Lightning Arresotr For Solar Boat

Discussion in 'OnBoard Electronics & Controls' started by ashwinnaique, Sep 25, 2015.

  1. ashwinnaique
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    ashwinnaique New Member

    Hi ,

    Can anybody provide a guidance for Solar Boat Lightening arrester regulations or design/ installation criteria..

    Thanks

    Ashwin
     
  2. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    The number of solar powered boats on this planet is nearly zero, so there won't be any regulations (yet).
    Also the low profile of solar panels puts them in the low risk category unless a high mast is deliberately added. Even arrays installed on roofs rarely are damaged by lighting strikes.

    It is good engineering practice to ground all metal objects than can be exposed to electrical discharges to prevent arcing. This can be achieved by interconnecting the frames with earth straps and providing a submerged metal plate or other large object that absorbs electrical energy.
     
  3. ashwinnaique
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    ashwinnaique New Member

    @ CDK ; Thanks ,

    The hull of catamaran is of mild steel and solar panels have aluminum frames ; hence considering conductance copper being used for grounding , and by submerging the copper grounding plate in water , wouldn't it result in a electrochemical cell wherein the steel will act as anode thus depleting itself ?

    Ashwin
     
  4. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    No need for a ground plate with a steel hull, just connect the aluminum frames to the hull.
    There will be some direct contact through the zinc or aluminum electrodes, capacitive coupling through the paint layers will do the rest.
     
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  5. gonzo
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    gonzo Senior Member

    I have surveyed lightning damage on several vessels for insurance claims. In general, most electronics and a lot of the electrical equipment is damaged beyond repair. The electromagnetic field produced by the grounding conductor at the small distance from the equipment produces a high voltage spike. All equipment could be shielded, but it would be really hard to do.
     
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  6. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Don't listen to CDK with his regulations (yet) ;) Solar is classifies as ultra low voltage and there is no regulation required. Obviously the wiring and installation must be done properly because it can create problems.

    (Like when you try to fix the wiring in the dark because the panels are not charging :p)

    I agree with Gonzo, lightning is not respectful of protection devices because you need distance, which one do not have on a boat. Lightning is unpredictable and will bugger everything up after the arrester and leave only the arrester still working :D

    Considering the amount of masts in some places, very few gets lightning struck, perhaps only the very lucky and that probably depends how good or bad a boy you are :rolleyes:

    Next time you fly, look at the height of tall things on the ground. It is somewhat ridiculous to think lightning will seek out something minute like a mast.

    Lightning protection around grass roofs and thatches uses tall poles (with a conductive ground plane grid in the ground), like masts, not so that lightning can strike them instead of the grass that will cause a fire, the mast has a sharp spike on top (which will burn away if lightning strikes it), and it's purpose is to discharge the area's static buildup into the wind. High voltage tends to conduct around conductors and accumulate at sharp edges and points, and wants to usually take the shortest route to discharge - like when you sail over a rocky underwater hill at the exact right moment the static wants to discharge right there.

    I must admit lightning on water is bloody scary, they all seem to be very near, and for some weird reason people hide inside... It just feels safer.

    You need to be less humble when you hide in a hull LOL.
     
  7. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    Fanie, That is exactly what CDK wrote. Sure, if we get a million solar boats that we will somehow get some form of regulations. Don't you think so?

    Don't agree. I have sold millions and millions of lightning protectors. All different kinds, while heading the Siemens electronic components division. If you do the right thing, you can prevent quite some damage. Most people don't protect the equipment the correct way or properly.

    Bert
     
  8. CDK
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    CDK retired engineer

    Brain shrinkage due to lack of water perhaps?
    200-400V is not uncommon in electric propulsion, I wouldn't dare call that ultra low voltage.
     
  9. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    You guys are splitting hairs. A car coil works off 12 V, it is the output that is high voltage. So of course if you series a bunch of panels you change the requirements.

    12V systems are 12V systems. If you make it something else it's not the same thing any more.
     
  10. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    That is exactly what CDK wrote Note the ;)

    Do you think the amount of boats need regulations ? Why ?
    Do you want to be regulated ? Or is it about one can make money out of it ?

    It depends on where the lightning strikes. In a direct hit it is almost impossible to protect anything. If lightning strikes somewhere remotely and you get some induction, sure, but then you have distance - as I said in the previous post - and that can be protected.

    But that is hardly a lightning strike. That is a remote interference, and can be caused by other things not just lightning. I know of someone who sailed under power lines which discharged to his mast without touching the power lines. He was killed.
     
  11. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Regulations

    Regulations has two purposes.

    The first is to make (easy) money from others and so they can be controlled. I call that abuse.

    The second and much less important is to prevent disasters caused by stupid people.

    They say the difference between stupid and genius is, genius has limits.

    It is ridiculous to abuse every freak accident under mostly unlikely conditions to generate new regulations which is then forced on all. If there were no regulations, and the bloke without brains drowns himself because no fuel, no life jacket, no flotation, how is it that every one else has to pay for his (stupidity) mistakes ? Over legislation and regulation has now advanced to such a state that many comply but has no clue why, and they hence stopped thinking (called reason) and does not have to accept responsibility for anything.

    It's like the fool who goes out knowing he doesn't have enough fuel, but doesn't want to make the expense. He then calls for help and others must at their expense tow him in. Now they make only more regulations to prevent this which has to be regulated. Why didn't they simple leave the shthead out there and got rid of the problem ?

    I'm going to add that regulation has advanced to where most think it is not worth doing any more. Some regulation requirements does not even have bearing on the application but it gets enforced, like having a bailing bucket on a jetski and wearing a helmet when you kayak. Pretty soon you will be regulated to wearing a life jacket in your swimming pool and camera's in and around your house so that you can be regulated and controlled. And don't forget the camera in your bedroom to make sure you are not committing sexual violence in your private time. The new TV's already have cameras and microphones they can check you in your home, what do you think it's there for ? Mobile phones GPS all your movements, as well as allow the authorities to see and hear all you do.
     
  12. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

    But that is the reason why you need some form of policing. I don't mind if they restrict me to maximum 36 Volt instead of 48 or higher. Just to prevent accidents. I may know not to touch 48V + bare feet, wet hands?. But we cannot expect that every visitor in the world will know that. Thus, how are you able to power a 10 - 20 Kw motor at 12 Volt? 1000 Ampere? Switching with a relay? 1000 MOSfets parallel? Come Fanie, we have to stay realistic. Some form of regulation is needed on long term, probably for people like you.
    Bert
     
  13. BertKu
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    BertKu Senior Member

     
  14. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    CDK got electrocuted by his 400V electric drive system so BertKu created new regulation demanding that all boaters has to wear high voltage isolation clothing and gloves under their life jackets and the metal full face helmet has a thick copper cable extending down to the special shoes to bypass a lightning strike. On-board cameras make sure you wear the stuff.

    High voltage suit $3500
    Helmet and cable $ 1800
    Telling regulators to f off, priceless.
    For every thing else there is matercard.
     

  15. Fanie
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    Fanie Fanie

    Well, I saw where lightning has taken out the side of a building not far from here.
    In another instance the guy behind us had his wall disintegrated by a lightning strike, the pieces broke all the house windows facing that side. His neighbor had a brand new monitor in it's box on the lounge table, it got fried.
    Years ago (that's where I got my knock from life) I got electrocuted by the phone in an outbuilding when lightning struck a direct hit on the TV antenna, the molten pieces were on the ground. Every piece of electronics in the house was fried.

    Regulate and protect that. I think your next step will be to regulate God.
     
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