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EMP Proof Solar Panels

By Benjamin Strusnik June 16, 2022

Today, solar panels are used in a variety of applications, from powering small electronic devices to providing electricity for entire homes and businesses. But what happens if there's an EMP attack?

We live in a world where rogue nations and terrorist organizations are threatening the use of nuclear weapons. These weapons have the potential to create an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that could disable all electronic devices within its range.

An EMP, or electromagnetic pulse, is a burst of electromagnetic radiation that can disable or destroy electronic equipment.

In this article, we'll discuss EMP-proof solar panels and how they can protect your electronic devices from an EMP attack.

How Does EMP Work?

An EMP is created when a nuclear device is detonated. The explosion creates a burst of electromagnetic energy that can travel long distances and affect electronic devices within its range.

There are three phases of an EMP: E1, E2, and E3.

E1 is the initial burst of electromagnetic radiation that causes the most damage to electronic equipment. This phase can last for less than a second. E2 and E3 are follow-up pulses that can last for seconds or minutes. They are not as damaging as E1.

will emp effect solar panels

When an EMP comes in contact with an electronic device, it can disrupt or damage the circuitry. This can cause the device to stop working entirely, or it may just cause it to malfunction.

Solar panels are particularly vulnerable to EMPs because they rely on electronic components to convert sunlight into electricity. If an EMP damages the solar panels, they will no longer be able to produce electricity.

Will EMP Affect Solar Panels?

EMP works by disrupting and damaging electronic equipment. Solar panels are made up of semiconductor materials that are sensitive to EMP.

When an EMP hits, it can cause the solar panel's cells to reverse their polarity. This process is called "solar cell upset." The solar panel will continue to work, but its output will be reduced.

Solar cell upset can damage the solar panel and make it unusable. This, however, is not total damage to the system. Solar panels can still be used after an EMP, but their output will be reduced.

EMP can also cause the solar panel's cells to break down and stop working altogether. This is called "solar cell failure." Solar cell failure is permanent and cannot be repaired.

Depending on how many solar cells are in your solar panel, the loss of output can range from a few percent to complete failure.

Even the best portable solar panels are vulnerable to EMP damage. This means that you need to take extra precautions to protect your solar panels from EMP. 

how to protect solar panels from emp

Will Solar Panels Survive EMP?

Regardless of the type of solar panel or solar panel size, EMP is a threat that could potentially damage or destroy your solar panel system.

There are many ways EMP could damage your solar panels. They include:

Inductance

Inductance is when an electromagnetic field induces a current in a conductor. This can happen when the electromagnetic field (in this case, EMP) changes quickly.

The current that's induced can be strong enough to damage or destroy the solar panel. Also, if the current is high enough, it can cause a fire.

Resistance

Resistance is the opposition to the flow of an electric current. When EMP disrupts the electrical current in a solar panel, it can cause the panel to overheat and catch fire.

Large Eddy Currents

An eddy current is a current that flows in a loop within a conductor. It's induced by a changing magnetic field. When EMP hits, it can cause large eddy currents that damage or destroy the solar panel.

Electrical Elastance

Electrical elastance is the tendency of a material to oppose changes in electrical potential. It's also known as dielectric strength. When EMP hits, it can cause the solar panel's electrical potential to change quickly. This can damage or destroy the solar panel.

How to Protect Solar Panels from EMP

 

will an emp damage solar panels

 

EMP is a real threat to solar panels. But there are ways to protect your panels from EMP. Here are a few:

Install Them in a Faraday Cage

A Faraday cage is an enclosure that protects against electromagnetic fields. It's made of conductive material, like metal. When EMP hits, the cage will divert the electromagnetic field around the solar panels, protecting them from damage.

Faraday cages are not complex devices. They are just boxes with non-conductive frames. They are wrapped with a metal mesh to conduct electricity and EM radiation. This not only protects solar panels from EMP, but also from lightning.

To ensure your faraday cage works, get it professionally tested. Testing includes using a high-powered EMP simulator to make sure the cage can withstand the EMP. These simulators use either a magnetic field or an electric field to simulate EMP.

Buy an EMP Protection Faraday Bag

If you aren’t a DIYer, or you don't want to waste time building a faraday cage, you can buy a faraday bag. A faraday bag is a commercially available product that protects against EMP.

Most Faraday bags are made of conductive metalized fabric. They come in different sizes to fit different devices. The bags work by having a metal layer that reflects or absorbs the EMP, protecting the contents of the bag.

They have a tensile strength that's high enough to prevent tearing, even if the bag is hit by EMP.

Some Faraday bags, such as the XL EMP Protection Faraday Bag EMP Shield from Shop SolarKits do not just protect your solar panels, you can use them to store your AC chargers, laptops, tablets, power tools, and more. It has a 38-pound puncture resistance, making it one of the most durable bags on the market.

 

will solar panels survive emp

 

Use Transient Voltage Suppression Devices

Transient voltage suppression devices are devices that protect against voltage spikes. They are also known as TVS devices. When EMP hits, it can cause voltage spikes that damage solar panels.

TVS devices are placed between the solar panel and the power source. They protect against voltage spikes by diverting the electrical current away from the solar panel. This protects the panel from damage.

Get an EMP-hardened solar inverter

An EMP-hardened solar inverter is a solar inverter that's designed to withstand EMP. It's made with components that are resistant to EMP.

They are made of materials that are not affected by EMP, such as glass-reinforced plastic or silicon. The inverters are also shielded to protect against EMP.

Emp-hardened solar inverters are more expensive than regular solar inverters. But they are worth the investment if you want to protect your solar panels from EMP.

Buy EMP-Proof Solar Panels

The most effective way to protect your solar panels from EMP is to buy EMP-proof solar panels. These are panels that are designed to withstand EMP.

These solar panels are made with a metal grid that is reinforced with a special coating. This makes the panels much more resistant to EMP than traditional solar panels.

are solar panels emp proof

They have features that allow them to automatically disconnect from the power grid when an EMP is detected. Also, they are equipped with surge protectors, which work by absorbing the EMP and dissipating the energy.

How to Find the Best EMP-Proof Solar Panels

All EMP-proof solar panels are not made equal. There are a few things you should look for when you are shopping for these panels. They include:

Ensure They Are Tested and Certified

The first thing you should look for is that the solar panels are tested and certified. This will ensure that they meet all of the necessary safety standards.

Look for High-Quality Materials

When you are looking for EMP-proof solar panels, you want to make sure that they are made with high-quality materials. This includes things like tempered glass and aluminum frames.

Also, don't forget to read the specs. Understanding solar panel specs will help you make sure that you are getting what you expect. Also, ask questions such as are the solar panels waterproof? How strong are the solar panels? How efficient are the solar panels? This will ensure you are getting value for your hard-earned money.

Check the Warranty

Another important thing to look for is a good warranty. This will protect you in case anything goes wrong with the solar panel.

will solar panels work after an emp

Final Thoughts

Now that you know what to look for, you can start shopping for EMP-proof solar panels. Just remember to do your due diligence and ask plenty of questions. This way, you can be sure that you are getting the best EMP-proof solar panels for your needs. 

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