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Discussion Starter #1

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Lightning is a lot of electrons trying to find ground. Don't see a Volt being any different than any other car and should be just as good as any other.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
As an EE with 30+ years of experience, I understand the principles of a Faraday cage. However, depending on how the battery is connected to various points of the chassis, where arcs are likely to occur and what sneak paths might be available through the battery, unexpected things can happen.

Repeating my question, Is anyone aware of DATA on whether or not the presence of a high energy traction battery negates advice that a metal-roofed vehicle is a safe haven during a lightning storm?

Thanks in advance.

KNS
 

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Discussion Starter #6
In nearly five years of owning a PEV, I have never used an outdoor EVSE. I would hope they are being designed and deployed with appropriate safeguards.

Else you could ask Richard Hammond to run a test: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve6XGKZxYxA
That's the sort of test I think would shed light on the answer to my question. Unfortunately, as the many variables change, results are not likely to be repeatable. Lightning protection of the high energy traction battery really needs to be a design consideration rather than relying solely on "it's in a Faraday cage."

Thanks for sharing these links.

KNS
 

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In nearly five years of owning a PEV, I have never used an outdoor EVSE. I would hope they are being designed and deployed with appropriate safeguards.
Doesn't have to be outside. Lightning goes where it wants to, when it wants to......

That's the sort of test I think would shed light on the answer to my question. Unfortunately, as the many variables change, results are not likely to be repeatable. Lightning protection of the high energy traction battery really needs to be a design consideration rather than relying solely on "it's in a Faraday cage."

Thanks for sharing these links.

KNS
No sweat. Got a few more for you from Volt owners:

http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?173817-Lightning-Direct-HIT!&highlight=lightning+strike
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?130594-Lightning-storm-vs-Volt&highlight=lightning+strike
http://gm-volt.com/forum/showthread.php?93521-lightning-strike-car-doesn-t-start&highlight=lightning+strike

You might find more if you do a forum search.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Doesn't have to be outside. Lightning goes where it wants to, when it wants to......
Exactly. However, there is a significant difference between the inductive power line and/or ground surge that results from a nearby hit and the potential impact of the sort of direct hit illustrated in the Richard Hammond video to which you linked. A direct hit is substantially more likely to occur if the vehicle is outdoors at the time of the strike.

I had seen these and several others when I searched the forums before posting my question. I could find nothing on the forums that was on point, ie, a direct hit on a vehicle rather than the impact of a power line surge.

Thanks again for posting.

KNS
 

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Exactly. However, there is a significant difference between the inductive power line and/or ground surge that results from a nearby hit and the potential impact of the sort of direct hit illustrated in the Richard Hammond video to which you linked. A direct hit is substantially more likely to occur if the vehicle is outdoors at the time of the strike.



I had seen these and several others when I searched the forums before posting my question. I could find nothing on the forums that was on point, ie, a direct hit on a vehicle rather than the impact of a power line surge.

Thanks again for posting.

KNS

I suspect cars don't get direct lightning hits frequently enough to have data on every model. Cars, aircraft and other vehicle have been hit with varying degrees of damage or sometimes no damage. Do you have any reason to believe a EV with circuits designed to operate at hundreds of Volts instead 12-28 volts would be particularly vulnerable?

Oh wait, are we talking about whether the occupants are safe or the car? IMO the occupants are safe. The car may or may not sustain damage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I suspect cars don't get direct lightning hits frequently enough to have data on every model. Cars, aircraft and other vehicle have been hit with varying degrees of damage or sometimes no damage. Do you have any reason to believe a EV with circuits designed to operate at hundreds of Volts instead 12-28 volts would be particularly vulnerable?
Whatever the operating voltages in the vehicle, they are all very low compared to the voltages that can result from a lightning strike. My concern is not for damage to sensitive circuits which can be found in just about any modern vehicle it is for the possibility of damage to the high energy battery.

Most physical damage caused by lightning is the result of heat. Just wondering about the statistical possibility of catastrophic damage to a high energy battery, what lightning-related scenarios might trigger such damage and whether or not taking shelter in an EV is as recommended as taking shelter in a traditional ICE vehicle.

The question is a result of my having read the article to which I linked in the first post in this thread. Nothing more than that.

KNS
 

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The Battery itself is protected by a Faraday cage, but yes, interesting point, we know high heat, sparks and lithium don't mix well.
Of course, neither does high heat, sparks, and gasoline.
 

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Whatever the operating voltages in the vehicle, they are all very low compared to the voltages that can result from a lightning strike. My concern is not for damage to sensitive circuits which can be found in just about any modern vehicle it is for the possibility of damage to the high energy battery.


The question is a result of my having read the article to which I linked in the first post in this thread. Nothing more than that.

KNS
Nothing in that link suggests that hybrids or electric cars are any different. Even relatively sensitive electronics in a car often survive, so why would the HV battery and electronics which are undoubtably more robust be more prone to damage? IMHO it's a non-issue for occupant safety.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Nothing in that link suggests that hybrids or electric cars are any different. Even relatively sensitive electronics in a car often survive, so why would the HV battery and electronics which are undoubtably more robust be more prone to damage? IMHO it's a non-issue for occupant safety.
You may well be right. I am looking for data that might support or refute that opinion.

KNS
 

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There likely aren't any lightning strike test results on a Volt. I don't think GM tests for that.
 

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However, depending on how the battery is connected to various points of the chassis, where arcs are likely to occur and what sneak paths might be available through the battery, unexpected things can happen.
Curious, are you concerned about how much current the battery would accept, or whether it would become a pass-through conduit?

I'm thinking it wouldn't be much of a current sink.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Curious, are you concerned about how much current the battery would accept, or whether it would become a pass-through conduit?

I'm thinking it wouldn't be much of a current sink.
Concerned about current that might cause rapid internal heating.

KNS
 

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The external electrical connections hooked up to the car are on the front. It sits in a steel box, tucked under the steel floor tunnel. I don't see lightning being very likely to jump in and back out of the connections shown here. Just my impression.

A closer look at those connectors:

 

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Here is a link to a video on a 2012 LEAF drive test in high water and lightning-strike test. Not as dramatic as the link above.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1075822_2012-nissan-leaf-heres-what-it-went-through-to-get-to-you

The following article warns against charging during a thunderstorm. The video wa taken by a Tesla driver.

https://transportevolved.com/2015/06/04/polite-advice-tesla-lightning-strike-video-proves-why-you-shouldnt-refuel-any-car-in-an-electrical-storm/
 

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Here is a link to a video on a 2012 LEAF drive test in high water and lightning-strike test. Not as dramatic as the link above.

http://www.greencarreports.com/news/1075822_2012-nissan-leaf-heres-what-it-went-through-to-get-to-you

The following article warns against charging during a thunderstorm. The video wa taken by a Tesla driver.

https://transportevolved.com/2015/06/04/polite-advice-tesla-lightning-strike-video-proves-why-you-shouldnt-refuel-any-car-in-an-electrical-storm/
Now that's something I hadn't considered. I often unplug my TV and computers during a thunderstorm. I guess I should be doing the same with my Volt.
 
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