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Topic: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?  (Read 3170 times)

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Offline TyPie

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waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« on: July 16, 2014, 01:12:59 AM »
I was just curious if there was a suit that could keep you dry and safe while running around inside a severe thunderstorm.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2014, 02:40:26 AM »
Unlikely. For a lightning strike the voltages are immense.

OTOH, there might be something that can marginally reduce your chance of being struck by reducing your stray potential or leaking charges etc. But I'm speculating.

Offline TyPie

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2014, 04:20:46 AM »
Unlikely. For a lightning strike the voltages are immense.

OTOH, there might be something that can marginally reduce your chance of being struck by reducing your stray potential or leaking charges etc. But I'm speculating.

I have seen suits at power plants, where people have to flip some large breaker, and the suit protects them from an E field or something that could easily kill them.I'm assuming it goes around them since their face isn't covered.

 I think 1 lightning strike carries enough energy to supply a power plant for a year or something like that.

Offline curiouscat

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2014, 05:11:37 AM »
Google "arc flashover protection suit"

Offline Arkcon

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #4 on: July 16, 2014, 05:19:41 AM »
I think 1 lightning strike carries enough energy to supply a power plant for a year or something like that.

According to Mythbusters -- OK, they're not an actual peer-reviewed source, but you can try to verify their facts -- lightning wattage is immense.  As in, there have been lightning strikes with the power of all world electrical production combined.  Given that there's no way to replicate lightning, even on a smaller proportional scale, there's no reason to design a suit to resist it, even if it is possible.

It makes more sense to just avoid being a conductor, like has already been mentioned.
Hey, I'm not judging.  I just like to shoot straight.  I'm a man of science.

Offline Enthalpy

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #5 on: July 16, 2014, 02:34:03 PM »
The discharge voltage is huge but around a human, it's limited by the breakdown of air - still a few 100kV... Thin polymer stands this voltage; the "only" difficulty being that currents sweep over surfaces to find a path, so all joints and openings are weak points.

I prefer a well conducting suit, and saw it used for demos at science museums with arcs of several meters but small charge, so in principle it might work. Serious drawback: once you wear it, you draw the bolt...

The other aspect is that a nearby strike is deleterious even if it doesn't strike you directly. Already the air pressure is nasty, and I believe the EM field acts on the central nervous system like transcranial magnetic stimulation does:
http://www.scienceforums.net/topic/70203-transcranial-magnetic-stimulation/page-2#entry790216
a conducting suit would protect the brains and the spine.

As I believe weapons exist already to direct thunderbolts (academics achieved it with a laser from the ground, spooks hypothetically from a plane) a protective suit gets more important.

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The energy of a thunderbolt is small, ridiculous as compared with a power line. The peak power is more convincing, but only if computed over the whole length of the bolt, which cumulates many MV. The current is only a few 10kA for a few 10ms, far less than in most powerlines, and if you manage to shortcircuit this current properly, the voltage is small (like 40V for protective components on 240V lines), and so is the power (1MW) and the energy (10kJ), absorbable by the component.

This tells you why (1) we can't make use of thunderbolts' energy (2) a strike on a HV powerline (the local 127V or 240V is a different story) gets barely noticed if the protections work.

Offline TyPie

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Re: waterproof high electrical resistant suit?
« Reply #6 on: July 16, 2014, 06:02:31 PM »
I saw the arc flash protective suits.  Not sure if it's the same experiment that you're thinking of, but some people do wizard like science shows, where they blast their partner with electricity.  These people are off the ground though. 

I feel like lightning doesn't always interfere with hearing, but I know that I don't hear close to all the strikes around me in really bad lightning storms.  I'm kind of questioning temporary blindness now. 

I'm feeling kind of crazy right now, so I might just have to get a good conducting suit to try to get struck by lightning. 

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