three waves that build on each other and cause system overloads. Wiring acts like a conductor that leads them straight to the heart of your circuitry microchips are especially vulnerable. EMPs from a nuclear blast come in three waves. These waves are referred to as the E1, E2, and E3 waves.

EMPs can either be a secondary occurrence in the wake of a nuclear blast or deployed as a primary weapon with the intent of disrupting electrical grids on a massive scale which is the more likely scenario.

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What Happens To The Solar Panels After An Emp

However, solar panels are usually connected with long wires to the overall solar power system which means your panel wires act as a giant antenna to kill the panels after an EMP. The solar electronics are likewise damaged. Solar inverters and charge controllers are the most important components of a solar power system.

How Do I Emp Proof My Solar System

EMP and solar panel protection Take 1

The best and most convenient way to protect your solar power system is by using EMP-hardened solar power systems, just like the military uses. The Sol-Ark-12K All-In-One Solar Generator Systems EMP Hardening is modeled after military designs that protect the system, solar panels, and your appliances while in use.

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Has There Ever Been An Emp

The first human-caused EMP occurred in 1962 when the 1.4 megaton Starfish Prime thermonuclear weapon detonated 400 km above the Pacific Ocean. One hundred times bigger than what we dropped on Hiroshima, Starfish Prime resulted in an EMP which caused electrical damage nearly 900 miles away in Hawaii.

How To Build A Faraday Cage To Protect Your Solar Panels From Solar Flares

  • Find two pieces of galvanized sheet metal that are slightly larger than the solar panel system you want to protect
  • Place those metal sheets on the top and bottom of the solar panel
  • Repeat this process for each panel that you have
  • Wrap your writes with aluminum foil or any conductive material
  • The last step is to connect all of your panels together. Make sure that youre not touching any bare metal with your hands when the cage is complete, and ensure that its grounded.
  • Ground your faraday cage. There are multiple ways how to ground a faraday cage so make sure you pick one before continuing this process.
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    How To Protect Your Solar Power System From Emp And Solar Flares

    To reduce the effects of an EMP, you could go through the added trouble and extra expense to build a large mesh Faraday cage to house your charge controllers and inverters. In simple terms, Faraday Cages distribute electrostatic charges around their exterior and act as a shield to anything within them. Unfortunately, even if your solar inverter and charge controller is in a Faraday cage, EMP signals can still fry your circuit technologies if the system is plugged into the Grid.

    The best and most convenient way to protect your solar power system is by using EMP-hardened solar power systems, just like the military uses. The Sol-Ark-12K All-In-One Solar Generator Systems EMP Hardening is modeled after military designs that protect the system, solar panels, and your appliances while in use. It is actually EMP Hardened, which is twice that of military standards. After 8 months of rigorous testing, this hybrid inverter system has proven to withstand over 140 blasts of massive EMP shocks and protects the appliances plugged into it.

    Will An Emp Destroy Batteries

    Solar Panels vs EMP  Will Solar Panels Survive An EMP ...

    All batteries can survive an electromagnetic pulse, so an EMP will usually not destroy batteries. However, some may have better resistance compared to others. For instance, some argue that a dry-cell battery bank has weaker resistance to EMPs than wet-cell batteries.

    Batteries found in various portable devices have microcontrollers attached to them, making them highly vulnerable to EMPs. Therefore, we can conclude that batteries vary in their resistance to EMP.

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    The Different Parts Of A Nuclear Emp

    Nuclear EMPs have different parts. Its effects are also different in these parts. The effects are higher and more destructive in some parts than in others. Below are parts of a nuclear EMP.

  • E1
  • E1 is a quick component of electromagnetic pulse. It is an intense but brief electromagnetic field that delivers a high voltage to conductors and electrical gadgets. However, among all the components of a nuclear electromagnetic pulse, this is the most destructive.

    It charges at a higher rate, rendering surge protection ineffective in protecting the electrical appliances and devices. E1 arises from the ionization of the atoms in the upper atmosphere by the gamma radiation from a nuclear attack. The effect is called the Compton Effect, and the current produced is called Compton current.

  • E2
  • Gamma rays that are scattered and inelastic produced by the neutrons generate E2. It is an intermediate pulse that lasts for about a second after the detonation.

    The component has many similarities with a flash of lightning. However, E2 induced by lightning is larger compared to a nuclear blast.

    The good thing is that you can easily protect yourself from E2 with lightening protection. According to the US EMP commission, the problem is that E2 follows an E1. Therefore, the appliances that you may want to protect from an E2 would have already been damaged.

  • E3
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