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When looking at solar storms, Carrington is not unusual. They know they happen to that magnitude. Just so happens that one was the last big one during a time we had wires across land. There have been other major storms, is just that they were not pointed at earth.

But even for Carrington, it last 4 days. Something I have not read before. When they talk about coronal ejections, they talk about you have to be on the side of the planet that gets hit. But 4 days... Or longer... Well then there is no "safe" side. That kind of sucks. Even still, the next big one has to be pointed at us.

... But if it is... Well, nice knowing you.
 

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remember they had LOW VOLTAGE lines strung all over the place. low voltage lines are the ones in danger from something like this. Power transmission lines are not at risk.
 

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remember they had LOW VOLTAGE lines strung all over the place. low voltage lines are the ones in danger from something like this. Power transmission lines are not at risk.
Ehhhh... Distance matters too, and high voltage lines are not immune.

I've gone back and forth... Most say nothing will happen or TEOTWAWKI.... Experts tend to agree that's its somewhere between those two. I used to be nothing will happen... But it's probably more than that. So... Who knows.
 

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Consider the cascading type damage scenario. Just a dozen major transformers either damaged or disrupted. It may not take much of a Carrington effect.

When a few key points of our national power grid are disrupted there is a ripple effect. This has happened before. Only in this case it would be worse.

There would be no quick reset of the grid. Why? If enough infrastructure is damaged there are few or no major backups to the grid. The whole thing crashes.

Consider no global grid for a couple of weeks. All battery back ups go dead. At some critical point the whole infrastructure would collapse for a long time.

Nothing works. Everything today runs on electricity diesel fuel and the micro chip. Knock out just a few playing cards then the whole fragile thing collapses.

The entire WORLD comes to a grinding halt. Consider the clock being reset to a pre electrical age. No communications. No vital transport. No gas. No food.

Nothing. The list gets very long. Right now our GLOBAL infrastructure is vulnerable to a huge long nasty CME. A Carrington event today would kill BILLIONS.

And that is just the short term version lasting just a few months. Now consider the damage taking YEARS to fix. That THAT through. A 99% human die back.

Yep and yikes! :(
 

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Ehhhh... Distance matters too, and high voltage lines are not immune.

I've gone back and forth... Most say nothing will happen or TEOTWAWKI.... Experts tend to agree that's its somewhere between those two. I used to be nothing will happen... But it's probably more than that. So... Who knows.
The wires that melted and started fires back then we're DC telegraph wires made of iron and had very long runs.
Yes distance matters too, but long runs are even higher voltage so they will be even more immune.
Then cosider long data runs are fiber optical
 

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The wires that melted and started fires back then we're DC telegraph wires made of iron and had very long runs.
Yes distance matters too, but long runs are even higher voltage so they will be even more immune.
Then cosider long data runs are fiber optical
I'm not sure why you think high voltage protects from over voltage.

The wires are not going to melt. They are going to collect and induce over voltage in transformers. Transformers most certainly can be damaged. The type of problems caused by CMEs are not necessary protected by relays.

Then you you have the issue of if relays are damaged and don't protect as they should... Not to mention the grid is all on SCADA networks and whether or not those would operate properly.

So it's not just transmission lines. And not everything will be toast. But how much will be damaged? If just a couple major interconnects are lost the US is going to have a hard time. Not Stine age... Just serious disruptions. Take out some key pieces, and it will be costly.
 

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Consider the cascading type damage scenario. Just a dozen major transformers either damaged or disrupted. It may not take much of a Carrington effect.

When a few key points of our national power grid are disrupted there is a ripple effect. This has happened before. Only in this case it would be worse.

There would be no quick reset of the grid. Why? If enough infrastructure is damaged there are few or no major backups to the grid. The whole thing crashes.

Consider no global grid for a couple of weeks. All battery back ups go dead. At some critical point the whole infrastructure would collapse for a long time.

Nothing works. Everything today runs on electricity diesel fuel and the micro chip. Knock out just a few playing cards then the whole fragile thing collapses.

The entire WORLD comes to a grinding halt. Consider the clock being reset to a pre electrical age. No communications. No vital transport. No gas. No food.

