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Old 10-09-2012, 08:59 AM
Ms Daisy Ms Daisy is online now
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Default Need info on EMPs effect on generator



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We just bought/installed a whole house natural gas generator. However it has electrical power running to it for once a week automatic checks to make sure it's working. (Forgive me but I'm a complete moron about electricity )

My question is: How would an EMP effect the wiring going to and from our generator. If it fried what good would it be to me to even have a generator? Also; would an EMP effect only those things operating at the time it actually occurred or would they still be operational after the pulse subsides....if that's the proper term? (Science isn't my strong suit either)

Thanks for any info that's offered.
Old 10-09-2012, 09:04 AM
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Is your natural gas in a tank on property? I'd think the natural gas supply system would go down in the event of EMP.
Old 10-09-2012, 09:06 AM
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anything with microprocessors will be destroyed, so no generator
Old 10-09-2012, 09:10 AM
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No, it isn't in a tank it's piped in under ground. I think you're right that, eventually, the natural gas would go down but probably not before the trucks stopped running to deliver propane which, BTW....with a flip of a switch I can change over to propane but the generator will eat up that propane in nothing flat. My 250 gal propane tank probably wouldn't last more than a month.....according to the owners manual.
Old 10-09-2012, 09:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ms Daisy View Post
We just bought/installed a whole house natural gas generator. However it has electrical power running to it for once a week automatic checks to make sure it's working. (Forgive me but I'm a complete moron about electricity )

My question is: How would an EMP effect the wiring going to and from our generator. If it fried what good would it be to me to even have a generator? Also; would an EMP effect only those things operating at the time it actually occurred or would they still be operational after the pulse subsides....if that's the proper term? (Science isn't my strong suit either)

Thanks for any info that's offered.
It depends on the length of the wire runs and what overvoltage protection you have in place. IMO most such home setups will probably survive because the E3 component (the long wavelength part that destroys most of the power grid) tends to do more damage to long running lines and their connected infrastructure. Since most home generators are physically close to the house, chances are they would not be seriously damaged by that component. I would make sure you have overvoltage and overcurrent protection to isolate your generator from the grid if a surge occurs. Presumably your generator is not completely dependent upon solid state electronics to operate, but if it is I would recommend storing away some spare components in a Faraday cage just in case. Certainly any microprocessor boards should have spares tucked away.
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Old 10-09-2012, 11:48 AM
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What Fenrell said.
Old 10-09-2012, 05:39 PM
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The wires in the house will act like a giant antenna and draw the pulse backwards through the system. If you have a switch between the house and the power out and another switch where the power goes in from the grid for the automatic checks. either of those 2 spots are your weak spots if you get those switches in the worst you would face is manually turning it on. Now if there are smaller computer chips you may want to keep a spare because even just static can fry them but it sounds like a pretty basic system.
Old 10-11-2012, 09:20 AM
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Thanks for all the input on my questions.

I wonder if I could just cut the power to it from the box inside and just check the operation manually once a week until I should need it?

I felt about as secure with this generator as I did with a brand new roof. Now.... Boy I would hate to loose it because it also would be sending power to my water pump. Without it, I'm going to be back where I started from.

