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Author Topic: EMP & Solar Power  (Read 1709 times)

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missybythelake

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EMP & Solar Power
« on: July 14, 2016, 06:27:26 pm »

OK I will preface this with the fact that I am a complete newbie at this.

So my question is this

I have read over and over that solar flares or an EMP, if that occurs, will knock out the electricity grid blacking out major cities. After the end of the year we will be in a rural area and purchasing minimum of 80 acres. If my house is "off grid" with a complete solar system, would the solar cells/wiring/batteries etc be destroyed too? If so, is there any way to protect it?

I have been looking into alternatives or complementary systems such as wind or water turbines but there seems to be a lot more council regulations regarding them, even in highly rural areas. 

Any thoughts??
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Gippsland-Prepper

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2016, 07:24:48 pm »

Batteries which are NOT part of an electrical circuit will function after an EMP.  Since they aren't in a circuit, there's no way for the pulse to damage them.

If an electromagnetic pulse was generated by a solar flare (as mankind is unable to create something so powerful) that could damage or impair batteries not in an electrical circuit, then it's a virtual certainty that such a pulse would maim or kill human beings.
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graynomad

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #2 on: July 14, 2016, 11:04:33 pm »

Solar flares (CME) are only one component of an EMP and the component that's least damaging to small items. A CME should only damage large items from about 300M in size, eg transmission lines. As such a CME is little direct threat to an off-gridder.

An EMP is different though and that could kill most electronic stuff, although as GP pointed out not unconnected batteries (AFAIK).

The yanks did EMP testing years ago and even most of the cars restarted, so I'm not 100% convinced that older electrical stuff will be damaged that much, you can kiss goodbye to any new electronics though.
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doomsdayprepper4570

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2016, 07:39:55 am »

Store away a few basic electrical components such as a couple of folding 120-200 watt solar panels or grid tie panels if you have some older spare ones, regulator/s, some dry batteries if you can source them, a pma or two.
These are separate to what you are using evry day for power generation.
It is hard to have all spares, even refrigeration units as well (new in boxes and unused).
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crazycatlady

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2016, 07:54:42 am »

store candles - nimbin sells them in carton lots.
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PadreDeZiggy

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #5 on: July 18, 2016, 01:52:22 pm »

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store candles - nimbin sells them in carton lots.

Or the materials to make them. Need to checkout Nimbin.
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PadreDeZiggy

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2016, 01:55:20 pm »

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store candles - nimbin sells them in carton lots.
Is 300 9hr candles for$250 a good deal?
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graynomad

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2016, 02:51:41 pm »

You can get hurricane lanterns for $5-$10, so I wonder how that (and the kero/wick cost) stacks up against candles.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2016, 02:53:41 pm by graynomad »
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doomsdayprepper4570

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2016, 05:36:08 pm »

Bought 100 liters of kero at a property auction for $30!
Should last a decade or so I would imagine even if uncut with tallow or the like!
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Arkane

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2016, 06:20:40 pm »

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You can get hurricane lanterns for $5-$10, so I wonder how that (and the kero/wick cost) stacks up against candles.

Not a big fan of hurricane lamps, sooty, smelly, dirty things
Lived for three months with them for light, converted to gaslamps! soooo much better.
A single gaslamp on low replaces half a dozen candles and can light up a huge area.
I used one for a huge 6mx12m shed and it provided better light than the four hurricane lamps it replaced!
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graynomad

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2016, 07:30:40 pm »

Yes gas lamps are better, the mantles can be fragile, do they last a long time?
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Arkane

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2016, 08:28:51 pm »

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Yes gas lamps are better, the mantles can be fragile, do they last a long time?

So long as they are not knocked a single mantle can last years!
I had mine on a wire rope hanging from the centre beam and so long as I raised and lowered it smoothly the mantles were good!  A little soot build up on the tin above but hardly visable even after a year of nightly use!
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OzHippy

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2016, 08:38:50 pm »

I have  a few hurricane lamps with plenty of oil and many candles.  Purchased a couple of packs of 100 tea candles.
Have  a wind up torch in each of our 4 BOB's, and 4 small solar charges that can charge a mobile phone etc.. that can also be used for lighting. 

