G5 Solar Storm: What It Means for Your Electronics (and How Power Line Filters Help)

Solar storms, caused by solar phenomena like sunspots and coronal mass ejections, can have a significant impact on electric power systems. These geomagnetic disturbances can lead to widespread power outages, affecting everything from residential homes to critical infrastructure. In this article, we explore the role of power line filters in mitigating the effects of solar storms and ensuring the reliability of our electrical grids.

Understanding Geomagnetic Storms

Geomagnetic storms occur when solar activity disrupts the Earth’s magnetic field. These disturbances can induce currents in power lines, transformers, and other electrical equipment. The severity of these storms varies, but extreme cases can lead to system-wide failures.

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The Hydro-Québec Incident

One notable example occurred in March 1989, when a geomagnetic disturbance caused the entire Hydro-Québec power grid to collapse. Six million customers in Canada were left without electricity for 9 hours. Power stations in the Northeastern United States were also affected. This event highlighted the vulnerability of power systems to solar storms.

The Recent Solar Storm: A stark reminder

On 11th May, 2024, Earth experienced a powerful G5-class solar storm, the strongest type recorded in recent history. This event originated from a sunspot region called AR3664 and unleashed an X5.8-class flare. While the Earth’s magnetosphere shielded us from the worst effects, the storm caused disruptions, including:

  • Aurora sightings at unusually low latitudes: The vibrant auroras, typically confined to polar regions, were visible across much of Europe, including reports from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and even as far south as northern Spain. This southward reach of the auroras highlights the intensity of the geomagnetic activity.
  • Potential impact on radio communications: High-frequency radio signals might have experienced temporary disruptions during the storm.

The Role of Power Line Filters (EMI Filters)

Power line filters act as a protective barrier between the power source and the equipment being powered. Here’s how they help:

  1. Reducing Electromagnetic Interference (EMI):
    • EMI refers to unwanted electrical noise that can interfere with sensitive equipment. Power line filters suppress high-frequency noise, ensuring cleaner power delivery.
    • By filtering out EMI, these devices prevent disturbances from propagating through the electrical grid.
  2. Enhancing System Reliability:
    • Installing power line filters improves the overall reliability of power systems. They stabilise voltage levels and reduce the risk of sudden voltage spikes.
    • In critical applications (such as hospitals, data centres, and communication networks), power line filters are essential for uninterrupted operation.
  3. Compliance with Regulations:
    • International regulations govern electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) and radio frequency interference (RFI). Power line filters help meet these standards.
    • Compliance ensures that equipment doesn’t emit excessive noise into the power grid, preventing interference with other devices.
  4. Customisation and Support:
    • United Automation offers customised power line filter solutions tailored to the specific needs of manufacturing environments. Their team of experts provides comprehensive support, from initial design consultations to ongoing technical assistance, ensuring that customers receive the most effective protection against possible disruptions.

Solar Power Inverters and EMI Filtering

In solar photovoltaic systems, power inverters convert DC power from solar panels into AC power for use in homes and businesses. These inverters are susceptible to EMI. By incorporating line filters, we can:

  1. Improve System Performance: Clean power reduces wear and tear on inverters, extending their lifespan.
  2. Protect Sensitive Electronics: Inverters often contain control circuits and microprocessors. Filtering prevents damage due to EMI.
  3. Ensure Grid Stability: Solar power contributes to the grid. EMI-free inverters prevent disturbances from affecting other connected devices.


In an era of increasing reliance on technology and automation in manufacturing, the need for resilient power management solutions has never been greater. United Automation’s power line filters stand at the forefront of this effort, offering robust protection against the unpredictable forces of solar storms, including the recent G5-class event. These filters not only safeguard equipment during extreme events but also mitigate the effects of smaller, more frequent geomagnetic disturbances that can disrupt operations. By incorporating these innovative filters into their operations, manufacturers can minimize downtime, protect equipment, and maintain productivity, ensuring continuity and resilience in today’s ever-changing environment.

For manufacturers seeking reliable power control solutions and unparalleled support, United Automation remains the trusted partner of choice. With their industry-leading power line filters and commitment to customer satisfaction, United Automation empowers manufacturers to navigate the challenges of solar storms with confidence. To learn more about United Automation’s power line filters and other industrial power control products, visit their website at and discover how they can help safeguard your equipment against disruptive events.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Always consult experts for specific recommendations regarding power system protection.

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