Protect Your Solar Electric System With Our New EMP/CME Hardening Kit
Backwoods Solar is proud to announce our new electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and coronal mass ejection (CME) protection kit. We recognize sensitive renewable energy systems are susceptible to damage caused by EMP and CME, and their risks are rising in today’s world. We have what you need to protect your equipment from these potentially catastrophic events.
We watched the recent news about the record breaking September 5th 2022 coronal mass ejection (CME). The sun released one of the strongest ever recorded CME’s. This time we got lucky and our sister planet Venus took the direct hit. If this CME had occurred days before or after we would have been in the cross hairs. It was a strong reminder of how the sun can change our world in a moment’s notice.
The last time a major CME impacted the Earth was in 1859, and it was called the Carrington Event. A magnetically unstable sun spot ejected billions of tons of plasma with its own magnetic field toward Earth at millions of miles per hour, and this tremendous amount of energy bombarded our planet. The Aurora Borealis (the Northern Lights) were seen all the way down at the equator. Electronics were in their infancy, and the communication lines that stretched across our lands were tied to telegraph stations. The extreme energy in our atmosphere collected and concentrated in the communication lines like radio waves in an antenna, building up energy, and causing sparking, electric arcs, and fires, damaging any equipment connected to the lines.
Coronal Mass Ejections are typically produced from magnetically unstable Sun Spots. When these interacting fields collapse, or “Snap” tremendous energy is released. In the unfortunate event that an energy surge of this magnitude were to hit Earth directly, that energy can propagate and make it to the ground, drastically hindering the function of electronic components or rendering them useless altogether. Experts estimate that Carrington-level CMEs actually hit the Earth every 150 years, and in fact we had a close call in 2012 when we were only 9 days off from being directly in the crosshairs of another Carrington level CME. The recent Sept 5th 2022 event was so powerful and the particle stream released so dense, we would have faced Carrington 2.0 had the sun been pointed at us. It goes without saying, the story of a modern Carrington Event would be told much different than the way it played out in 1859. Today, all our modern electronics are a lot more sensitive and very susceptible to damage from a CME than the electronics were back in the 1850’s. We are also a lot more dependent upon electronics and electricity than ever before. The other problem is that it can happen at any time, with no warning and no reaction time. Even our best equipment for detecting these, like the Deep Space Climate Observatory, can only provide 15 minutes to a single hour of warning time once a CME is detected before it hits Earth.
Another rising risk in today’s world is that of EMPs. An electromagnetic pulse (EMP), is a strong pulse of electromagnetic energy, broadband in nature, normally from a manmade event. They can be from a specially made EMP weapon or as a bi-product from a nuclear weapon detonation. When an EMP comes from a nuclear detonation, depending on the height of detonation, it can damage electronics hundreds of miles away from the blast zone through means very similar to a CME. This results in three hits against your system, termed E1, E2, and E3 by the International Electrotechnical commission (IEC). First is the very fast high voltage pulse radiated through the air called E1 which lasts mere nano seconds, followed immediately by E2 which lasts from roughly 1 microsecond to 1 second after EMP detonation. E1’s extreme high voltage is responsible for the initial damage in sensitive electronics. E2, however, is similar to a close lightning strike in both strength and speed, and accordingly a good quality Surge Protection Device (like our Midnite SPD’s) protect well against this component. Then comes a third sustained wave called E3 which lasts from seconds to minutes, this is the part that accumulates in power lines and builds up in longer current carrying lines (much the same way as a CME).
So how can you protect yourself from events like these? The first and best strategy; disconnect from the grid. This would prevent the “coupling effect” where the millions of miles of utility wires would act like giant antennas, drawing in and carrying that energy all across the grid and funneling it straight to every device plugged into an outlet in your home. The second strategy is filtering. Part of the function of filtering ferrites is to dampen the extreme initial voltage spikes and spread them out over time, which reduces the hit electronics take and gives the SPD’s time to react so they can function at their peak and shunt the dangerous voltages to ground.
Backwoods Solar launched our EMP/CME bundle to address the need for protecting your system from these extreme electromagnetic energy events. Our bundle includes a collection of components required to harden your system against damage, such as high saturation and broadband ferrites, as well as some equipment not found in any other protection kit we could find on the internet, such as network surge protection and metallic sealing gaskets. The broadband and high saturation ferrites in our kit protect system components from damage. When used in combination with our Midnite SPD surge suppressors, this kit provides all the necessary parts to EMP harden your system to Department of Homeland Security standards. Ensure your system will work when you need it most!
If you are interested in learning more about protecting your renewable energy electrical systems call us at 208-263-4290