If you are over worried about EMP effect on electronic, keep them stored in a old microwave oven - they are excellent surge insulators. 
Simple method to make a wood fire charger..


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shineyshooter

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #13 on: July 19, 2016, 09:42:09 am »

To get an idea on how this works, it's best to understand how a radio works.  A radio in your car works, in effect by funneling/collecting radio waves from the transmitter [typically on a over looking hill] which it converts to electrical pulses.  These pulses are typically very weak, though they are electrical signals and there's a type of radio [usually a hobbyist makes them] that requires no battery and uses the converted electrical pulses for it's energy source.  For modern radios these electrical pulses are amplified so even a weaker signal [being further away/objects in the way] can be heard. 

So getting a basic idea on how radios work helps you understand that an EMP/CME is really just a very powerful radio broadcast on many frequencies at once.  Electric circuits and components can [and would] work as antennas to a greater or lesser extent and of course those things with antennas would be even better at it, at a given frequency.  What happens from there is some of that is converted to electricity and those spikes of power can burn out and overload components, in effect ruining the device. 

In the Carrington Event [a CMT], we have very long antennas [telegraph wires] that picked up and converted this electromagnetic pulse into electricity, sending the high voltage and current down wires.  Similarly the electrical grid would still be effected, though arrestors and cut offs exist in grids to reduce damage from lightning which would be similar. 

So bringing it to the world of preppers and the question on solar.  Batteries might act like an antenna, though not a very good ones, and more importantly are very robust and have nothing that's likely to burn out with a brief moment of high voltage/current.  I'm not worried. 

Solar panels, indeed 'are' antennas for visible light, which is how they work, they collect and convert the electromagnetic energy we call visible light into electrical energy, though they are by their nature only converting visible light, I find it unlikely that they'd be damaged, though a small amount of degregation may occur with some damaged junctions.  What that means [and likely nothing would happen at all] is it wouldn't kill the panel, it might take it from 100W to 90W, though even that I have questions on and I've not been able to find a satisfactory answer.   

The wire from the panel to the solar regulator may pick up some electromagnetic radiation as might the regulator itself, so there's a chance it could be damaged.  Having a spare cheapo regulator [30Amp ones are like $15] in a faraday cage would do the trick and good to have since panels don't wear out [slowly degrade, though it's only 20% in 30 years or so]. 

So ultimately my angle is just have a spare regulator and not think too much more about it, I already have 4 systems of various sizes, so as usual, 2 is 1, 1 is none works well. 
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crazycatlady

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Re: EMP & Solar Power
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2016, 07:47:21 am »

I like the nimbin candles by the carton.  This is because I have a horror of the chinese made candles.  They splutter and burn for about 45 minutes and there was a bit of a scandal a few years ago about the wicks being dipped in something toxic to make them light and burn better but they were warning people not to have them in an unventilated space.  I have found that in an area that doesn't have a breeze blowing through, the nimbin candles illuminate better than a kero lantern.

And I collect all the drippings and stubs and melt them down into old tuna tins, using candlewicking cotton to form a new wick.  So they live again as a rough candle that is safe enough to let it burn through the night if need be.

I have a big collection of kero lamps.  But you still have to stockpile kero and go out and get it and stockpile wicks the right size and stockpile glasses for the lamps because eventually they always break and they really don't put out a lot of light.  I can easily sew with three candles in a candelabra next to me but not by kero light.  I am always against anything that you have to go out to buy.

Theoretically, if you can get wax, you can easily make a candle, even if you use dried vegetable material or old fabric as wicking.  Early settlers rendered lard off kangaroos and made slush lamps which were purely biblical but they would sure be better than nothing.

I use a storm lantern for outside at night and not much else.
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