Protect Generators and Cars from EMP

Describes using a conductive cloth to protect cars and generators from a high-altitude nuclear EMP attack.

Comments

  1. It seems to me there ought be a non conductive layer in btwn equipt being protected & the shroud….

  2. JP in MT says:

    Interesting concept.

  3. Chuck Findlay says:

    No one really knows but I’ve read that many autos would shut off when hit from EMP and then start up. But there would likely be a loss or failure of some of the electronics in autos today, but the engine would still start and the auto will be able to be driven.

    I really question the need to protect autos from EMP. If we do get hit with an EMP event it’s going very likely kill the infrastructure that delivers fuel so gas and diesel is going to be hard to come by.

    Even if you have a lot of it stabilized and stored up you would be a major fool to drive around when everyone else has no fuel

    It would get you killed in no time.

    Better to look like everyone else and not drive about showing the whole town you have fuel.

    I can also see local governments deciding your fuel is a Vidal resource and them taking it from you.

    There is a saying.

    When everyone is hunting the fox, it’s best to be dressed like a hound.

    Meaning blend in, don’t stand out and make yourself a target.

  4. Dr. Bradley,
    Assuming you are reading these comments, I have a few questions.
    A general question on shielding my propane fire Generac generator.
    The unit is completely covered in an aluminum housing; but, I see a few potential points of energy ingress as follows.
    Low voltage control wiring from the generator to the transfer switch in the basement and the 240 VAC wiring to that same switch. These wiring runs are bundled and I was thinking that I would use some type of metallic shielding material along the entire run, 3 feet of which is in the open from the generator to the side of the house and 25 feet of which is in the basement.
    I would still however have vulnerabilities from two other sources, one being the normal 240 VAC mains power from my electric provider and induction in the 150 foot buried copper propane feed line from the tank farm to the house that feeds the generator and other appliances in the house. I could replace a section of this with a nonconductive plastic to introduce a break in the feed line so to speak.
    I’ve thought about a combination of some type of TVS (MOV, Gas Discharge, etc) across the mains power on both phases and to ground and would like your opinion of the effectiveness of such a configuration.
    The general rule that everyone seems to want to follow is to keep sensitive equipment stored in a shielded enclosure; but, in some cases like this one, that is not a practical method for protection.
    Also, when you mention in the video about making car and motorcycle covers, I wonder if they are really required for parked vehicles that are not currently running. All of the tests I have read show that only running vehicles were affected and in those cases only stopped running; but, could be restarted and driven. OTOH, the source generating the test EMP is I assume only a close mimic of the energy dispersal from a real HEMP and no doubt at much lower energy levels. I would also like your opinion on these tests.
    The problem with preparing for an EMP is that unlike a hurricane or to some extent a tornado, they are likely to happen without any substantial warning while we are going about normal every day activities, so storing some things in a Faraday enclosure isn’t always practical.
    As an EE myself I understand the shielding and have an additional question based on your video, what are the frequencies of interest for an EMP?
    I have broadband antennas (LPDA) and a good spectrum analyzer; but, knowing the frequencies required, I suspect I could also put together something to act as a transmitter to perform my own testing.
    Finally, since the energy from an EMP is basically a short duration, wideband, high energy radio wave, it needs an antenna of sufficient size to collect and conduct enough energy into a device to cause damage. That being said, how likely is an unshielded small device like a cell phone or handheld radio to be damaged if not connected to any large conductor like mains power via a charger or a large antenna during an event.

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