Solar cameras provide security at remote sites

Issue 7 2021 CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring

Hikvision’s new solar camera range is helping to maximise security at sites where no reliable grid energy source is available.

Hikvision’s product manager for IP cameras, Jayson Gao, says there are many reasons customers are looking for solar-powered monitoring and security solutions rather than traditional IP cameras. In some cases, a power supply may not be available – especially in remote locations such as mines or farms – making it impossible to monitor and protect people and assets using traditional wireless or wired cameras.

He adds that the drive to solar powered surveillance is occurring around the world. In North America, for example, farmers are looking to monitor their livestock and installations effectively, even though some of their land is off grid. In Africa, we have people who want to minimise the impact of power cuts with solar and battery backup. While in the Middle East, energy companies are deploying solar cameras to monitor high-voltage power towers and oil pipelines more effectively in remote locations.

A compact, powerful solution

While solar cameras have been around for many years, Gao explains that in the past they usually required bundling multiple products in an ad h oc way. This could include a solar panel, in some cases plus a wind turbine, storage batteries, a 4G router and the security camera. This often led to bulky equipment, a short battery life and high costs both for equipment procurement and installation.

One of the main problems in those early days was that the power consumption of traditional security cameras was very high, resulting in large battery units and solar panels and the battery life was only enough for one day. “The ideal product is small enough in size and light enough to facilitate transportation and easy setup.

In that way, the installation cost will be greatly reduced,” Gao adds. “Equally important, if the power consumption is reduced to a low level, battery life can be longer. That is why we created an integrated solution at Hikvision.”

Hikvision’s solar cameras

Hikvision’s solar cameras integrate those disparate components in one unit, including a high-resolution 4G camera, rechargeable battery and solar panel. The units look neat and compact, they’re much smaller and lighter overall, down to 13 kg in some cases, so a single person can easily install the solution at remote sites. They have a much longer battery life and offer clear and coloured images in even the lowest-light conditions and even at night.

Gao says the benefit of these cameras is that they are designed to continue recording video footage even after many cloudy days with very little sunshine. “This is achieved by both minimising the power consumption of the camera (down to as little as 2 Watts in some cases), while also maximising power-storage efficiency in the unit’s rechargeable battery.

Moreover, the units are designed from the ground up to be rugged, making them suitable for deployment in any kind of outdoor environment. For example, the units are all waterproof, compliant with IP67 and anti-corrosion ratings and certified for category 10 or 12 typhoon resistance. “Our cameras can also operate normally at both very high and low temperatures, further hardening them for challenging outdoor environments.”

To meet the needs of customers with different budgets, Hikvision offers two types of solar cameras. The Advanced series offers high resolution at 8 MP, it includes Hikvision AcuSense and ColorVu technology for smart security monitoring and full-colour images, day and night. The series can withstand adverse weather conditions like low temperature, strong winds and heavy rains. There’s also the cost-effective Standard series, which offers simple recording capabilities with 4 MP image resolution. It also incorporates our ColorVu technology for high-quality, colour imaging in low-light conditions.


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