Will Solar Flares affect Solar Power Systems?

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We've all read the news that the solar cycle peaks next year and that solar flares can damage the power grid and telecommunications. I've recently installed a solar well, and I'm in the process of constructing solar backup for the house.

Does anybody know whether photovoltaic systems are vulnerable to solar flares?

-- Doug (douglasjohnson@prodigy.net), June 02, 1999


The problem most affects (as I understand it) physically large (large antennas and long power-lines) objects.

What happens is the changing electromagnetic field (the solar flare hitting the earth) generates an electrical current on metal objects (similar to the way a generator works). The larger the object, the greater the effect.

In Canada, they had problems, but hopefully the in-line capacitors they put on the power-distribution lines will solve that problem.

-- Anonymous99 (Anonymous99@Anonymous99.xxx), June 02, 1999.

Also, the electrically charged particles from the flares travel along the earth's magnetic field lines. Have you ever seen a drawing of these lines? Only the magnetic poles and surrounding areas are affected since they are well above the earth towards the equatorial regions. Also, you should notice that they "flare out" away from the sun because of the solar winds.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), June 02, 1999.

Sorry, to continue, ...so the dark side of the earth is not affected.

-- Maria (anon@ymous.com), June 02, 1999.

It sounds like I have little to worry about (well, at least about this!). Thanks for the responses.

-- Doug (douglasjohnson@prodigy.net), June 02, 1999.


The plain answer is: NO.

-- No Spam Please (nos_pam_please@hotmail.com), June 02, 1999.

don't worry!actually, it could be a boost for your system!!

-- eddy (eddy@xxx.com), June 13, 1999.

Yes if said fare adversely alters the approacheng C/Lee comet...

-- Andy (2000EOD@prodigy.net), June 14, 1999.

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