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Installing your first off grid solar system 101
This is a discussion on Installing your first off grid solar system 101 within the Alternative Energy (Wind, Solar, Hydro etc) forums, part of the Off-Grid Lifestyle category; It is nearly impossible to protect a working solar array from EMP. At night you could fold the panels into a metal box that was ...
It is nearly impossible to protect a working solar array from EMP. At night you could fold the panels into a metal box that was insulated on the inside and close a cover over it but you would need to have the power cables run in an insulated sheath to keep them from transmitting the power from anEMP to the panels. If they are in use or not sheltered even a moderate EMP will make them totally useless. Diodes are the softest target for EMP and solar panels are just an assembly of diodes.
An excerpt from
Getting Prepared for an Electromagnetic Pulse Attack or Severe Solar Storm
by Jerry Emanuelson of Colorado Springs, Colorado. He was a part-time electronics consultant and a part-time science writer with an engineering degree from the University of Colorado. Most of his career has involved working at mountaintop radio and television transmitter sites protecting them from lightening damage, etc.
The entire document quoted here is at Electromagnetic Pulse Protection - EMP - Futurescience.com
"If you have something like a 50 watt solar panel, you can store it in a nested faraday cage. Only very rare individuals are going to be able to have full electric power after an EMP attack, no matter what advance preparations they might like to make. In a post-pulse world, though, any amount of reasonably reliable electricity is going to be a real personal luxury.
If you have solar panels that are now in use, you can obtain some EMP protection by proper shielding and transient protection on the wires going to the panels, and by surrounding the panels with aluminum wire cloth (also known as hardware cloth). Aluminum wire cloth is somewhat difficult to find, but it is available. Aluminum wire cloth with openings of 0.4 to 0.5 inches will not only supply a certain amount of EMP protection, but can provide some protection against larger hailstones that can cause damage in severe weather. The wire cloth will block some of the sunlight, but the right size of wire cloth will block less than 15 to 25 percent of the sunlight. If you are making a new solar panel system, some consideration should be given to putting the solar panels inside of a cage made of aluminum wire cloth. This is much easier to do during the original installation. The cage of aluminum wire cloth should completely surround the panels. If your solar panels are mounted just above the ground (as opposed to a rooftop system), don't make the mistake of assuming that the soil below is a mystical perfect ground into which EMP magically vanishes. In a ground-mounted solar panel system, the wire cloth enclosure needs to go underneath the system, preferably underground.
If you plan to use solar cells or battery power, you will probably want to keep a small inverter under shielding. Inverters that can step up ordinary 12 volt DC power to a few hundred watts of household AC are not terribly expensive. For people who own protected photovoltaic solar cells, a number of DC-powered appliances have recently become available. Transient protection (capable of reacting to the fast E1 pulse) must be supplied on the electronic components of any solar cell system, such as the inputs and outputs of charge controllers and inverters. Any wire runs of any length should be shielded.
If you're trying to protect an existing solar panel system, protecting the wiring (even if it is shielded) from transients will require the services of someone knowledgeable in EMP transient protection. In most cases, the most economical solution is to keep spare components, especially inverters and charge controllers, stored under electromagnetic shielding. For information about the EMP sensitivity of solar panels, and more details on the shielding of solar panel systems, see Donald J. R. White's new book, EMP - Protect Family, Homes & Community. That book has chapters with information about EMP protection for even fairly large solar panel systems."
Ok,, Well I decided to keep everything in one room and not have switches or remote information boards in the house.
I plan on adding one more battery but other than that I think I'm done. The system seems to work great it's running all the lights
and according to the information being displayed by the information board I have plenty of juice left over.
Later I'm going to add a inverter and run the TV and computer from the batteries. And soon this will be running a water pump
I never said I was an expert at solar installation but I think I did ok. Thanks everyone for your help
Next Project: I'm going to do a post on building an independent water system with hot and cold water under
Urban and Rural Survival
The only thing I can see that needs improvement is to add a plastic tray between the batteries and the wood. The fumes from the batteries and any spilled water will rot that wood away and your batteries will fall. That may short your system and be very expensive.
Keep some distilled water, basting ball, & screwdriver handy for checking the battery fluid levels atleast once a month. A large syringe will work as well as a basting ball for putting the water in the batteries.
Last edited by HuntingHawk; 05-16-2013 at 06:32 PM.
You will not see much at all of a decrease in your electric bill as lights are not a big power draw. But when commercial power is lost & you still have your 12VDC lights is when you really get the payback. Hate scrambling for flashlights just to find the batteries are dead.
This is one of the things I am very interested in. I have heard this before and it got me thinking quite a bit.
Originally Posted by PaulS
I am guessing that a partial shadow would affect the output because the cells within the majority of solar panels are all connected in series right? So most Solar Panels will have a set number of cells within them to get them up to the right voltage to be able to charge 12v batteries.
If shade could be a problem for you at certain times of the day on any part of your panels, it may be better to get smaller panels and more of them, than one or two really big panels. The only alternative I can think of would be to have the cells within a panel connected in parallel to avoid this?
How about just take the EMP hit but have a load of spare diodes that are protected in a faraday cage? This way after the event you can just crack open the panels and replace the diodes?
Originally Posted by PaulS
I don't know,,,,, It dosen't take a lot to run a light bulb but they are a good part of the bill because they get used so much.
Originally Posted by HuntingHawk
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