EMPStorm™

From $300.00

The EMPStorm™ will be the world’s first 3-stage, UL 1449-tested, military grade, Type 2 Surge Protection Device designed to protect not only against common threats like a nearby lightning strike, but also against the conducted effects of an electromagnetic pulse or solar storm. By pre-ordering, you are ensuring that you receive one of the first production units. I am limiting initial production to 500 units.

For use on 120/240 VAC power systems in the US and Canada
Production limited to 500 units, pre-order before they’re all gone
Devices expected to begin shipping in summer of 2019
Click FAQs tab below for answers to common questions

Description

 

For years, readers have asked me if there exits a whole house surge protection device that would specifically guard against an EMP and CME. My answer has always been “no.” While there are a few products on the market that claim to do so, in my assessment, none truly protect against an EMP or CME. The reason is that no product that I’m aware of has addressed the very slow impulse of energy that is associated with the E3 component of an EMP or the geomagnetic effects of a CME. Furthermore, most do a poor job of addressing the E1 component of an EMP.

The difficulty of developing such a product is that it can’t contain sensitive semiconductor electronics that might be damaged by the event itself. While it’s certainly possible, the sad truth is that industry hasn’t seen a large enough market to spend the nonrecoverable engineering costs required to develop an effective device that would protect against these grave threats.

Until now… allow me to introduce the EMPStorm™ . The EMPStorm™ is to be the first 3-stage, UL 1449-tested, Type 2 Surge Protection Device designed from scratch to protect not only against common threats like a nearby lightning strike, but also against the conducted effects of an electromagnetic pulse and a solar storm.

By pre-ordering one or more EMPStorms™, you are ensuring that you receive one of the units. I am limiting production to 500 units, and I may never make any more! If you want one, you should pre-order now.

Protected devices could include computers, televisions, stereos, home security systems, appliances, electric cars, generators, solar generation systems, etc. The EMPStorm™ has the potential to save users thousands of dollars in damage, as well as help to ensure that their critical electronics are operational during times of national crisis.

 

The videos below talk about why I took on this development and the progress made so far.

 

Getting Started:

Progress Reports:

#1 – STUDY Phase Complete (Nov 12, 2018)

 

 

#2 – SIMULATION Phase Complete (Dec 1, 2018)

 

 

#3 – PROTOTYPE PARTS Phase Complete (Jan 12, 2019)

 

 

#4 – PROTOTYPE ASSEMBLY Phase Complete (Feb 3, 2019)

 

#5 – PROTOTYPE TESTING (E3/CME) Phase Complete (Feb 9, 2019)

 

Connecting the EMPStorm to your home or business is very straightforward and can be done in one of several ways (see figure below). The preferred methods are to connect it to either a double-pole or two single-pole breakers feeding your most critical systems. This is done easily (and to code) using Ilsco clamps, which will ship with the unit for a modest cost (~2 for $10). In both cases, you should try to use thermal secondary breakers and a thermal-magnetic main breaker. If properly configured, the main breaker will trip first under an E3/CME event. If, however, for some reason the main fails to trip, the secondary breaker(s) will trip to protect your most critical electronics.

Not that while installation is straightforward, the electrical code requires that installation of all Type 2 surge protection devices be performed by a licensed electrician.

 

As with most technologies, there are tremendous differences in quality when it comes to surge suppressors. Not only does their performance vary greatly, so does their build construction. I invite you to watch the video below where I illustrate this point by showing you the internals of two well-known surge protection devices. One is built reasonably well and offers L-L, L-N, N-G, and L-G protection, while the other offers limited protection and is built to the poorest of workmanship standards.

Rest assured that the EMPStorm™ will be of the highest quality, designed and built to provide protection for many years to come.

 

 

Testing of a surge protection device (SPD) requires the use of high-voltage surge generators. These generators apply several thousand volts to the input lines with predefined timing and waveform shapes that are dependent on the specifications that the product is trying to meet. In the case of the EMPStorm™, the product will be tested to levels dictated by UL 1449. Such testing is incredibly expensive but also critical to ensuring a safe and effective product. Never attach a surge suppression device to your home that is not tested to UL 1449 levels!

