An ElectroMagnetic Pulse, often known as EMP, is among the terrifying survival events preppers should be aware of. All nuclear weapons produce EMP. When launched into the sky, EMP produced becomes so powerful that it can damage devices and knock out the electrical system throughout any region. As a result, many preppers are keen on EMP protective methods for their gadgets, primarily how to protect solar panels from EMP.
For several people, the goal of solar power systems is to help become self-sufficient in their homes or business in terms of power supply. But what if a solar flare or EMP wipes out all of that? Can solar panels withstand an electromagnetic pulse? In this piece, we’ll provide you with the answers and show how your solar power system can withstand such a doomsday scenario.
What is an EMP, And What Does It Actually Do?
Essentially, a nuclear EMP disturbs the earth’s magnetic field to such an extent that electrons spin around everywhere, whacking devices along their path. A nuclear EMP has three phases: E1, E2, and E3. E1 is by far the most destructive and rapid pulse, a large burst of gamma radiation that permeates every meter of air within its enormous range with up to 50,000 volts. It occurs within a few nanoseconds of a nuclear detonation.
E2 behaves somewhat like lightning, which is advantageous because our power grid has numerous built-in lightning protection. However, it is dangerous because it is accompanied by E1, which would effectively ruin whatever would have been shielded from E2.
The E3 pulse is a slower-moving pulse that can create currents in long electrical lines. In layman’s words, this means that objects such as telephone wires and power lines will gradually amass a high charge, which will then zap gadgets along the route. As a result, energy transformers and grid substation hardware, as well as all of our vital electrical power, would almost probably be zapped back into the stone age.
The sequencing of EMP sections E1, E2, and E3 is vital since each can wreak havoc, and subsequent damage can be amplified due to earlier harm. Dealing with the problem caused by a large-enough EMP will take weeks or even months of replacing vital electric parts and gradually re-stabilizing the electric grid.
EMP strikes can cause specific electronics, equipment, and power controllers to fail either for a while or permanently. There are two factors to consider: the gadget itself and the power grid. Your device may work (for a short time), but without the ability to recharge, it’s more or less dead. In addition, electronics will not switch from an “on” to an “off” state. Data connection with remote equipment may be impacted as well.
An EMP might harm gadgets or any device that runs on electricity, from TVs to cell devices and generators. While small, hand-held electronic equipment may rebound from an EMP strike, the impact may differ depending on the magnitude of the EMP. When subjected to EMPs, systems linked to power lines, such as an electric-powered grid network or a telephone, may sustain lasting component damage.
Can EMP Damage Solar Power Systems?
As we have mentioned before, because an EMP often destroys solid-state electronics, items that use an electronic circuit will cease to function. The electrical grid would be directly impacted, and repairs and restoration might take months. Solar panels that are working and wired, especially the single 200-watt solar panel, will almost definitely sustain some damages. A nuclear EMP will cause some damage – perhaps not sufficient to destroy the solar panel, but definitely, enough to limit its usefulness and efficacy.
Other Devices That Can Be Shielded From EMP Damage
An EMP will not harm appliances such as a fireplace, solar oven, power drills, or generators. These non-electric items do not use strong electrical components and will likely continue to function even after an EMP has blown through your neighbourhood.
Appliances that operate manually
Manual appliances also provide EMP protection. Ensure you have manual equipment to complete routine electrical operations. For example, a hand-powered coffee maker, pasta machine, manual mixer, can opener, or specific battery-powered equipment can handle a lot of cooking.
Electronics from the past
The majority of antique electrical components do not have a solid-state grid. So you’re fortunate if your vintage radio or television needs vacuum tubes to work.
EMP UWK Case
Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, may withstand an EMP attack if housed in concrete structures. It will, however, be determined by the location, intensity, and kind of EMP.
How To Protect Solar Panels From EMP
There are many solutions for protecting your solar panel from EMP. The first alternative is to buy surge protectors, which provide an additional layer of protection against power surges, which are the most common cause of damage during this type of occurrence.
Another option is to link all of your devices to power strips with an added layer of protection. The final alternative is to unplug your gadgets if you are aware of a solar flare, but this may not always work because it is not something we can control or forecast. If you don’t want to purchase a surge protector or unplug your equipment, a faraday cage is your best bet.
A Faraday Cage is a metallic or mesh construction that encloses a space and blocks all electrical signals (even energy waves) from reaching the goods contained within. Metal cages are the most effective in absorbing energy waves, but they can be costly for some. You can also use a steel trashcan or large receptacle composed of galvanized steel. In a moment, we’ll go through how to protect solar panels from EMP by constructing a Faraday cage to shield solar panels from electromagnetic interference.
How Do You Construct A Faraday Cage To Shield Your Solar Panels From EMP?
- Locate 2 parts of galvanized sheet metal that are somewhat bigger than the panel system to be protected and attach the steel plates.
- Repeat this procedure for each panel you have.
- Wrap your panels with aluminum foil or another conductive substance.
- When the cage is finished, make sure you’re not contacting any raw metal with your hands and that it’s grounded.
If you decide to create your own Faraday cage, keep the following crucial thoughts in mind:
- Current ought to be able to flow freely through the Faraday cage’s conductive outer skin.
- The cage requires a tight seal with no gaps or openings. Because of the wide range of frequencies we must guard against, even a 14-inch hole could jeopardize the sureness of the Faraday cage for our objectives.
- A Faraday cage can safeguard solar panels even when suspended in a vacuum. However, because huge currents can be produced into conductors, it is good to ground big cages to avoid electrical shock when opening the cage. A proper ground is recommended for a cage shielding a whole apartment.
- Make certain that the interior of the Faraday cage is coated with a non-conductive substance. Avoid contact between the Faraday cage’s conducting skin and its contents.
EMPs can cause significant damage to your electrical gadgets. So, to learn how to protect solar panels from EMP and help your electrical equipment survive any chaos, you should take the steps we stated earlier. Don’t forget to store those old devices and service them sometimes, so they can come in handy if an electromagnetic pulse or a solar flare occurs and wipes out all electrical signals.