Jump to content

Solar Storm Risk ... EMP - risk to the country you live in


Guest

Recommended Posts

See attached "Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electric Grid" - it is quite watered down to not upset the left if you ask me. 3-7 days without food and water in a major city and you have a whole new challenge facing each and everyone. One month and where would a country be?

This is not a "gogga scaring baby" story, it is not in the main media, that was till Obama made in main news in the USA just before he "retired". Also recall Victron testing their equipment for this scenario, i.e. a EMP (Electro Magnetic Pulse).

Would it have any benefit of knowing this can happen? My Wife recons no, nothing one can do to stop it. Me, I recon if you are aware of the possibility, maybe you can plan, have a few things in a Faraday cage ... like a table with pre-loaded Kindle books on. :-) 

Ok, seriously, a EMP can come from the sun affecting all countries facing the sun at that moment or a nuclear detonation between 160-321 km above earth. The higher the detonation, the bigger the area of the resultant EMP effects. https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/washington-secrets/military-warns-emp-attack-could-wipe-out-america-democracy-world-order

And see here:
And here: https://www.airuniversity.af.edu/Portals/10/AUPress/Papers/LP_0002_DeMaio_Electromagnetic_Defense_Task_Force.pdf
Here: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6449619/Air-Force-warns-electromagnetic-pulse-weapons-Iran-Russia-North-Korea-destroy-America.html

 

In SA and Australia I recon we are ok ito a nuclear detonation. We just have the sun to worry about ... and in SA, Eskom to run within the margins, for if they miss it, the grid also goes down.

What could it look like?
Transformers popping, as per example here: https://youtu.be/Le47QmCvxMI
And here in Venezuela on  31 Aug 2018. See at 0:27 how the overheads lines become metal globules: https://twitter.com/straton_ec/status/1035618403460018177
And just this past Dec in New York: https://edition.cnn.com/2018/12/27/us/ny-fires-con-ed-power-plant/index.html

Impressive it you ask me, when a transformer goes.

 

 

The first problem is to find replacement parts / transformers which may be either a financial and / or manufacturing issue for the country that can take weeks, months even years to resolve. The bigger the transformer the longer the replacement/s takes to be imported. Think big, not just your neighborhood, think i.e. all Eskom transformers blow nationally.

Now my wife reconned, so what? How does that affect me, she asked. The issue comes in that not only is the electricity grid down, your bank is offline i.e. no cash no food no water at home, your cell phones may not work, most cars with electronics can be permanently parked, computers laptops tables all dead and so will be WWW be. So no more FB or Powerforum.

The FB part got her attention. Seeing as I then got her attention, I continued.

Consider that most shops have 3-7 days of food onsite, ask me, I did deliveries for a large retailer as a sideline, before the trucks must deliver again and the trucks cannot because their is no diesel because of no electricity and even if they have onsite manual pumps, most newer trucks nowadays are driven by electronics i.e. gear-shifting and all that. Even if you go manual, they still have computers for all the rest. Computers only an issue in SA if it is a EMP from the sun. But trucks cannot drive without diesel ... 

Do you know what to do when the grid does go down, mismanagement by Eskom or worse, a EMP?

Would our solar systems survive? I don't think they will.

Maybe it does not happen in our lifetimes, maybe our kids experience it ... we should teach ourselves new tricks to survive if Woolies / Spar / Checkers / PnP are all out of food and water.

Solar Storm Risk to the North American Electric Grid.pdf

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It seems to me that the worst event on history blew a number of large items (less than 10) and caused a large outage as a result. This seems to have to do with the long transmission lines and the effect of the magnetism on those.

Also, I think I read somewhere that it only affects an electronic component if it happens to be ON at the time. So a lot of cars would simply not notice as they'd be parked... though of course you might say that only counts if the battery is disconnected at the time, which would require some warning. Which it appears we might have. Same would go for the PV system.

So I'm not saying it is nothing to worry about... but I also think it is often blown out of proportion a bit.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

26 minutes ago, plonkster said:

... but I also think it is often blown out of proportion a bit.