Unfortunately, testing to UL 1449 in no way ensures that the unit would protect your home or business during an EMP or solar storm. Rather, additional testing is required in which the pulse rise time and duration can be carefully controlled to mimic those of the E1 and E2 waveforms of a nuclear-generated EMP (see waveform figure below). Likewise, to ensure the product would protect against a coronal mass ejection or the EMP E3 pulse, a lower voltage, long duration pulse must be applied.

 

 

While most quality surge protectors would offer some protection against E2 (the Intermediate Time pulse), few would offer much against E1, and none would protect against E3. This is because E1 is simply too fast for conventional surge protection devices to turn on. Likewise, E3 would be felt as a long low-value slug of energy that likely would not trip either the surge protection or the panel breakers.

By combining conventional UL 1449 surge/safety testing with military-defined testing of MIL-STD-461 (CS115, CS116, and CS117), the EMPStorm™ will be demonstrated to protect against not only routine surges from nearby lighting strikes or load switching, but also the unique and harmful effects of both a nuclear-generated EMP and a solar coronal mass ejection. As far as I know, this will be the first surge protection device tested to so modern military surge and lightning standards.

A Word of Caution: Beware a company’s claims about testing. If they won’t produce a copy of the report, they likely either failed the test or didn’t run it at all. For example, one well-known company states that their product is “UL-1449 compliant,” but will not produce a test report. Furthermore, they claim their product has been tested to MIL-STD-188-125-1, an antiquated EMP standard, but upon review of the report, we see that they omitted the E3 portion of the conducted test. Bottom line is to believe only what you can verify. All test reports for the EMPStorm™ will be posted and publicly available for review.

 

 

I begin all my talks and books by asking one simple question: Why bother? Our lives are already busy enough, our money stretched thin, and our worries piled high. Is a surge suppression device that protects your home’s or business’s electronics from a solar storm or electromagnetic pulse really something you should care about?

I strongly believe the answer to this question is “yes,” but obviously, you’ll have to decide for yourself. My goal is not to talk you into buying this new surge suppression device, but rather to help educate you on two very real threats to our nation: the electromagnetic pulse (EMP) and the solar coronal mass ejection (CME). The first is caused by a nuclear warhead detonating high in the atmosphere, and the second by the Sun ejecting charged plasma toward our planet. Each threat is briefly discussed below.

The Electromagnetic Pulse (EMP)

 

EMPs were first discovered during the testing of nuclear warheads back in the 1960s, the most famous of which was known as Starfish Prime. The atmospheric detonation over the mid-Pacific Ocean caused tremendous electromagnetic energy to be felt 900 miles away in Hawaii, knocking out street lights, setting off burglar alarms, and damaging microwave communications. In 1962, the Russians took it a step further, testing three EMP-producing nuclear weapons over a populated area of Kazakhstan. While the warheads were extremely small by today’s standards, the pulses induced on underground power lines were so great that they caused a fire in a city’s power plant. Hostile countries that could initiate such an attack today include Russia, China, Pakistan, and perhaps North Korea.

The threat was viewed as so grave that in 2001 our government formed a special commission to assess the impact of such an attack. Their conclusion was that an EMP “has the capability to produce significant damage to critical infrastructures that support the fabric of U.S. society and the ability of the United States and Western nations to project influence and military power,” and “damage to or loss of these components could leave significant parts of the electric power grid out of service for months to a year or more.” The damage to electronics and loss of electricity would lead to the subsequent disruption of every other national infrastructure, including food and water distribution, telecommunications, banking, transportation, emergency services, government, and energy production.

