The Advantages of Solar-powered Security Systems

If you’re looking to keep a site secure, then you’ll want to invest in the right technologies. CCTV cameras, alarms and motion sensors can help your security staff to do their jobs much more easily. In some situations, they can even do great work entirely on their own, providing a deterrent against wrongdoing, and capturing evidence of any incidents which do occur to help secure a prosecution.

Devices like this can be powered in a few different ways. Increasingly popular today are solar-powered solutions which are sustained, partly or solely, by the power of the sun. Let’s examine this technology, and see how it might benefit your site.

Wireless

One of the biggest struggles when installing a CCTV system is wiring. Sometimes, you might wish to install a camera in a given location, only to run into difficulty threading cables to the vantage point in question. You might subsequently waste time, energy and money getting those cables up and attached to a suitable surface.

Wires are especially troublesome in construction sites, where the landscape is constantly shifting. Surveillance needs to be able to adjust to cope with these shifts. Unfortunately, it’s construction sites which are the most vulnerable to crime: they’re more open and therefore more easily intruded-upon, they offer plenty of unfamiliar faces to help a wrongdoer blend in, and they contain a plethora of high-value goods.

Cables aren’t just impractical from the point of view of ease of installation. They’re also vulnerable to sabotage and wear-and-tear. If an aspiring thief should notice a cable leading up to a camera, they need only sever it with a one-pound pair of wire-cutters in order to render the camera inoperable.

Wires themselves also represent a tempting target for thieves. They can be easily severed, stripped and sold for scrap. While most thieves will tend to target chunkier, copper-rich cabling, a length of smaller power cable is sure to make a break-in worth their while.

It’s for these reasons that wireless data transmission is becoming the norm. But a solar panel, incorporated directly into the camera itself, can help us to eliminate power cabling, too. The camera’s battery will constantly charge throughout the day, meaning that we needn’t worry about the power supply every being interrupted.

Flexible

We’ve already talked about the fact that wireless cameras are more easily installed. But this doesn’t just apply to the point that we’re first establishing a security presence on a site. Over time, you might wish to move a camera from one location to another. A solar-powered camera allows you to do this easily, without the headache of having to consider where the wires will have to go.

If you’re running a construction site, or a series of them, this is especially advantageous. Just consider how much energy and effort you’ll commit to unnecessary wiring if you’re engaging in several builds a year. If you’re doing several dozen, or even more, then this might be even more troubling.

A wireless, solar-powered camera, by contrast, can be easily moved from one site to another to provide immediate and simple coverage. If you consider how many hours of labour might be saved by this advance, any additional cost incurred by a solar panel will be rendered quickly negligible.

Cheap

That’s not the only respect in which a solar panel or two might save money. It’s also worth considering the cost of the electricity itself. The average security camera will use around five watts, and will be active constantly. Over the course of a lifetime in which it’s drawing power day-in, day-out, this can amount to a significant expenditure. If the camera is powered entirely by the sun’s rays, however, this isn’t an expenditure that you’ll need to make.

Factor in the cost of the installation, the wiring, the power and the time consumed, and the financial case for a solar-powered security system becomes self-evident. In the long run, making the switch to a solar-powered system will save money.

Environmentally friendly

Let’s also think about the impact that traditional cameras and alarms have on the environment. To be sure, a solar panel will confer an environmental cost when it’s manufactured. The silicon wafers from which each panel is made are sandwiched between sheets of plastic, which must be extracted from the ground and processed before construction. In order for a panel to be considered environmentally friendly, then, we should look to offset this cost.

By switching to a solar-panel-based security system, we’ll eliminate many other environmental burdens which have, heretofore, been thought of as inescapable. Just think of the quantity of plastic required to put a length of cabling together, and how much of the stuff is used in a single site security system. All that protective shielding must be pulled out from the ground, processed, and shaped, all of which requires tremendous energy. Then we should consider the conductive material inside, which, too, must be spun into a long length of cable running in either directions. If you’re going to be using your cable outdoors, as security cameras often necessitate, then you’ll need to use far sturdier cabling to avoid replacements, which means that a tough protective sleeving must be used. All of this amounts to a significant environmental burden.

Then there’s also the environmental cost of draining energy from the grid. Paying for power won’t just place a strain on your wallet; it’ll mean that somewhere out there, fossil fuels are likely being consumed in order to keep the system running. A solar-powered security system avoids this; once the panels, cameras and alarms are in place, they’ll be entirely self-contained and self-sustaining.

In conclusion

Solar panel technology has long represented an attractive alternative to traditional security systems – but it’s only in recent years that the technology has become efficient and affordable enough to represent a seriously attractive alternative. If you’re looking to invest in the long-term security of your site, then solar technology is surely an option worth examining carefully.