Possible to protect our solar bank from an EMP attack?

softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
Been a lot of news lately about the possibility of an EMP (electromagnetic pulse) attack being carried out by increasingly adversarial foes. A successful attack would carry us back to the pre-industrial age. Anybody done some studying on the subject?
First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries

Comments

  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    search for EMP here , there are some good long threads on the topic.. mostly dealing with CME's rather than man made ones...
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,358 ✭✭✭✭✭
    man-made EMP bombs have a very sharp crisp pulse profile, and will take out most electronics gear with more than a couple inches of wires, or circuit boards. TV's, HiFi's, cell towers, produce processing plants, oil refineries, and the electronics in all the trucks that haul stuff, will all stop. The PN junction in great big solar panels will be vulnerable, and not much will protect it except distance from the bomb. Gear you store foil wrapped and in a metal container (30 gal trash can?) may survive, and you will be able to listen to empty airwaves. If you turn on lights at night, everyone will come to visit and help themsleves to your goodies.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Congress is demanding war in the Ukraine.

    Last I checked, the world would be annihilated 17 times over during a nuclear shoot out.

    Crimea isn't that important to me. Call me nuts?

    http://www.ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/featured-articles/2015/march/23/congress-demands-war-in-ukraine/
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks guys....from what I gather, don't think I would have a solar bank to operate the lights with. The Congressional vote is tonight by the way. I'm sure our war mongers will pass it.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    Update: The Resolution passed in the House, 348-48.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    I figure batteries (big solar ones - not flashlight batteries) are immune to induced current pulses. If you had solar panels connected directly to batteries, they may well be protected as well. A charge controller in between might be susceptible though. 12Vdc appliances connected to the battery might be protected as well.
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    The board has some good threads on this subject in the archives. It all gets...really complicated. I figure there is a good chance that we would use the EMP first. After that?

    But then....it is all a guess.

    Lots of copper in the inverter. I think that would sort of attract current. Covered it with foil yesterday...knowing that the war effort would sail through this Congress. Russia is not Iraq.
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • AxilAxil Registered Users Posts: 1
    Hello folks,
    This is my 1st post on the forum ... YAY !!
    I'd like to concur with the probability of an EMP attack on the US ... which might be used to mask the coming economical collapse that has to happen a little later this year.
    But! That's beside my concerns here.
    The reason I'm posting, is that I'm fixin' to pull the trigger on
    TWO - 3,825 Watt Off-Grid Solar Power System with 3,600 Watt 48 Volt Inverter KITS
    BUT incorporating the Preassembled Magnum Energy 4,400 Watt Inverter Kit with Classic 150 Charge Controller
    AND having TWO sets of 8 batteries. 8 Crowns & 8 Surrettes .... Duplicate sets for redundancy & spare parts.

    ==============================

    I'm expecting an EMP or CME ... either way, I figure panels and electronic will be fried, all but the batteries. So, I plan to have a back up set of panels & electronic stashed, insulated in a 5 x 8 cargo trailer, inside my all metal garage. What do ya think? ... I could get along with a lot less of a system but I my wife has MS and needs a small AC unit to keep her cold, which reduces her pain level... and having the well water and frig working sure would be nice also :-)

    ==============================

    One question that I have that I can't seem to find a good answer for is; The storage of the second set of 8 x 6v lead acid batteries. I'm thinking to buy Surrette batteries and have them shipped "dry" ... with acid ( 15 gallons to fill 8 batts ) on the side. ( I didn't realize those 6v batteries took so much acid to fill )

    From what I've been reading, even though they are referred as "dry" they're still "moist" with acid.. and don't sit on the shelf for years, without deteriorating.

    Anyone have any other ideas / solution for storing lead acid batteries for later use? ( I can't afford the Edison Iron batteries )

    Glad to meet Y'all :-)
    Thanks in advance
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    You are correct... Storing dry charged batteries over 18 months will start to lose capacity due to aging. Keeping batteries "cool" is a big help (roughly, dropping battery temperature from ~25C will double the aging life for every 10C decrease in storage/operating temperature). So a root cellar can be a help here.

    I pray that we do not have people/countries setting off EMP nukes... If there was a nation wide electrical outage for year or more--Probably 90% of the population would not survive.

    For an off grid system... I would look at protecting against lightning first:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum/solar-electric-power-wind-power-balance-of-system/general-solar-power-topics/17973-how-concerned-are-you-about-lightning?

    Hopefully, lightning is a statistically greater chance of happening, and there is quite a bit you can do to help reduce its effects.

