diy solar

diy solar

4 X class solar flares to impact this weekend.

Not sure, we haven't heard from @AlaskanNoob since he decided the best way to prevent problems from his 650 feet of cable was to connect to the grid, but then he's a few hours out, so barely morning there.
I would guess that it was amazing up there. Hope he got his wire squared away.
 
I decided the best way to prevent problems was to connect to the grid? I'm off grid, I don't have the option of connecting to the grid.
My mistake, must have been someone else who disconnected their solar arrays and inverters and stuff and connected to the grid to save their solar system.
 
My mistake, must have been someone else who disconnected their solar arrays and inverters and stuff and connected to the grid to save their solar system.

Yeah. Me Worry!

(several others here did too.)

Forgo a day or two of backfeed credits, don't have grid or even PV wires connected to inverter electronics.
Just took throwing a few breakers and switches.

Also shut off and unplugged office copier.
Have MOV at main panel, help protect PCs and the like.
I'm fed by an underground transformer so don't think any risk at one place anyway. Other place is overhead (couple thousand feet to transformer.)


This is what confused me, what did you do for power if you shut everything off?

When off grid, what do you do for power when your inverter gets blown up by CME or lightning?
 
When off grid, what do you do for power when your inverter gets blown up by CME or lightning?
We just switched to some portable Goal Zero stations for our power while the main system was shut down.

From the attempt to learn about this over the past day or so, it seems that our 650 feet of wire is not considered a long wire. We found some research paper that leads us to that conclusion (largest observed from a storm was 20V/Km). So flipping our breakers and switches and disconnecting our panels wasn't likely needed with the storm adding 4 volts to our 650 foot cable.

MPPT wouldn't care about the even lesser voltage on shorter cables. But there is some question of DC power introduced to the AutoTransformer that might damage it (apparently it's not the voltage, but the DC power on an AC line that messes with transformers). Transformers seem to be particularly vulnerable to these events and most off-grid folks don't have transformers. But we have several so it might affect us more.

At any rate, better safe than sorry given the expense of our equipment and the pain of getting it to our homestead and installing it. Next time here in Alaska when the NOAA is issuing G5 "extreme" warnings I'll probably do the same thing as a precaution, if I can bring myself to suffer the humiliation the next morning when the world doesn't end.
 
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So far, seems like no big issues with this storm. From this article:

There were also some harmful effects. According to NOAA, there have been some irregularities in power grid transmissions, and degraded satellite communications and GPS services. Users of SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation have reported slower download speeds. Early on Saturday morning, SpaceX founder Elon Musk said the company's Starlink satellites were "under a lot of pressure, but holding up so far."

This is the most intense Solar storm recorded in more than two decades. The last G5 event—the most extreme category of such storms—occurred in October 2003 when there were electricity issues reported in Sweden and South Africa.

Should this storm intensify over the next day or two, scientists say the major risks include more widespread power blackouts, disabled satellites, and long-term damage of GPS networks.
 
First time seeing them here for us here. Glad nothing is known to have been fried!
 

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Thanks for the info.

I still have noticed almost no effects here. One brief internet hiccup last night, but that could be anything.
 
For a quick experiment, around 11AM Ohio time, I transmitted using FT8 on various frequencies.

There is a worldwide monitoring system, PSKreporter, that has folks all around the world monitoring and immediately reporting to the internet if any signal is heard.

For this test I aimed my signal towards Europe using a transmit power of 10 Watts. The antenna was a 2 element Yagi on 28-14mHz and a single element on 7 mHz. This would normally get me heard all over Europe and plenty of other places.

Here are the results over about a 25 minute time period.

28 mHz. No reports at all !

21 mHz. Heard in CT, VA, FL and the island of Angulla.

14 mHz. Heard in Quebec, a number of states along the eastern seaboard, and AL, LA, MS, OK, MO, KS, SD, MN, AZ and ID.

7 mHz. Heard in VT, NY, NJ, MD, IN and IL.

This is far from a controlled experiment but the virtual lack of propagation above 21mHz at this time of day in the midwest is very unusual. The lack of my signal being heard on any of these frequencies outside of North America is EXTREMELY unusual.

I plan to leave my system on 28mHz monitoring the rest of the day and will check it periodically to see if conditions recover prior to sunset as that band is typically dead overnight.
 
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Fairly cloudy in Alabama last night and couldn't see anything different at all.

We miss all the cool stuff :(

I wonder if that means this area would be immune from really bad flares in the future.....
 
Yeah. Me Worry!

(several others here did too.)

Forgo a day or two of backfeed credits, don't have grid or even PV wires connected to inverter electronics.
Just took throwing a few breakers and switches.

Also shut off and unplugged office copier.
Have MOV at main panel, help protect PCs and the like.
I'm fed by an underground transformer so don't think any risk at one place anyway. Other place is overhead (couple thousand feet to transformer.)

When off grid, what do you do for power when your inverter gets blown up by CME or lightning?
It's not the length of the wires between the transformer and your house, it's the length of the grid lines.

I fire up the generators, I was just wondering what you folks who turned everything off did for power...
 
