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So, my car was hit by lightning at the Grove City, OH supercharger...

Going back to the video, the normal North American video frame rate is 30 Hz or 1 frame per 33 ms. If the flash to boom time is within a video frame, the lightening was within 33 feet or 10 meters.

That's close!!!

I think you're slightly off. I count 7 frames between initial visual indication of the strike (the lightning actually has two strikes visible) and the first indication of the boom. This would mean the strike was 80 meters away.
 
Speed of sound is 340.29 meters/s, not 5 miles/s, so if took 0.10 seconds from light to sound of the thunder, that means, that the lightning stuck about 34 meters away.

Speed of sound - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

And to all EV owners. Always disconnect your charging cable from your car during the lightning storm.

Indoors and out?

If I can't charge indoors on my L2 EVSE in a fully enclosed garage I'll never get to charge my car. We have tons of storms here.
 

FlasherZ

Sig Model S + Sig Model X + Model 3 Resv
Jun 21, 2012
7,030
1,030
Keep in mind also that the video and audio are multiplexed and which frame the audio starts in relation to the video frame isn't always precise. Audio may be off by a frame or so. Bottom line - it was obviously very close to affect the car and whether it was 10 meters, 80 meters, or somewhere in between, it's way too close for comfort.

A friend of mine experienced a direct strike in a pickup truck in the middle of a highway a couple of years ago; instantly, everything died and stranded him.

(My 1985 Olds Cutlass Ciera had an ECM but if you pulled the fuse it would fall back on some default mechanical settings on the carburetor, etc.; it would run very roughly, but it would run nonetheless. I suspect, though, that a direct lightning strike would weld the points together on even the most mechanical of cars that I have - 1964 1/2 Mustang and 1965 Pontiac GTO.)
 

S4WRXTTCS

Well-Known Member
May 3, 2015
6,852
8,421
Snohomish, WA
Going back to the video, the normal North American video frame rate is 30 Hz or 1 frame per 33 ms. If the flash to boom time is within a video frame, the lightening was within 33 feet or 10 meters.

There is no more normal north american video frame rate. There is the NTSC format, but that's 60Hz Interlaced. So any time calculation would use 1/60 per frame assuming you had access to the interlaced frames.

With Digital Camera's these days the frame rate can be anywhere from 15fps all the way to 120fps. Not only that it can be easily converted to some other frame rate when transferring it from the dash cam to the youtube video.

The best way to figure out the frame rate is to use the time stamp on the video. You just count how many frames per second to give you the frame rate. Once you have that then use the fact that the event happened a little over half way into a frame. So you have pretty good accuracy video wise. The only question is how well video is sync'd. It's probably good enough for our use.
 
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Glad you are safe! How come the dash cam wasn't affected? Is it because it was "inside" the car or is it shielded from ESD? I wonder what components of the car are protected for ESD.

That dashcam has a 'battery' backup (might be a resistor, end result is the same), it records a few seconds after power is pulled (so that in a crash, it can capture additional footage). That said, since it kept recording for some time, it doesn't appear like the power from the car to the dashcam was cut, or at least not for very long at all.
 

Cottonwood

Roadster#433, Model S#S37
Feb 27, 2009
5,089
182
Colorado
There is no more normal north american video frame rate. There is the NTSC format, but that's 60Hz Interlaced. So any time calculation would use 1/60 per frame assuming you had access to the interlaced frames.

With Digital Camera's these days the frame rate can be anywhere from 15fps all the way to 120fps. Not only that it can be easily converted to some other frame rate when transferring it from the dash cam to the youtube video.

The best way to figure out the frame rate is to use the time stamp on the video. You just count how many frames per second to give you the frame rate. Once you have that then use the fact that the event happened a little over half way into a frame. So you have pretty good accuracy video wise. The only question is how well video is sync'd. It's probably good enough for our use. If you wanted something more exact you'd have to have an owner point the camera a drum and then drum.

You are correct about the multiplicity of frame rates in the digital age, and that the old NTSC (National Television Standards Committee) frame rate is 30 Hz, interlaced at 60 Hz (actually 29.97 and 59.94 Hz).

On the other hand, the YouTube video is 1080p and the vast majority of 1080p digital recorders (in areas where the line frequency is 60 Hz) record at a frame rate of 30 Hz.
 
Indoors and out?

If I can't charge indoors on my L2 EVSE in a fully enclosed garage I'll never get to charge my car. We have tons of storms here.

Both. Lightning can hit your local transformer station and an energy spike can travel down the wires into your car. That's how many of home appliances get fried with indirect lightning strike. Would you like to add your 100.000 USD Tesla to the list?

Illuminating the Dangers of Lightning Strikes - IEEE - The Institute

Lightning affects buildings both directly and indirectly. Direct effects include the burnout or even explosion of electrical power and distribution equipment. Indirect effects are caused by increases in ground voltage when lightning hits the earth, generating high electromagnetic fields. That can induce voltage and current surges in electric power and signal circuits in the area—which might in turn burn out electrical equipment. Power, telephone, data, and even underground plumbing might transfer damaging lightning surges into a building.

burnt_outlet.jpg


strike-574x202.jpg
 
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So is it worse when the car is supercharging when hit by lightning, directly or very nearby?

IMO, yes. I lost over $10,000 in computer hardware when a nearby strike hit either the cable or phone lines going into my house.

So now whenever there is a thunderstorm in my area, I unplug my vehicle since I'm sure the built-in surge protection on my EVSE won't be enough to handle a direct hit like that.

BUT I'm no electrical engineer, so I would love to hear if OP had really bad luck (or good luck, depending how you look at it), or if the risk increases significantly when connected to any type of charging station.
 

Barry

Active Member
Aug 9, 2013
1,990
1,691
Colorado
The risk of damage should be less when unplugged. Car bodies are grounded because tires are made of conductive rubber, which is why being in a car during a thunderstorm is a safe place. In theory, the inner workings of the car are within a Faraday cage and (somewhat) protectedfrom an EMP. When plugged in, that opens up a path for current to flow to the inner guts of the car.
 

AmpedRealtor

Well-Known Member
Jun 30, 2013
6,453
4,225
Phoenix, AZ
Just under 13* miles a minute, 12.66.. a minute to be exact. Sound travels 0.211.. miles a second, you forgot to divide by another 60. Which is not that fast if you compare it to light which travels at 186,282 miles a second. There is a trick to see how far away a lightning strike is. Count how many seconds it takes for the thunder to get to you after seeing the flash of lightning and for ever second is about 5 miles. Sorry for my pointless ramble.

Math is not my strong suit, clearly! lol
 

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