It used to be science fiction, then the fringe news outlets, then it became commonly spoken of after Obama did something about it.

More and more major outlets have published articles. None though, give a solution if the grid fails, as it is incomprehensible.

Space weather is quite a new science: https://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/how-nasa-watches-cmes

 

28 minutes ago, plonkster said:

... worst event on history ...

Here you go: https://www.space.com/7224-150-years-worst-solar-storm.html

and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859

We have had close calls since then already, here is one: https://nypost.com/2014/07/24/solar-flare-nearly-destroyed-earth-two-years-ago-nasa/

And "In 1972, dozens of sea mines off the coast of Vietnam mysteriously exploded. It was recently confirmed the cause was solar storms, which can significantly disrupt the Earth's magnetic field." https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-46260959

 

Since you have expressed doubt, I digged a wee bit further, always a good idea to look for the "other" side of the debate: 
https://www.lifewire.com/would-your-car-survive-an-emp-attack-3903248
https://www.futurescience.com/emp/vehicles.html

However, no-one really knows what the sun can throw at us. But the grid/s will be fried with a CME / EMP with fuel and water becoming the biggest issue in the end.

Brought this topic up because if Eskom makes a mistake and the grid falls over or a CME hits us or the USA gets hit with a massive EMP ... it would be interesting times. Personally I cannot fathom the extent of the potential damage if it is a full blow hit. Don't think anyone can.

I don't however think it is blown out of proportion. Society as we have it today in most Western cities are on a knifes edge. We live in a bubble.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Now that you mention it... I was reading an article the other day about how our search for life in other parts of the universe is perhaps entirely futile... because that whole goldilocks thing (which makes life possible where we are) is very very unique. And one item on that list... is that our sun is not only young... but also stable. The issue with other stars in other parts of the universe is that they tend to "burp" sometimes, essentially wiping out any life that might be there (which, if you believe in unguided evolution... is rather a big reset). So... the point is that burping suns is a thing... maybe I am too quick to dismiss you there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, plonkster said:

So ... the point is that burping suns is a thing ...

I forgot to mention this one: 
One of the best-known examples of space weather events is the collapse of the Hydro-Québec power network on March 13, 1989 due to geomagnetically induced currents (GICs). Caused by a transformer failure, this event led to a general blackout that lasted more than 9 hours and affected over 6 million people. The geomagnetic storm causing this event was itself the result of a CME ejected from the sun on March 9, 1989.

 

I recon we would be back in the Middle Ages if we get hit "in the face" by a major CME. Whereas a burp, as you call it, will burn life off the face of the earth.

Our sun, being stable, does have a hiccup or two now and then. With the Western nations total reliance on electricity, is a concern.

If we ever see the most beautiful, well defined and very clear Aurora Borealis (our case Southern Lights) everywhere in SA, even in daytime, we will know how right or wrong the scientists where. :-) 

Wonder what is going to happen with people with pacemakers, patients in hospitals reliant on appliances to keep them alive. 

See below video. At 1:27 a simulation of the Carrington event of 1859 - what it would do today, is speculation. What it did back then was impressive.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

10 hours ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

Wonder what is going to happen with people with pacemakers, patients in hospitals reliant on appliances to keep them alive. 

A strong, earth-directed, CME would be catastrophic to major infrastructure (power lines, transformers etc.). However small electronic items, that are not connected to long wires, would be largely unaffected by even the strongest CME.  I remember reading somewhere that a lightning strike generates a much higher intensity magnetic field than a CME, even at some distance. The key issue is that the relatively "low-level" magnetic field from a CME is so widespread - affecting the whole sun-facing side of the earth. This allows a massive amount of energy to be coupled into long power lines, telephone lines, fences etc.

Time to upgrade the surge protection on my Mains input....!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, NigelL said:

However small electronic items, that are not connected to long wires, would be largely unaffected by even the strongest CME

More or less what I would have expected.

I think it has to do with the simply physics of moving a conductor through a magnetic field. A long conductor on a rotating planet moving through a magnetic field from the sun... that would be an issue. A very short one might not even notice.