 

Solar Coronal Mass Ejection

 

Likewise, a solar storm that releases a large coronal mass ejection could introduce similar hardships. The power grid would again likely be disrupted, and surges would damage countless electronic systems attached to the grid, both within industry and in the home. The differences between a massive solar storm and an EMP are twofold. First, unlike in the case of an EMP, a solar event would only have low-frequency content, which means that it would be limited to coupling onto long conductors. This means that free-standing electronics, like cars or iphones, would not be damaged. Instead, it would be things that drew power from the electrical grid that were destroyed.

The second difference between an EMP and a solar storm is that an EMP is not a certainty. Perhaps our enemies will never decide to initiate such an attack, although I should point out that both Russia and North Korea have explicitly threatened to do so. By comparison, a solar storm is a certainty. Simply put, it is only a matter of time before Earth is hit by a large coronal mass ejection that cripples our electrical grid and causes unimaginable damage to electronics all around the nation. It’s a case of when, not if.

Major solar storms occur every one to two hundred years. The most significant one in recent history hit in 1859 and was known as The Carrington Event. The event was so powerful that telegraph stations caught fire. If such an event were to occur today, experts agree that it would significantly disrupt our electrical grid and cause extensive damage to electronic equipment across the continent, if not the entire globe.

 

 

Both the EMP and CME could cause extensive damage to your personal property and leave you vulnerable during a national (or global) crisis. While the mechanisms of these two threats are quite different, the impacts are largely the same. Both would cause incredible currents to flow on the power lines, damaging transformers and other grid components, as well as personal devices that were plugged in at the time of the event.

I hope that I’ve convinced you that these threats ARE MOST DEFINITELY worth bothering over. Probably the question I’m asked most often is “If the grid is fried, what good is protecting my home electronics?”

There are four very good reasons to install an EMPStorm™:

1. It could save you thousands of dollars in damage to your home electronics (or generator) from a surge on the power lines caused by any reason.
2. In the case of an intermittent disruption, the EMPStorm™ could allow you to power up your home or business when power was restored, even if it was just for brief interludes. This would be crucial to maintaining a reasonable quality of life.
3. In the case of a prolonged outage, the EMPStorm™ would enable a backup system, like a generator, solar power generation system, or battery-powered inverter, to be connected to the home to conduct important activities, such as tuning into the radio for updates, washing clothes, cooking food, cooling the house, charging batteries, etc.
4. If you have a solar or wind power generation system, the EMPStorm™ products could help to ensure its survival — see details below.

 

 

Many people write to ask if the EMPStorm™ will protect their solar power generation System. While the home version of the EMPStorm™ might help to protect the inverter, it wouldn’t be adequate to fully protect the solar power generation system. The reason is that protecting a solar power generating system requires suppressing unwanted induced energy at multiple points in the system.

Consider the figure below:

 

There are several points in the system that have long wires attached. These wires act as antennas, picking up harmful energy. An effective protection strategy would be to connect an EMPStorm™ across the breaker feeding the home, and an DC-EMPStorm™ across the other subsystems (i.e., the charge controller, inverter, etc.).

The DC version of the EMPStorm™ is specifically designed to connect to three points in the solar generation system to suppress that energy. Typically, it would connect between the charge controller and the solar panels, between the charge controller and the battery, and between the battery and the inverter. Systems with very long runs out to the solar panels may benefit from a second EMPStorm™ connected at the panels.

The DC-EMPStorm™ is being developed in parallel with the conventional AC home versions and is expected to have a pre-order price of $300. The DC-EMPStorm™ is not available for pre-order yet but will be soon.

The very best way to ensure that you can get the DC-EMPStorm™ is to order one of the current AC versions for your home. This will put you on the mailing list to know when the DC version is available for pre-order.

 

Below you will find a 10-month development schedule that I’ve put together based on over 30 years of experience in designing and building electronics. Note that I have added 2 months of margin into the schedule (spaced throughout) to account for unexpected events.

