Lightning strike

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hillside
hillside Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭
A few days ago some friends with a large house and full solar power with Tesla power wall battery had a strike close enough that it looks like they've lost quite a bit. They're waiting for the installer to come for a visit but that's going to take a while. They're 30 miles up in the mountains and getting any of these installers to come to your house for service is, well, we'll see.
I'll update when we learn more. Good thing they kept local utility power.
Main reason we didn't go that route..
8- 235Watt panels, 2 strings in series/parallel, 4L16 Deka 6Volt, 370AH FLA. batteries, 3000W Cotek pure sine inverter, SRNE ML2440 40Amp Controller &  40 Amp Renogy controller, 24 Volt system.
5 stand alone PV arrays; 12V gate opener, 24V Dankoff rain water pumping system, 12V Shurflo rain water garden pumping, 12V bathroom LED lighting and fan.
4- 450 Watt panels with 4 L16 6 volt batts./ 2-Renogy Tracer 40 Amp controllers/ Xantrex 1800W PSW Inverter.
Honda EU3000W generator for backup.

Comments

  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    That hurts.  :'(

    It will be interesting to see what the installer says/did about lightning protection for the home and power system.

    While doing the protection can help, it does not protect against a direct strike--Not much will survive that.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • hillside
    hillside Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭
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    Well, they got lucky. Looks like the strike was close to their home and not a direct hit.
    Tesla battery got fried, along with the router, wireless access point, the battery charger in their gate opener, a fan and a few lightbulbs.
    Battery will be replaced under warranty...


    8- 235Watt panels, 2 strings in series/parallel, 4L16 Deka 6Volt, 370AH FLA. batteries, 3000W Cotek pure sine inverter, SRNE ML2440 40Amp Controller &  40 Amp Renogy controller, 24 Volt system.
    5 stand alone PV arrays; 12V gate opener, 24V Dankoff rain water pumping system, 12V Shurflo rain water garden pumping, 12V bathroom LED lighting and fan.
    4- 450 Watt panels with 4 L16 6 volt batts./ 2-Renogy Tracer 40 Amp controllers/ Xantrex 1800W PSW Inverter.
    Honda EU3000W generator for backup.
  • Surfpath
    Surfpath Solar Expert Posts: 467 ✭✭✭
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    “Good thing they kept local utility power.”

    I don’t know. Lightning is so weird, maybe the local utility cable is what brought it into the house?
    Outback Flexpower 1 (FM80, VFX3048E-230v, Mate, FlexNetDC) 2,730watts of "Grid-type" PV, 370 AmpHrs Trojan RE-B's, Honda 2000 watt genny, 100% off grid.
  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,832 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
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    Surfpath said:
    “Good thing they kept local utility power.”

    I don’t know. Lightning is so weird, maybe the local utility cable is what brought it into the house?
    Or the Solar, the router, the gate opener. Any long wiring coming to the house needs to be protected. It does not sound like they have any protection and it could just happen again.   I doubt Tesla will cover this twice. Nice that they did!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Trygves
    Trygves Registered Users Posts: 9 ✭✭
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    My new solar system was recently inspected by the City and they told me I must add a Surge Protection for lightening strikes. I have one on order and it will be added as soon as I get it. That should protect me the City electrician inspector told me. MidNite Solar Surge Protector MNSPD-300-AC was suggested - they have DC protectors also for the solar panels.
  • BB.
    BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 33,530 admin
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    The Midnite units are probably some of the best on the market (not just sand filled spark gaps).

    HOWEVER, they are not magic. If there is a direct strike to the panels/wiring, hopefully the surge protectors will limit energy entering the rest of your home wiring/cable/phone/etc. circuits.

    A full lightning strike just contains an unbelievable amount of energy in a very short time frame (fractions of a second or so).

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • showme
    showme Registered Users Posts: 94 ✭✭
    edited December 2023 #8
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    I worked as a cable tv technician years ago, and one of the strangest things I'd seen was when a lightening bolt hit a tv antenna (remember those?), followed the antenna line to where the installer had run it through the same opening/hole through the brick facade as the electric service and cable entered the house. It jumped the antenna line, blew their tv, smoked our coaxial cable, and also blew apart 3 underground phone line boxes for them and two neighbors down the street. Knocked the tops off those little green boxes! My lesson for that day was to never run ANY utility wiring through the same entry on a building. Amazing it didn't burn the house down. (BTW, I didn't install that job. I was the repairman, but I still learned something from that critical mistake.)