    Here is an older discussion about EMP:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/forum/solar-news-reviews-product-announcements/solar-skeptics-hype-scams-corner/4400-electromagnetic-pulse

    Perhaps it will help.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • softdownsoftdown Solar Expert Posts: 3,509 ✭✭✭✭
    As always, this is a knowledgeable post regarding lightning. But I have to say...for those who are installing their first major solar array...that it is already bordering on overwhelming for those without a significant background in electricity.

    Is there something simple and affordable that will probably protect our array from most lightning activity?

    My area is not prone to lightning. For that reason, I have not really considered significant lightning protection. Enough challenges already. Like a few hundred?
    BB. wrote: »
    You are correct... Storing dry charged batteries over 18 months will start to lose capacity due to aging. Keeping batteries "cool" is a big help (roughly, dropping battery temperature from ~25C will double the aging life for every 10C decrease in storage/operating temperature). So a root cellar can be a help here.

    I pray that we do not have people/countries setting off EMP nukes... If there was a nation wide electrical outage for year or more--Probably 90% of the population would not survive.

    For an off grid system... I would look at protecting against lightning first:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/foru...out-lightning?

    Hopefully, lightning is a statistically greater chance of happening, and there is quite a bit you can do to help reduce its effects.

    Here is an older discussion about EMP:

    http://forum.solar-electric.com/foru...magnetic-pulse

    Perhaps it will help.

    -Bill
    First Bank:16 180 watt Grape Solar with  FM80 controller and 3648 Inverter....Fullriver 8D AGM solar batteries. Second Bank/MacGyver Special: 10 165(?) watt BP Solar with Renogy MPPT 40A controller/ and Xantrex C-35 PWM controller/ and Morningstar PWM controller...Cotek 24V PSW inverter....forklift and diesel locomotive batteries
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,183 ✭✭✭✭
    look at these for lightning protection... http://www.midnitesolar.com/products...tion%20Devices
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    By the way, wind and sun will gladly sell you the midnight solar SPD is units of 1. Once you have seen what is inside a Delta compared to the SPD units you will get rid of your Deltas.
  • pyintheyepyintheye Registered Users Posts: 35 ✭✭
    Axil wrote: »
    Hello folks,
    This is my 1st post on the forum ... YAY !!
    I'd like to concur with the probability of an EMP attack on the US ... which might be used to mask the coming economical collapse that has to happen a little later this year.
    But! That's beside my concerns here.
    The reason I'm posting, is that I'm fixin' to pull the trigger on
    TWO - 3,825 Watt Off-Grid Solar Power System with 3,600 Watt 48 Volt Inverter KITS
    BUT incorporating the Preassembled Magnum Energy 4,400 Watt Inverter Kit with Classic 150 Charge Controller
    AND having TWO sets of 8 batteries. 8 Crowns & 8 Surrettes .... Duplicate sets for redundancy & spare parts.

    ==============================

    I'm expecting an EMP or CME ... either way, I figure panels and electronic will be fried, all but the batteries. So, I plan to have a back up set of panels & electronic stashed, insulated in a 5 x 8 cargo trailer, inside my all metal garage. What do ya think? ... I could get along with a lot less of a system but I my wife has MS and needs a small AC unit to keep her cold, which reduces her pain level... and having the well water and frig working sure would be nice also :-)

    ==============================

    One question that I have that I can't seem to find a good answer for is; The storage of the second set of 8 x 6v lead acid batteries. I'm thinking to buy Surrette batteries and have them shipped "dry" ... with acid ( 15 gallons to fill 8 batts ) on the side. ( I didn't realize those 6v batteries took so much acid to fill )

    From what I've been reading, even though they are referred as "dry" they're still "moist" with acid.. and don't sit on the shelf for years, without deteriorating.

    Anyone have any other ideas / solution for storing lead acid batteries for later use? ( I can't afford the Edison Iron batteries )

