Those in charge of solar farm security manage a range of threats. Operators of solar farms need to secure sites to avoid theft and maintain operational continuity. CCTV monitoring is our go-to solution within the solar industry.
The rural location of most solar farms can present significant security challenges. Environmental factors need to be considered. And lighting can often be an issue with footage clarity. Fortunately for our solar industry customers, Safeguard Systems is a highly technical, solutions-based business.
As experts in solar farm security systems, we have the experience and knowledge to design and install systems that consider and negate these factors.
This blog is a collaboration between Safeguard Systems and Greg Stuttle of GJD Manufacturing. Greg is a professional friend of the business and a key partner in supplying hardware for the solar farm security systems we design and install.
The Benefits Of Infra-Red Lighting For Solar Farm CCTV Monitoring
To summarise, the main benefits of integrating Infra-Red (IR) lighting within a solar farm security system are:
- Improved image quality and penetration
- Reduced false alarms
- Coverage area
- Catching and apprehending more intruders in low-light conditions
Improved Image Quality & Penetration
Solar farms are usually located in remote, rural locations. Where security lighting can be used effectively at an industrial site, environmental factors and laws may prohibit its use in rural locations.
IR LED illuminators help the CCTV cameras provide crystal clear images in low-light situations. They also help improve analytics and reduce false alarms. Image clarity is key if you are to catch criminals. You can see an example of the improved footage provided by integrating IR illuminators into a solar farm CCTV system.
Quote from Greg:
“The use of IR lighting is common in requests for rural applications. This is due to considerations around protecting wildlife and light pollution.”
Reducing the Impact of False Alarms
When operating in low-light conditions, false alarms can be an issue.
Birds, spiders and other wildlife may trigger a sensor, due to the rural setting of most solar fields. When considering perimeter protection and detection, other larger animals can trigger the analytics whilst grazing close to the fence.
False alarms not only waste time, they can also increase operating costs due to call-out charge and keyholder response. Security teams need to make an informed decision when a system is triggered. If the system raises an alarm at night, and the system footage is poor, a decision has to be made on whether to attend the site.
LED-based IR illuminators negate this headache. Image quality is retained at night and therefore reduces the impact of false alarms.
When incorporated with video analytics, false alarms can be largely negated.
Quote from Greg:
“Due to the rural setting of these sites, spiders and other insects can trigger sensors or analytics. By moving the illumination directly away from the lens, any wildlife will be attracted to the light, and not the camera. If the cameras lenns remains uncompromised, fewer false alarms will occur. “
Infrared lighting massively helps improve image quality and the overall effectiveness of a solar farm CCTV system. It also helps deliver a wider coverage area, even in darker corners of a site, to help eliminate deep-shadow problems.
Effective infrared lighting allows your security cameras to capture crystal-clear images that optimise your system’s performance. They can be effective at over 250 metres from the camera positions.
Quote from Greg:
“This is right. With the range of LED lights available, you can cover distances from 10 to 250 metres. You can also use a diffuser to help change the field of view for the light from a 10 degree spread to 95 degrees.”
Catching and Apprehending More Intruders in Low-Light conditions
O&M companies, operating in the solar industry are at risk of being the victim of various forms of crime, such as:
- Organised theft of panels and wiring
- Vandalism and sabotage
By using LED IR lighting, you negate the limitations of using standard security floodlights.
Whilst security lights may be a deterrent in practice, as discussed earlier in this article, environmental considerations will limit their usage at many rural locations.
Additionally, IR lighting is invisible to the human eye. Therefore, this gives security teams the opportunity to monitor break-ins as they happen, follow the perpetrators without them knowing and take the appropriate action.
Quote from Greg:
“White LED lights can act as a deterrent. IR lighting can provide an element of stealth to your security operations. If the intruder is unaware they are being monitored, the appropriate action can be taken, and the criminal caught.”
Solar Farm Security, Perimeter Protection and CCTV Monitoring Experts
Safeguard Systems are expert installers of solar farm security systems across the UK. Over the past few years we have designed and installed a range of CCTV monitoring, perimeter security, and protection systems at dozens of solar sites across the UK.
Talk To An Expert.
Send us a message today and one of our solar farm security experts will be in touch to discuss your requirements.