In the middle of a storm with the soft-top down, occupants of the new Mercedes-Benz CLK-Class Cabriolet are just as well protected against lightning as passengers in cars with a rigid roof.
Recently the The Top Gear team created an experiment to find out what it would be like if you were struck by lightning while in your car. The same holds true for lightning when it strikes metal vehicles - the outer surface carries most of the electricity.
A Faraday cage can be made out of any metal container such as tin canisters, filing cabinets, metal desks, garbage cans, or ammo cans. That's awesome reminds of something I did 20 yrs ago with battery charger and car stereo head, amp, big azz kicker box. I prefer a more substantial Faraday cage than a single layer of ungrounded tin foil, but I tend to be a *little bit* OCD about my preps, so I'm going to hedge my bets and use BOTH tinfoil AND a metal box, so I'll be doubly protected.
Even if you cannot ground your Faraday cage, it should still offer you more protection than no Faraday cage at all.
Then, he added the audio jack and mounted the speakers, using a foam egg carton for sound insulation. The state-of-the-art steel and aluminium design of the CLK soft-top - featuring main mounts that are each fastened to the car body at three points - shields the car interior from the powerful electrical fields generated by lightning strikes.


In the event of such a strike, the longitudinal struts and cross members that make up the soft-top frame assembly act like a Faraday Cage, thus allowing the electri-cal current to flow towards the outside of the frame and ensuring that the car interior remains a "field-free zone". Contrary to popular belief, the reason for this isn't because cars have rubber tyres which insulate you from the ground.
Faraday cages are named after the English scientist Michael Faraday, who invented them in 1836. In addition, cars aren't really made out of metal any longer, at least not uniformly enough so that it would protect you. Start with a metal container and something to insulate the items inside from coming into contact with the metal: newspaper, magazines, cardboard, or styrofoam, which is my preference. I have several places in my home where the copper plumbing is accessible and I try to spread my various Faraday cages out so that if one gets crushed or drowned in a quake, I still have the others to fall back on. During the series of laboratory tests carried out at Berlin's Institute for High Voltage and Power Engineering, scientists discharged several dozen lightning impulses across the CLK Cabriolet using powerful capacitors connected in series. Another reason for the extra layers of protection is that I'm going to be grounding this Faraday cage by attaching it to plumbing pipes. CLK Cabriolet confirmed the protective effect of the soft-top struc-ture acting as a Faraday Cage: the lightning current was guided harmlessly to ground via the soft-top frame assembly, the car body and the tyres.


The reason you're protected in a car during a lightning storm is actually because the car acts like a faraday cage. Anything inside the conducting object (the cage) will be protected from the external electrical current.
A complete metal shield is necessary for full protection - so if you're stranded during a lightning storm, take cover inside a car with the windows wound up. This principle was discovered by the British physicist Michael Faraday (1791-1867) at the beginning of the 19th century and still forms the basis for all so-phisticated lightning protection systems to this day.
Similarly all the doors were always kept shut, so that the metal frame forms the Faraday cage. Fibreglass bodied cars are not safe as the outside body needs to be conductive to form a Faraday cage and fibreglass is an insulator.



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