It is also interesting to see that in many cases the protective devices actually tripped and that this caused the large-scale outages.

This might in fact be a good argument for more localised generation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you guys think would happen to Koeberg?

I recon it is as safe provided they switched off and can keep the nuclear reaction stable.

1 hour ago, plonkster said:

This might in fact be a good argument for more localised generation.

I also recon it is, problem locally and internationally, their just is no money to re-build it all. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Maybe in our lifetimes it happens, maybe not, maybe Eskom drops the ball first.

Bottom line, if a countries grid goes down, whatever the cause, it is going to become uncomfortable.

And if that ever happens ... I'll be switching sides. The criminal side would have an advantage see. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, phil.g00 said:

death star

Speaking of that. Really humourous situation over the holidays. I hear my 5-year old daughter humming the Imperial March from star wars... and then realise the sound is from the bathroom. She is sitting on the toilet...

Edited by plonkster
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, phil.g00 said:

.... before a death star.

Not a death star! (cwl)

A little hiccup with a tint of a burp maybe like the Carrington event. There has been a few, so far. We have been lucky.

But yes, I do concur. Local incompetence is probably a 50/50 chance with a burpie.

If Eskom does slip it may just force us into a situation that maybe we can go decentralized grids, when the ANC loses shareholding in their company called Eskom, and business enters the fray ... hold on, seeing SAA hovered around court and business rescue, what are possibilities if the same applies to Eskom if it is not turned around, taken to court to be put under business rescue, then liquidized, sorry liquidated. Would that not open a door to private enterprise?

For private enterprize will most probably go decentralized.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

56 minutes ago, The Terrible Triplett said:

A little hiccup with a tint of a burp maybe like the Carrington event. There has been a few, so far. We have been lucky.

On the one hand the power system is a balancing act, on the other it is quite resilient.

I know it's a bit counter-intuitive but large-scale black-outs are a result of things not tripping,  rather than things tripping.

I'm paraphrasing in the extreme, but you could say that not tripping fast enough was the electrical cause of the most recent London and US blackouts.

Or any accidental blackout really.

The basic tenet is Damage = Available Energy x Time.

Trip the right things fast enough and the damage is contained.

Don't trip and the grid will destabilize and can result in a blackout. 

In that sense a fallen tree or something more banal can (and has) caused worse.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I agree a tree, Eskom employee, coal and a host of factors are all there to cause us a problem.

Idea of the thread was to add a CME to the mix, thrash out any "gogga making baby scared" scenarios, as space weather is a new science, seeing that "they" now realize it is not just science fiction, doomsday prepper scenario. Does SA gov recognize this threat, no, I don't think they would and if they do, they have bigger faction problems to resolve.

Can we stop or do anything to avert a CME's effects to our grid, yes, we can but at great costs. Will it be done, no, it will not, even though it is cheaper before than after, for Eskom is down the tubes.

So this is all about adding space weather as just one more threat to our national grid, to take cognizance of.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not really one for conspiracy theories.

I'd like to reassure every-one that power system trips happen all the time and the utility power system is resilient enough to deal with them on a ongoing basis.

Through careful planning, foresight and continued infrastructure investment in contingency plans by competent staff, who selflessly dedicate their very existence to ensuring the efficient security of supply, one can rest easy tonight.

Yes, occasionally there will be the odd bad apple in the work force, that is inevitable,  however their short tenure is ensured by the best practice of a ruthless drive for cutthroat efficiency.

Know this, it would literally take interference at a state level, and not just occasionally, for years, perhaps even decades, to threaten power delivery in South Africa.

There is absolutely no chance any of this will ever come to pass, not whilst this is at the core of the continuing culture of your utility.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, phil.g00 said:

I'm not really one for conspiracy theories. (In SA? Never!)

... it would literally take interference at a state level, ... (Cannot happen is SA!)

... , not whilst this is at the core of the continuing culture of your utility. (Where is the Bell's ... oeps, dished out already.)

Man I enjoyed that. Some positive news at last! :D:D

Ted Blom would be overjoyed.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...