Sustainable Living Center Oregon
What will EMP do to the United States? Look at the Venezuela crisis
April 1, 2019 .. Millions of Venezuelans were left without running water Monday amid a series of massive blackouts, forcing Venezuela’s to announce electricity rationing and school closures as the government struggles to cope with a deepening economic crisis.
Maduro announced 30 days of power rationing on Sunday after his government said it was shortening the work day and keeping schools closed due to blackouts.
The measures are a stark admission by the government that there is not enough electricity to go around, and that the power crisis is here to stay.
Angry Venezuelans meanwhile took to the streets of Caracas to protest the power cuts and water shortages.
“We have small children, and we aren’t able to give them a drop of water to drink,” said Caracas resident Maria Rodriguez.
With no electricity, pumping stations can’t work, so water service is limited.
Street lights and traffic lights go dark, pumps at fuel stations stand idle, and cell phone and internet service are non-existent.
An EMP (electromagnetic pulse) could happen to the United States and end life as we know it in approximate one-hundredth of a microsecond. While some may argue the likelihood of such an event, focus instead on the methods one might consider protecting your electronic equipment in a Faraday Cage.
A Faraday Cage can be built into an AirCrete structure by placing a wire structure over the AirCrete building. The wire structure can serve to hold a layer of stucco.
An EMP is a pulse of considerable electromagnetic energy (with a wide range of frequencies and amplitudes.) This energy pulse could result from a nuclear detonation at (high) altitude in the atmosphere. As the pulse travels away from the bursting point at the speed of light, the radiation can be ‘collected’ by metallic and other conductors at a distance.
The energy of the radiation would convert into strong electric currents and high voltages. With sufficient energy, particularly from the high-frequency components of the EMP, electrical and electronic equipment connected to (or associated with) the collector may suffer severe damage from a strong current and voltage surge.
The way that the electromagnetic energy damage electronic equipment is complex because much depends on the size and shape of the collector, its orientation concerning the source of the pulse, and the frequency spectrum of the pulse. As a general rule, the amount of energy collected increases with the dimensions of the conductor which serves as the collector (or antenna).
One thing we can do to protect electronic devices is to use a Faraday cage.
A Faraday cage is an enclosure formed by conductive material or by a mesh of such material. Such an enclosure blocks external electric fields by channeling electricity along and around, but not through, the mesh, providing a constant voltage on all sides of the enclosure. Since the difference in voltage is the measure of electrical potential, no current flows through space.
A Faraday cage operates because an external electrical field causes the electric charges within the cage’s conducting material to be distributed such that they cancel the field’s effect in the cage’s interior.
Faraday Cage is named after the scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836.
An ideal Faraday cage is a conductive metal box (on all sides). The Faraday cage does not have to be grounded to do its job. The Faraday cage keeps the charge (EMP) on the outside (during that fraction of a microsecond till it’s gone) while a grounded Faraday cage will bleed the charge to the ground during that same fractional microsecond. In either case, the electronics inside are protected to the extent of the construction properties of the cage itself.
With that said, a covered metal trash can will act as a Faraday cage.
Any metal screening material will serve as a building material for a Faraday cage. In our case, we will build a tiny house of AirCrete and then wrap all sides with conductive metal screening material such as Expanded Metal or Chicken Wire to achieve the Faraday effect.
You might be wondering about the limitation of the hole size in the screen material as it relates to its effectiveness at stopping an EMP. A rule of thumb is that the hole diameter must be less than 1/2 the wavelength of the radiation frequency to adequately attenuate (sufficient dB) so as not to damage the electronics inside the Faraday cage.
The EMP radiation frequencies are very high frequencies that are of concern up into the microwave region for electronic device damage. If one uses the frequency of a microwave oven (2.4 GHz) for example, the wavelength is just under 5 inches. Half of that wavelength is 2.5 inches. The holes in typical screening material should be less than that to reduce the effect of those frequencies).
It appears that ordinary Expanded Metal would be better the Chicken Wire better protection, while solid metal is obvious the best.