    Glad to meet Y'all :-)
    Thanks in advance

    Hi Axil
    I am also new to this forum stuff but Off Grid for 4 yrs. That would be 4yrs of paying to learn about OG systems and how house demand can upset the apple cart. A year and a half ago 2 occupants went to 7 with 4 boys under 12yrs old. I had put in place all the gizmo's a wife would need to live comfortable in the wilderness, just like in town. The ME 4448 PAE has been the heart of my system from day one, running without a glitch. My signature system was just completed as my 3rd refit in 4 yrs. So I ended up in the same place that you are starting from, GOOD thing for you!
    I was adding a 9 panel array and was considering rigging it so my old 3 panel array and old battery bank would be a separate standby system to feed the inverter, just in case. I went with 2 arrays feeding the 1 system because the E-Panel allows you to isolate the CC's and use one, or the other, anyway. Glad I did.
    Now, I know what we run here, based on the wife's " gotta run like town rule", for 7 people, and there is no appliance she doesn't use on a daily basis. Washer, dryer, hot water tank, glow stick gas oven, microwave, dishwasher.
    So what has surprised me, after 5 days of running the new system WITH a ME BMK, is how far out my assumptions on our daily power usage, really was. My assumption was 120 to 140AH daily usage based on all the various work sheets to determine house loads. My actual loads are between 40 and 60AH per day.
    So on 5 days of running on topped up batteries, first 3 days low light, used up 168AH. Next 2 days used 82AH. Now today the SOC is 91% with -41AH missing from the batteries.
    Yesterday was a typical weather pattern for this country, cloudy with sunny periods.
    The washer and dryer and HW tank ran at the same time from 10am to 5pm with the oven being thrown into the mix at about 4pm. When the sun hit the panels the PV current was enough to power all these loads AND put power back into the batteries. Keep in mind the W/D were a constant @ 2300W with the oven and hot water tank, in and out.
    I've gone from running the Gen set twice a day to no Gen set for 5 days. Right where I wanted to be.
    At this point I believe that next winter we will not cycle the batteries under 80% daily.
    I looked at your Magnum Inverter link and can say without a doubt, it's cheap at twice the price, compared to my cost, just add the BMK.

    TT

    Midnite Panel Box for MS4448PAE, FM60- 720w, FM80- 2340w, 8 Trojan L16H AC- 48V, NH600 Turbine, DHW 2000w opp/div load.
  • Alaska ManAlaska Man Solar Expert Posts: 252 ✭✭
    pyintheye wrote: »

    Hi Axil
    I am also new to this forum stuff but Off Grid for 4 yrs. That would be 4yrs of paying to learn about OG systems and how house demand can upset the apple cart. A year and a half ago 2 occupants went to 7 with 4 boys under 12yrs old. I had put in place all the gizmo's a wife would need to live comfortable in the wilderness, just like in town. The ME 4448 PAE has been the heart of my system from day one, running without a glitch. My signature system was just completed as my 3rd refit in 4 yrs. So I ended up in the same place that you are starting from, GOOD thing for you!
    I was adding a 9 panel array and was considering rigging it so my old 3 panel array and old battery bank would be a separate standby system to feed the inverter, just in case. I went with 2 arrays feeding the 1 system because the E-Panel allows you to isolate the CC's and use one, or the other, anyway. Glad I did.
    Now, I know what we run here, based on the wife's " gotta run like town rule", for 7 people, and there is no appliance she doesn't use on a daily basis. Washer, dryer, hot water tank, glow stick gas oven, microwave, dishwasher.
    So what has surprised me, after 5 days of running the new system WITH a ME BMK, is how far out my assumptions on our daily power usage, really was. My assumption was 120 to 140AH daily usage based on all the various work sheets to determine house loads. My actual loads are between 40 and 60AH per day.
    So on 5 days of running on topped up batteries, first 3 days low light, used up 168AH. Next 2 days used 82AH. Now today the SOC is 91% with -41AH missing from the batteries.
    Yesterday was a typical weather pattern for this country, cloudy with sunny periods.
    The washer and dryer and HW tank ran at the same time from 10am to 5pm with the oven being thrown into the mix at about 4pm. When the sun hit the panels the PV current was enough to power all these loads AND put power back into the batteries. Keep in mind the W/D were a constant @ 2300W with the oven and hot water tank, in and out.
    I've gone from running the Gen set twice a day to no Gen set for 5 days. Right where I wanted to be.
    At this point I believe that next winter we will not cycle the batteries under 80% daily.
    I looked at your Magnum Inverter link and can say without a doubt, it's cheap at twice the price, compared to my cost, just add the BMK.

    TT



    I must be missing something, Those are Huge loads and well over 168ah/day. My inverter, T.V. a few lights and Dish receiver use about 220ah/day.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    One question I would have--If a large part of your loads are day time--Is the AH based on battery charging/discharging, or the entire current used by the inverter? I.e., are the solar panels possibly helping during the day time (and reducing battery cycling)?

    Alaska Man--Your system is 12 volts and the Pyintheye is 48 volt system (if I got those right)--So his AH readings, for the same energy would be 1/4th yours (unless you already have converted your numbers to a 48 volt system).

