Model S

Lightning

edited June 2014 in Model S
My house took a lightning hit on Friday. It took out my security system, sprinkler system, modem, directv, and air conditioning. Luckily I was driving my MS. Has anyone had experience with lightning affecting their Tesla? My 220 outlet was unaffected.
Thanks,
Dave
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Comments

  • edited November -1
    I am concerned enough about lightning that i turn the breaker off to the HPWC and disconnect the mobile charger from its NEMA 14-50 when I am leaving for several days or if there are black clouds on the horizon.
  • edited November -1
    I have a whole house surge protector.
  • edited November -1
    I just happened to be talking to Tesla during a lightning storm and mentioned that I unplugged the car.

    The Service Center said that protections were in place and I didn't have to unplug it.

    I am still paranoid enough to unplug it anyway during a lightning storm if I am home.

    We routinely get some big power surges at home from other events. The power surges haven't been a problem for anything other than household appliances.
  • edited November -1
    I am glad that Tesla feels sufficient lightning protections are in place to protect the car during an electrical storm.

    Our house took a hit twenty-five years ago. I will be unplugging my S during all such storms. Small effort involved vs. maybe Tesla is wrong.
  • edited November -1
    Well the car may be protected but the mobile connector and the HPWC are kinda expensive. tripping the appropriate breaker seems like cheap insurance.
  • edited November -1
    Well the car may be protected but the mobile connector and the HPWC are kinda expensive. Tripping the appropriate breaker seems like cheap insurance.
  • edited November -1
    For those of you who think tripping a breaker is going to stop lightning damage I think you need to think about how long of a distance that bolt took to get to your house already and realize how short the distance from the breaker contacts are to come to the conclusion that this does very little to prevent the damage that could occur. I am not sure what you could do to protect the HPWC but the mobile connector surely could be unplugged to protect it.
  • edited November -1
    Adding whole-house surge protection costs less than the charging cord or HPWC, and protects all your gadgets - by warranty if nothing else. My electrician convinced me, & he seemed straight-forward on everything else.
    But where are our electrical experts? - I've seen them elsewhere in the forum.
  • edited November -1
    There is NOTHING safe in a direct lighting strike period....

    A direct hit is definitely going to fry the Mobile connector or the HPWC. That is one of the reasons why it is there. It is the sacrificial lamb so to speak.

    The whole house system do help, but only up to a certain point. If the lightening runs up the ground it does little good at all. What these systems do is try to shunt the surge to ground from the two hot legs and or absorbe some of the surge.

    The amount of energy in a direct hit is unbelievable. I have seen it vaporize buss bars that can carry 2000 amps...

    The car will probably be ok, but you never know...

    I unplug when know a big storm is approaching...

    HOWEVER, NEVER UNPLUG THE CAR DURING A STORM!!!!
  • edited November -1
    Hold on... Never unplug during a storm? A grounding issue?
  • edited November -1
    My surge protector is a kite with a key attached.....works like a............................................
  • edited November -1
    No surge protector will stop a direct hit from lightning.

    I unplug the charger when I hear lots of thunder or saw bad storms coming on radar. I do the same with my computers- I have them rigged so all connection is severed with one plug pull.
  • edited November -1
    @webcrawler
    QUOTE: <i>HOWEVER, NEVER UNPLUG THE CAR DURING A STORM!!!!<i>

    Seriously? We're already talking about a pretty rare event (direct hit on the house). What are the odds that the house will be struck in that exact 5 seconds you are touching the cable to unplug it?

    It's probably a good idea to avoid touching the cable during a storm, if possible. But if you're worried about your Model S and you didn't manage to unplug it before the storm, aren't the odds of being injured incredibly small for the tiny exposure time?
  • edited November -1
    <b>C-3PO</b>, <i>"Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3,720 to 1."</i>

    <b>Han Solo</b>, <i>"Never tell me the odds."</i>
  • edited November -1
    Our whole street lost power for 2 hours last week (weather was fine), which I was told by our utility (PEPCO, Maryland) was due to a power surge. Only damage was my mobile connector, which was totally fried. (Tesla service center said they'd never seen anything like it before.) Unfortunately, since it was not a problem with the manufacture of the equipment, I had to pay $650 for a new mobile connector cable.

    As a result of this learning experience, is anyone aware of a "surge protector" which could be inserted between my NEMA 14-50 garage outlet and the mobile connector cable? Thanks!
  • edited November -1
    Submit the bill to your power company. My local power company (PG&E) reimbursed me for equipment damaged by their power surge. That was before I rewired my house to accommodate my (then) newly arriving MS, but I included whole house surge protection as part of the work.
  • edited November -1
    Perhaps this would be a lesson to us to unplug our UMCs when power goes out, to protect it for when power is restored.
  • edited November -1
    My house is about a hundred and fifty years old. In the back yard, maybe a hundred feet from the house, is a metal flag pole that is taller than the house. I never could figure out if it was an old fashioned lightning rod or a remnant from WWl when the house was used by the military. I've always hoped it was offering some protection from lightning damage.
  • edited November -1
    Nice product, reasonable price. Wonder how it would interface with a battery buffer ...
  • edited November -1
    If you get hit by a direct lightning strike, there's nothing that can guarantee that your connected equipment won't be damaged.

    The EV Surge Protector above uses a traditional "shunt to ground" approach, which can be effective in many cases but does present risk of polluting the ground wire, which can fry your computer network interfaces (and often the motherboard they reside on) and other sensitive equipment which is tied to ground.

    But I haven't seen any series mode surge protectors (i.e. Brick Wall, SurgeX) that can handle the kind of current that we typically use in car charging.
  • edited November -1
    @PV_Dave @US-PA I don't thing there is anything residential you can buy that will protect against a direct lightning strike. The product I suggested above is still better than nothing. I'm not completely sure but I think even the HPWC has some protection.
  • edited November -1
    @hpjtv: Agreed, I'm not aware of anything that you can buy that will completely protect a connected (i.e. plugged in) device against a direct lightning strike. A direct lightning strike can even damage some types of unplugged devices. Lighting is explicitly excluded from the HPWC limited warranty.

    Per less severe power problems, the user manual for the HPWC states:

    "Temporary problems such as ground faults or utility power surges are overcome automatically."

    But I didn't see any technical information on how that protection is implemented.
  • edited November -1
    @PV_Dave @US-PA Thanks. Either way, I'd rather my UMC or HPWC blow up than my MS :)
  • edited November -1
    Good video on surge protection for Model S:
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