    "Knowing is not enough, we must apply. Willing is not enough, we must do."   Goethe

    2006 Trace Xantrex power panel, (3) SW5548 inverters- 2 NOS Trace's (1999) and 1 Trace/Xantrex 2006 for back up (came with power panel. et al), Xantrex DC/disconnect, Xantrex AC disconnect/bypass, (3) C40 PWM charge controllers- 2 NOS, one used. (8)Evergreen  Solar 120w (960w),  8k LG Neon 2, (25) 320w, Bergey XL.1 1.5k genny, Air X 400 genny (came with used system), 48v Interstate Workman batts (now frozen/toast), (2) Montana Solar adjustable Top of Pole 12 array racks, (2) Midnite Solar MSPV 4 combiner boxes, (2) Midnite Solar Classic 150's (one an SL), SOK LiFePo stack of 500ah and one nice Ozark hilltop to set them all on.


  • littleharbor2
    littleharbor2 Solar Expert Posts: 2,077 ✭✭✭✭✭
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    We had the most intense lightning and thunder storm I have ever been in recently. Multiple ground strikes in the next campo over (less than 1/2 kilometer away. Surprisingly little damage to peoples off grid systems.

    2.1 Kw Suntech 175 mono, Classic 200, Trace SW 4024 ( 15 years old  but brand new out of sealed factory box Jan. 2015), Bogart Tri-metric,  460 Ah. 24 volt LiFePo4 battery bank. Plenty of Baja Sea of Cortez sunshine.

  • Dave Angelini
    Dave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 6,832 ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2023 #10
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    BB. said:
    The Midnite units are probably some of the best on the market (not just sand filled spark gaps).

    HOWEVER, they are not magic. If there is a direct strike to the panels/wiring, hopefully the surge protectors will limit energy entering the rest of your home wiring/cable/phone/etc. circuits.

    A full lightning strike just contains an unbelievable amount of energy in a very short time frame (fractions of a second or so).

    -Bill
    The Midnite and any well designed Varistor based SPD is a must have. The Sand filled spark gaps have their place and can protect the Varistor types in really prone top of mountain lightning zones. The Telcom towers use both types alot. There are also some Inverters that seem to always
    survive near strikes. Some that do not! 

    A full direct hit/strike is something to be seen,  they always seem to be different!



    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Nevada mountain area
       htps://offgridsolar1.com/
    E-mail offgridsolar@sti.net

  • Marc Kurth
    Marc Kurth Solar Expert Posts: 1,147 ✭✭✭✭
    Options
    BB. said:
    The Midnite units are probably some of the best on the market (not just sand filled spark gaps).

    HOWEVER, they are not magic. If there is a direct strike to the panels/wiring, hopefully the surge protectors will limit energy entering the rest of your home wiring/cable/phone/etc. circuits.

    A full lightning strike just contains an unbelievable amount of energy in a very short time frame (fractions of a second or so).

    -Bill
    The Midnite and any well designed Varistor based SPD is a must have. The Sand filled spark gaps have their place and can protect the Varistor types in really prone top of mountain lightning zones. The Telcom towers use both types alot. There are also some Inverters that seem to always
    survive near strikes. Some that do not! 

    A full direct hit/strike is something to be seen,  they always seem to be different!

    The only direct strike that I have seen was an equipment/switchgear room. It was best described as charred remains. The sheer amount of energy released over such a short time is hard to wrap my head around.
    Marc
    I always have more questions than answers. That's the nature of life.
  • hillside
    hillside Registered Users Posts: 148 ✭✭
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    The strike that hit in our area is about 200 yards from our house and it was a royal palm tree that took the hit. Months later it looks like it is trying to grow back. We'll see.
    Interesting post, showme.
    8- 235Watt panels, 2 strings in series/parallel, 4L16 Deka 6Volt, 370AH FLA. batteries, 3000W Cotek pure sine inverter, SRNE ML2440 40Amp Controller &  40 Amp Renogy controller, 24 Volt system.
    5 stand alone PV arrays; 12V gate opener, 24V Dankoff rain water pumping system, 12V Shurflo rain water garden pumping, 12V bathroom LED lighting and fan.
    4- 450 Watt panels with 4 L16 6 volt batts./ 2-Renogy Tracer 40 Amp controllers/ Xantrex 1800W PSW Inverter.
    Honda EU3000W generator for backup.