Nothing. The list gets very long. Right now our GLOBAL infrastructure is vulnerable to a huge long nasty CME. A Carrington event today would kill BILLIONS.

And that is just the short term version lasting just a few months. Now consider the damage taking YEARS to fix. That THAT through. A 99% human die back.

Yep and yikes! :(
So... Most anything... New Orleans, Houston... The East Coast going dark... You restore outside in. But there is normal world that comes in and starts eating the elephant.

A Carrington event... Major damage to infrastructure, or major dame to everything that controls that infrastructure... Bad news. What happens when there is no truck loads of water coming in?

Most critical infrastructure has power back up. But that only lasts a couple few days until fuel runs out. No resupply from no distribution. Like you said, batteries run out.

Water treatment plants can run. Most municipal systems might last a couple few days from gravity. No waste water treatment. The city of Las Vegas has 3 days on gravity. Couple million people have a week to live. Not safe drinking water, no drinking water. If you make it a couple weeks, then you can start worrying about food.

You will have pockets of power, but all bets are off on what you could move or where you could get it too. Supply chains would be severely disrupted... But, you know things would start getting moved. And we have no idea what communications will be. Satalights could all be toast. But landlines maybe....

Might not be TEOTWAWKI... but some severe impacts are not hard to imagine.
 

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local grids run all over the place induced + voltage on one line will be cancelled out by induced - voltage on another. whatever inequalities out there will be minimal for the most part.
no doubt there will be a few blown transformers and the like, but I suspect it would be largely a non-event. The bigest impact might be if our GPS satalites get screwed up.
 

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I'm not a doomsdayer... But it's not that simple either. We really don't know exactly what will happen.

I heard of a plan NERC had that if a major CME was heading our way... They had plans to shut down the grid and open/isolate everything. They are worried enough to have a plan for it.

As a generator, that trips me out. You have any idea what it would take to restore the grid? You have to start black. There are not many black start sites. But assuming chips, SACADA, PLCs, computers are not toast.... You could come back up... But maybe a week, 2, 3... When the east coast went black, there were pockets still without power 3 weeks later.

Even without damage, restoring the grid would be quite an undertaking... The priority for local jurisdictions would be hospitals and water plants. And sending power to others for same and getting their plants powered up again. I could see that alone being a week easy. So "people" having power and going back to work... 2-3 weeks easy. It would be a huge event to say the least.
 

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Time for a horrible thought exercise. Sit down, have a nice cup of coffee or whatever, (a belt would be good) and think a bit. Work it all through your noggin. Yikes!

The nasty conclusion is that a nasty big 3 day long repeat of the Carrington CME would be a TEOTWAWKI event. There are a few big vulnerable trip points.

Communications. Fuel supply. Commercial transport. No power. No water. No food. No pretty much of anything. It would all stop either in seconds, days or weeks.

Everything would matter. Farming. Heavy trucks. Ocean transport. Distribution systems small and large. No infrastructure. Cascade effects would end it all.

No easy reboot. No reboot at all. Everything you gotta have to gotta have to gotta have will be non operate able. Even the surviving pockets or regions will die out.

Our world population can go 3-4 days without water. Then you die. The world pop can go without eating for 20-30 days? Then you die. In the USA a little longer.

In the USA the average family has 3 days food, 20 days water and 1/2 tank of gas. That is it. That plus too many guns. A nasty post Carrington event for sure.

Third world nations might linger longer. In 1st world countries the human die back would take about 30 days. After that we may have fewer folks around.

Survivable short term? Yeah, just hunker down and disappear for a month. But what then? The stink alone would be terrible. What about the will to live?

Then would come the international scene. Famine, War, Pestilence, Disease. The four horsemen. If you can make it a year then you have a chance ... PERHAPS.

Then the long term surviving people problems would occur. Nations fighting nations for the scraps of civilization. Choke points. 3 days, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years.

The very will to continue would be profound. But ... there will always be survivors. How many? Probably only about 1 in 1000 will live World wide. Yikes and Wow.

That is still 80 million human beings. Probably a new Dark Ages lasting 100 years. Oh such a fun thought exercise before the Holidays. But ... an interesting topic.
 

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Time for a horrible thought exercise. Sit down, have a nice cup of coffee or whatever, (a belt would be good) and think a bit. Work it all through your noggin. Yikes!