 

Notice that the schedule below includes a 4-month production period to fill the pre-orders. My goal is to begin shipping pre-order units in the summer of 2019. By pre-ordering, you will receive regular updates throughout the development process, including videos of testing, discussions of design considerations, etc. I’ve overlaid a progress bar onto the schedule so that you are always up to date on the development.

 

Before you decide to pre-order one or more EMPStorms®, you might want to Google “Dr. Arthur Bradley EMP”. You’ll find quite a few videos, blog interviews, books, etc. in which I discuss EMP-related topics. I’ve been educating people on the subject for many years, as well as conducting practical research into being better prepared.

My resume shows that I have a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, am a licensed Professional Engineer, as well as a certified iNARTE EMC Engineer. Those credentials really just mean that I’ve been doing electrical engineering for quite a long time (about 30 years). As such, I have the experience and industry connections to successfully execute this project.

 

 

For many common questions, see the FAQs tab at the top of the page.

 

Below are a set of frequently asked questions. If you have additional questions, please email them to me at arthur@disasterpreparer.com.

Why should I pre-order?
Pre-ordering helps fund the initial development and guarantees the low introductory price. Also, I am limiting initial production to 500 units. If you definitely want one, you should pre-order.

If you don’t deliver, will I get my money back?
Of course. If I don’t deliver, you receive a full refund. I’m not out to cheat anyone.

If power goes down, why do I need to worry about my electronics?
There are four very good reasons to install the EMPStorm™ even if power is disrupted.

  1. Obviously, it could save you thousands of dollars in damage to your home electronics (or generator) from a surge on the power lines caused by any reason.
  2. In the case of an intermittent disruption, the EMPStorm™ could allow you to power your home (or business) when electricity was restored, even if it was just for brief periods. This would be crucial to maintaining a reasonable quality of life.
  3. In the case of a prolonged outage, the EMPStorm™ would enable a backup system, such as a generator, battery-driven inverter, or solar generation system to be connected to the home to conduct important activities, such as tuning into the radio for updates, washing clothes, cooking food, cooling the house, charging batteries, etc.
  4. If you have a solar (or wind) power generation system, the EMPStorm™ products could help to ensure its survival — this refers to the coming DC-EMPStorm™ model.

Why won’t a regular surge protection device provide the same protection?
Most SPDs are designed to protect from commonplace surges, such as from a nearby lightning strike or load shedding by the power company. They will provide limited protection against the E1 pulse, reasonable protection against the E2 pulse, and no protection against the E3 pulse. The EMPStorm™ is designed to protect your home or business from all three transients.

How is the EMPStorm™ installed?
Like all Type 2 SPDs, the EMPStorm™ will need to be installed at the circuit breaker panel by a licensed electrician. An installation guide will ship with the product. Installation consists of mounting the unit to the wall (or inside panel) and connecting four wires to the breaker panel. It is critical for any Type 2 SPD to install it as close to the breaker panel as possible. The further away the SPD is mounted, the greater the transient level the home’s electronics will see. In addition, twisting the wires together will further reduce the transient let-through voltage.

Will the EMPStorm™ have indicator lights?
Yes, the EMPStorm™ will have ten lights to indicate that the product is still protecting your home or business.

Will the EMPStorm™ protect against other types of surges besides an EMP or solar storm?
Absolutely! The EMPStorm™ will be tested to UL 1449 for safety and MIL-STD-461 (CS115, CS116, and CS117), proving its effectiveness at suppressing a broad range of transients.

Will the EMPStorm™ protect against a direct lighting strike?
The EMPStorm™ is not a lightning arrestor, but like all quality SPDs is designed to protect against the indirect effects of a nearby lightning strike. Keep in mind that the vast majority of damage from lightning is due to indirect effects of a nearby strike. Furthermore, it will be tested to MIL-STD-461, CS117, specifically designed to test against lightning effects.

What’s inside the EMPStorm™?
Surge Protection Devices are designed using passive filters and current steering devices. Nearly all commercial designs rely solely on inexpensive metal-oxide varistors (MOVs). The EMPStorm™ will contain a patented 3-stage protection scheme that guards against an EMP’s E1, E2, and E3, as well as a Coronal Mass Ejection.