Also, there is some question of DC power introduced to the AutoTransformer that might damage it (apparently it's not the voltage, but the DC power on an AC line that messes with transformers). Transformers seem to be particularly vulnerable to these events and most off-grid folks don't have transformers. But we have several so it might affect us more.

Transformers have two or more inductor windings, coupled by a core.

At nominal operating voltage and line frequency, a 100A 240V 25kVA transformer might carry a couple amps (2% of rating). The current is 90 degrees later than voltage, so the energy it absorbs one phase is returned to the grid next phase, minus I^2R losses.

With current able to flow in the secondary, magnetic field is canceled and current goes higher, e.g. 100A at full load.

With no load, the core gets turned into a permanent magnet, with poles reversing every phase. That's magnetic domains of atoms reversing each phase (resisting change in field and current flow), and partially "saturating", running low on more domains to reverse. If you double AC voltage or cut frequency in half, it will saturate and current will shoot up to whatever resistance limits it to, about 35x rated current.

If you apply DC voltage to the winding, it resists current briefly. About 10 milliseconds or so at 240V, about 1 second at 2.4V. Then transformer core saturates, it stops resisting AC voltage, and current from AC power supply shoots up 35x, burning out the transformer.

The damage to transformer is cause by power coming from power plant. The DC current from CME, EMP, or a solar panel connected to one winding causes the inductor to stop working, so current is no longer limited. (Transformers can be used as amplifiers this way.)

The utility wouldn't like it if your transformerless inverter failed and PV string backfed DC.
 
This is more than just our sun hitting solar maximum. It's happening at a time when our magnetic shield is at it's weakest, and several other factors that are actually affecting all planets in our solar system. We're also undergoing a pole shift. These storms have been intensifying year after year and will continue to do so. Here's a really good interview from yesterday that will tell you a lot more.

 
Indeed, I used to work on Saturable Core Reactors, before Big Triacs were a thing.

Used for dimmable stage lighting, rad-hard amplifiers in nuke plants, inverters, AM transmitter modulators before transistors or vacuum tubes.

Based On a web page I found, I connected two transformers and used DC + potentiometer to regulate AC power.

Those are closed loop cores, winding puts in DC or low frequency magnetic field.

With a pair of rod cores, ambient magnetic field performs the gate function, modulating applied AC which is then rectified to recover signal. "Flux Gate Magnetometer", "Flux Gate Compass". We've got those in a magnetic field cancellation system, which drives X, Y, Z pairs of coils to zero field see by lab equipment.
 
Used for dimmable stage lighting, rad-hard amplifiers in nuke plants, inverters, AM transmitter modulators before transistors or vacuum tubes.

Based On a web page I found, I connected two transformers and used DC + potentiometer to regulate AC power.

Those are closed loop cores, winding puts in DC or low frequency magnetic field.

With a pair of rod cores, ambient magnetic field performs the gate function, modulating applied AC which is then rectified to recover signal. "Flux Gate Magnetometer", "Flux Gate Compass". We've got those in a magnetic field cancellation system, which drives X, Y, Z pairs of coils to zero field see by lab equipment.
So where does the flux capacitor fit in all that?
 
Space Weather Message Code: WATA99
Serial Number: 7
Issue Time: 2024 May 11 1753 UTC

WATCH: Geomagnetic Storm Category G4 or Greater Predicted

Highest Storm Level Predicted by Day:
May 12: G5 (Extreme) May 13: G3 (Strong) May 14: G1 (Minor)
 
I'm curious if someone knows whether the equatorial regions would be more immune to solar storm damages than the polar regions. If the bending of the electromagnetic waves at the poles creates weak spots in our "shield," as visibly observable in the aurora borealis, it seems to my mind more probable that damage would be greater nearest the poles, and that we in the tropical regions should be safer.
 
I hate it when that happens! Me after the stroke of midnight at Y2K: "Anyone want to buy a generator?" 8*)

ha ha, my company had about 200 of us on-staff at the time when Y2K happened - we are a networking company - we all got a Y2K care basket with blankets and flashlights, they had the buildings locked down, an we were all being paid quadrupal time - It was great to make in an 8 hour shift what I would make in 4 days.

As midnight rolled past London - nothing.... New York - nothing... Chicago/Dallas - Nothing... wait, a router rebooted... oh, not related since it had rebooted 3 other times the day before... when we got to Denver and Nothing they said if you aren't normally on shift now everyone go home. I was normally on shift so I got to keep collecting the extra pay.
 
ha ha, my company had about 200 of us on-staff at the time when Y2K happened - we are a networking company - we all got a Y2K care basket with blankets and flashlights, they had the buildings locked down, an we were all being paid quadrupal time - It was great to make in an 8 hour shift what I would make in 4 days.

As midnight rolled past London - nothing.... New York - nothing... Chicago/Dallas - Nothing... wait, a router rebooted... oh, not related since it had rebooted 3 other times the day before... when we got to Denver and Nothing they said if you aren't normally on shift now everyone go home. I was normally on shift so I got to keep collecting the extra pay.
Remember all the y2k patches and updates that were out? Oh the end of the century. What fun it was.
 
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