The nasty conclusion is that a nasty big 3 day long repeat of the Carrington CME would be a TEOTWAWKI event. There are a few big vulnerable trip points.

Communications. Fuel supply. Commercial transport. No power. No water. No food. No pretty much of anything. It would all stop either in seconds, days or weeks.

Everything would matter. Farming. Heavy trucks. Ocean transport. Distribution systems small and large. No infrastructure. Cascade effects would end it all.

No easy reboot. No reboot at all. Everything you gotta have to gotta have to gotta have will be non operate able. Even the surviving pockets or regions will die out.

Our world population can go 3-4 days without water. Then you die. The world pop can go without eating for 20-30 days? Then you die. In the USA a little longer.

In the USA the average family has 3 days food, 20 days water and 1/2 tank of gas. That is it. That plus too many guns. A nasty post Carrington event for sure.

Third world nations might linger longer. In 1st world countries the human die back would take about 30 days. After that we may have fewer folks around.

Survivable short term? Yeah, just hunker down and disappear for a month. But what then? The stink alone would be terrible. What about the will to live?

Then would come the international scene. Famine, War, Pestilence, Disease. The four horsemen. If you can make it a year then you have a chance ... PERHAPS.

Then the long term surviving people problems would occur. Nations fighting nations for the scraps of civilization. Choke points. 3 days, 1 month, 1 year, 10 years.

The very will to continue would be profound. But ... there will always be survivors. How many? Probably only about 1 in 1000 will live World wide. Yikes and Wow.

That is still 80 million human beings. Probably a new Dark Ages lasting 100 years. Oh such a fun thought exercise before the Holidays. But ... an interesting topic.
Well sure... At the very worst. Again many think it's some where between nothing and everything.

We are not entirely sure what will happen to chips. Who knows what will happen if chips don't survive. But without chips, we just get knocked back to industrial age.

The real worry is transformers. Without those... It's pre industrial... Damn near stone age. Right now for big ones they're about a 3 year lead time. And nobody has spares sitting around. You are talking a decade to rebuild those with serious focus.

Who knows, maybe we say screw it and go DC this time around.
 

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So just a bit more fun.... If grid is down...

Foget about anything on natural gas. No power for pump/compressor stations, no gas. CTs are pretty easy to start up, but you have to have gas.

So now you have to have fuel on the ground. Coal and oil. We have an old plant that burns oil and a big tank. Not a lot of those.

Coal plants usually have 30 days on the ground. That's awesome for 30 days... If you have diesel to get it to the plant. And trains better start rolling soon. And you have to have power to actually start.

Hydros are only true black start. Pacific North West, Hoover, Powell. They need control power, but that would be a good start.

Wind and solar would be true heros. A lot of wind could power up a lot of plants. Little unstable early on when wind dies and sun sets... But that would be a really good thing. Texas could save our butts... Oh ya, that's right, the Republic of Texas is connected to the US grid.

We have hydro and all it would take would be a generator. We looked at black start... But NERC regs for designated black start plants is RIDONCULOUS. So officially, we're not... But probably can. I would suspect many others are in same shape.

So we would certainly power up. Just no telling how long it would take. And that's assuming computers, chips, PLCs are not fried. That's just powering up.

Yes, a lot of people would die.
 

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Don't worry. My rusty truck will be fine. I keep it wrapped in tinfoil when not in use.
Which is still dependent on an operating distribution system with modern trucks. Plus... where are you going to go?
 

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I will have you all know we went to a gun show last Saturday. Afterwards we stopped at TACO BELL for lunch. Had tacos. Very good. The same taste since the last time which was about 10 years ago. Barely returned home in time. You know. They do not let me out much. :)
 

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Well, these things do happen. Remember the last EMP pulse from the Sun, destroyed the then telegraph system. It would be that much more devastating now. But, I suspect in the near future it will be inevitable.
 

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Interesting, but I am not going to let it keep me up at night. :rolleyes:
 

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Well, these things do happen. Remember the last EMP pulse from the Sun, destroyed the then telegraph system. It would be that much more devastating now. But, I suspect in the near future it will be inevitable.
Our power distribution is high voltage. The telegraph was low voltage.
 
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