Will the EMPStorm™ be safe?
Safety will ensured by having the EMPStorm™ independently tested to meet UL 1449’s safety requirements, which is the highest standard in the US for electrical surge suppression devices.

Will the EMPStorm™ come with insurance against damage?
Some companies offer “insurance” against the loss of electronics due to a surge. However, if you look into such insurance, you’ll quickly discover that it’s little more than a marketing ploy. The payout on such policies is almost zero, and I view any such offers as disingenuous. The EMPStorm™ will be a very high-quality product that will offer unprecedented protection, but a guarantee that any SPD will always prevent damage is not possible.

Will the EMPStorm™ completely protect my electronics from a solar storm or EMP?
Disaster preparedness is about putting in place layers of protection. The EMPStorm™ is meant to be one such layer. No surge protection device can offer a 100% guarantee that it will protect your electronics against any transient. With that said, the EMPStorm™ will be a fully-tested surge protection device, proven to be highly effective at suppressing unwanted power line transients.

What about the energy that couples into the house wires directly?
The EMPStorm™ acts as a sink for unwanted energy, both coming in on the lines and that that develops close to it from within the house. Yes, there will still be some energy coupled into the house wires, but it will be much less than what would come in from the power lines. An inexpensive addition tp the EMPStorm™ would be to use simple plug-in surge strips for sensitive electronics. Most appliances already have built-in surge protection, making plug-in surge strips unnecessary.

Will the EMPStorm™ protect against a solar storm?
Yes. A solar storm is a low frequency event that will only couple into very long conductors, such as power lines and buried conductors. The only realistic path for a solar storm to harm your home or business electronics is to come in as a conducted surge on the power feed. The EMPStorm™ is specifically designed to guard against such transients.

What about the radiated effects of an EMP?
Unlike a solar storm, a nuclear-generated EMP is a broadband event capable of damaging electronics both by a conducted pulse brought in on the power lines, and by a radiated pulse that propagates through the air. The EMPStorm™ will not protect against radiated fields, and alternative methods, such as a Faraday cage, might be necessary to protect sensitive electronics. With that said, it’s important to understand that the conducted pulse is a far greater threat to home electronics, because many home appliances are naturally robust against a radiated pulse. While it is certainly possible that some small personal electronics could be damaged by the radiated effects of an EMP, many unpowered devices would likely survive. The greatest threat to a home and business’s electronics from an EMP would be the tremendous conducted surge that would come in on the power lines.

Will a single EMP or solar event destroy the unit?
The unit is designed to withstand a number of powerful surges, EMP or otherwise, before being damaged. It’s hard to say exactly how many because it would depend on the size and characteristics of the pulse. Indicators on the front of the EMPStorm™ will tell if the unit has been damaged and requires replacing. Note that the EMPStorm™ is built with devices that are SIGNIFICANTLY more robust than those in conventional surge protection devices.

Will it protect my home or business from two consecutive EMP attacks, one right after the other?
Yes. The unit is designed to disconnect your home or business from the grid in the event of an EMP attack. Even if you reconnect power by flipping the breaker, the unit will pull the breaker again if another EMP attack is initiated.

When will it ship?
My goal is to begin shipping in the summer of 2019. I will continually send out video updates throughout the development process so that customers are always up to date. Please see the main page for the video updates.

Do you guarantee a specific delivery date?
No. Delays could arise that push out the delivery date. What I do guarantee is that I’ll work tirelessly at developing the product until it ships to every supporter.

Can I cancel my pre-order after I place it?
No. Please only pre-order if you’re willing to be patient and wait for the product to be developed. I won’t have the means to refund any pre-orders once placed.

Once again… Do you honestly guarantee delivery or my money back?
Yes! I will either deliver or give you your money back. Also, I always answer emails and would be happy to chat on the phone with any concerned buyer.