Guess I'll start praying for anything but an EMP
Old 10-22-2012, 03:55 AM
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gaz supply will go down. Same for every electronics and anything coiled up.
Old 10-22-2012, 04:50 AM
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Un like lightening the EMP pulse is a blanket effect.
Any thing not mechaniclly shielded the magnetic field will pass through and create at that moment a very high voltage.
All solid state electronics are eterrmly sensitive to hi voltage .
ALL LEDs including all your new flash lights will be toast ,so have spare flash lights in your Faraday cage/box as well.
Any diode will also fry ,which includes any battery charger and generator units .these are not genaric , all electronic componants are job spicific down to the mili volt and less.
Whole circut bords would need replaced along with attachment componants connected to the board independently.
Even if things are not running the pulse will fry it all . so every componant needs replaced . Forgetting one burnt componant on a rebuild can refry the circut bord all over again.
Ideally , a faraday cage enclosure would need to cover the whole generator ,like expanded metal or sheet metal .
Some of the other posters are right ,ou need to have stitching to isolate your generator electriclly from every thing eternal.
Just to give you a picture of what occurs .
In city streets at innersections in the asfault you see circles of tar about 4' in diameter right where you stop for the signal .
All that is ,is wire.
The magnetis field your vehicle generates , is casting magnetic lines of flux because your alternator is producing energy 3 phase AC actually, and there is enough of a field that those lines of magnetic flux are breaking past the wire in the asfalt, and actually producing a voltage ,enough to make a trigger respond in the traffic control, so It knows you are there, and prepared to set the lighting sequence to allow you to pass in the timing sequence.
My Motor cycle would not trigge this mechenism so I added a magnet to the front forks of my bike and now when I pull up I make sure to have that magnet pass and over that wire in the stret and the signal now works for me .
The EMP is many million times more powerful.
Old 10-22-2012, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arleigh View Post
The magnetis field your vehicle generates , is casting magnetic lines of flux because your alternator is producing energy 3 phase AC actually, and there is enough of a field that those lines of magnetic flux are breaking past the wire in the asfalt, and actually producing a voltage ,enough to make a trigger respond in the traffic control, so It knows you are there, and prepared to set the lighting sequence to allow you to pass in the timing sequence.
So, if my motor was off and I coasted over the sensor, you think I would never trip it?

I always thought the metal in your car influenced field lines generated by the sensor, using the same principle as a metal detector.

This page seems to support my point:

http://www.wikihow.com/Trigger-Green-Traffic-Lights
Old 10-27-2012, 01:58 AM
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Correct Robot,
The coil in the ground is looking out for a fluctuation of its field.
It basically is a metal detector.

And with a bike (lower metal volume), a magnet is a good idea to directly disrupt the magnetic field of the coil in the ground.

Let's not get sidetracked
Old 10-27-2012, 02:17 AM
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Installing an isolation transformer and housing the whole thing, generator and all, inside a Faraday cage MIGHT protect any electrical device.

I build high voltage pulsing systems for plasma discharge and our equipment must be protected against high voltage spikes, very much like an EMP. My systems can discharge a very low current at up to 40kV.

I use Hoffman style enclosures grounded to earth ground. Isolation transformers on all input power. When sourcing one, try to find that can hold off as much high voltage as possible, industrial. Be sure your Faraday cage is well grounded.

This setup might protect your stuff if the EMP pulse is not too strong. However, I am fairly certain there is not an EMP device that can truly damage or penetrate a well built Faraday enclosure that's grounded or break down across a isolation transformer. Short of a nuclear bomb of course, but if you experience a local detonation, you have bigger problems.
Old 10-27-2012, 02:22 AM
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I agree with bear
Old 10-27-2012, 05:57 AM
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high pulsing plasma discharge? Like what? plasma cutter or welder?

I'm totally inexperienced in this field, I'm trying to understand the type of pulses and systems.

The isolation transformer is a good idea as it might act as a fuse (in the right configuration).
But would act at a "1:1" transformer if not frying.

I like the idea though!
Old 10-31-2012, 07:43 PM
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The controls would be the most vulnerable component to an EMP especially since they are normally energized measuring grid voltage to make a determination on when to start the unit. You may want to buy spare control boards and store them in a shielded location (i.e. Faraday cage). The generator itself should be fine as the wiring used for the windings is robust and would be able to take the impulse that is part of the E-1 event.

That being said if an EMP was truly centered on your area, the natural gas facilities would be knocked out as well as the propane suppliers so your generator would be more or less a paper weight in the near term. Might want to think about putting in onsite propane storage.
Old 01-28-2013, 07:54 AM
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There's an awful lot of amateur nuclear scientists on this thread who can't even spell. So who has actual scientific data or theories (summaries only, please, I'm not a nuclear scientist) on what would really happen and how to really protect against EMP?
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