    60 AH @ 48 volts = 240 AH @ 12 volts = 2,880 Watt*Hours per day

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,358 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Anyone have any other ideas / solution for storing lead acid batteries for later use? ( I can't afford the Edison Iron batteries )
    Then look at LFP batteries. Long life, maintenance free (Just bottom balance them) and good service life. Possibly, a 2nd spare set will store for a long long time.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,005 admin
    In the end--What is the minimum amount of power (and type of appliances) do you expect to use?
    • 1,000 Watt*Hours (1 kWH) per day -- Lighting, radio, laptop computer, small AA battery chargers, pump to pressurize water in the house?
    • 3.3 kWH per day -- Add refrigerator, well pump, clothes washing machine, etc.?
    • 10 kWH per day -- Cooking, microwave, irrigation pumping, etc.?
    The larger/more complex the expected loads--The larger/more complex the solar power system would be. And the more difficult to maintain over time.

    Looking at how the settlers lived would give us some low power/sustainable life style ideas (canning, root cellar, smoking/drying meets, grains, animals for plowing/food, spending every free moment cutting wood for the next winter, etc.).

    What sort of supply chain would be expected to survive (spares for inverters/charge controllers/electronics/batteries/etc.)? Fuel for tractors/heating/cooking?

    I really don't know/see a major (i.e., continent wide destruction of electrical/electronics) multi-year outage as very easy to recover from.

    The standard answer has been prepare for 3 days on your own until "help" arrives. If you can last 2-3 weeks on your own--Doable as "camping" with canned/dried foods/some sort of clean water source--And stored fuel for cooking/etc.--Possible.

    Prepping for 1 year of stored food, water supplies, some do it. Easier for 1-2 people--More difficult for a larger family.

    In major urban areas--Some have been known to shut down fresh water to prevent sewers from backing up/flooding (no electricity for pumping/waste treatment).

    Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Difficult words.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • pyintheyepyintheye Registered Users Posts: 35 ✭✭
    BB. wrote: »
    One question I would have--If a large part of your loads are day time--Is the AH based on battery charging/discharging, or the entire current used by the inverter? I.e., are the solar panels possibly helping during the day time (and reducing battery cycling)?

    Alaska Man--Your system is 12 volts and the Pyintheye is 48 volt system (if I got those right)--So his AH readings, for the same energy would be 1/4th yours (unless you already have converted your numbers to a 48 volt system).

    60 AH @ 48 volts = 240 AH @ 12 volts = 2,880 Watt*Hours per day

    -Bill

    BB, Alaska Man

    I appreciate you both "KEEPING ME HONEST". My previous post was not the complete story, as the story is still unfolding as I understand more of the workings of my new system.

    DAY FM60 FM80
    1 0AH - 0KWH 29AH - 1.5KWH
    2 34AH - 1.9KWH 144AH - 8.2KWH
    3 15AH - .8KWH 40AH - 2.1KWH
    4 34AH - 1.9KWH 88AH - 4.8KWH At 48 volts
    5 11AH - .6KWH 29AH - 1.5KWH
    6 12AH - .6KWH 32AH - 1.6KWH

    This is the CC's Logged data. You can see the low sun days easily enough. The 4,5th day I was busy trying to sync the BMK with the RC50 screens, while not understanding how the BMK operated.
    So the BMK was unplugged numerous times while I tested for millivolts at the twisted pair wires, over 2 days. Yes there was a few resets to 00 and 2+ "Just Think'in" in the SOC screen.
    After hours of constantly bouncing values and screens I was able to stabilize this by applying a 42A(W/D) load to the system.
    LIGHT BULB ON! The BMK registered the millivolts required as it tracked the load hits. So the Inverter was indeed taking the CC"s PV output before the BMK could get it. This senario was happening on day 2 and the wife had catching up to do and was pushing things pretty good. When I clued in to how things were going to work as related to our "make hay while the sun shines" domestic habits, I'm thinking to myself, OK W/D going, Propane hot/w blower on, She's already preheating the oven for her bread, and the BMK is showing + amp input being confirmed by the roll back on the A I/O screen value, and we've been doing this most of the day. Well it can't get better than this, 3 dull days, today is a 70/30 day in that respect, She's killin me here, and we still hadn't seen a full sun day on this system, so it WAS going to get better.
    Well, my exuberance spilled over into this forum at it's peak, I guess, and what I was try to say is, the array @+- 3000w input is handling a busy house, and then some, and the ME 4448 complete package was the way to go. IMHO.

    TT
    Midnite Panel Box for MS4448PAE, FM60- 720w, FM80- 2340w, 8 Trojan L16H AC- 48V, NH600 Turbine, DHW 2000w opp/div load.
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