Solar-powered cameras keep construction site safe

CCTV Handbook 2022 Surveillance

Building material shortages and rising prices fuelled a rise in construction site thefts in New Zealand, which has prompted worries among builders, project managers and contractors.

The DECHO Group is one of Auckland’s most innovative land developers, serving the civil infrastructure, industrial and building markets. DECHO’s newly launched Coast Garden project is a new, premium development under construction in the highly sought-after Hobsonville Peninsula locale. The exclusive Coast Garden development is a brand new 4.3-hectare subdivision delivering waterfront living on an elevated clifftop site on the peninsula.

“We needed a security solution to protect our high-value items such as machinery, tools, copper and other building materials,” said Ning Zhao, director of DECHO. “Our projects don’t get completed overnight. It can take months and even years to execute a single project. The construction sites endure all kinds of weather, power issues, security problems and many other challenges. Therefore, we wanted a solution that boosts security quickly and easily with simple installation and is suited for deployment in any kind of outdoor environment, and without the need for a fixed network or power supply.”

Hikvision’s solar-powered solution

To protect its valuable tools and equipment, DECHO researched several options, and deployed Hikvision’s solar-powered security camera setup. EXIR Fixed Bullet Solar Power 4G Network Cameras and 4K ColorVu Fixed Bullet Solar Power 4G Network Camera Kits were placed around the perimeter of DECHO’s Coast Garden construction site.

The solar-powered security camera setup uses a 40-Watt photovoltaic panel and a highly durable 20 Ah rechargeable Lithium battery to power a Hikvision EXIR Fixed Bullet Solar Power 4G Network Camera. Because the setup acquires power from the sun, there is no need for fixed power or network cables on site. With the product’s smart power management features, each setup can provide up to seven days of operation during cloudy or rainy periods when fully charged.

Its 4G camera further adds a 32 GB eMMC (embedded multi-media card) in addition to an SD memory card. This ensures continuous video recording even if there is a problem with the SD card.

The solar-powered cameras come equipped with Hikvision’s ColorVu and AcuSense technologies. ColorVu technology gives cameras the ability to produce high-quality, full-colour images in low-light conditions. With AcuSense technology, AI-powered perimeter protection enables target classification based on deep learning. If the perimeter is breached by a person or vehicle, the cameras can automatically push event-triggered notifications to users’ mobile devices.

Time and cost savings

According to Zhao, the fact that the Hikvision solar-powered cameras can be installed hassle-free was a key deployment feature for the company. The pole-mounted unit weighs just 14 kg, and no wires or cabling are required, making the deployment process fast, easy and cost-effective. “With its own power source, each Hikvision camera can be deployed anywhere on the site without having to route cables, saving valuable time and resources, which could be redirected to other critical tasks to help the company complete construction on time,” said Zhao.

A safeguarded site 24/7, in any weather

Empowered by ColorVu technology, the cameras offer clear vision in extremely dark environments. “Construction site compounds are most vulnerable to theft at night,” commented Zhao. “With these cameras installed, our valuables are now well protected during vulnerable out-of-hours periods.”

Besides that, intrusions can now be detected accurately and addressed immediately. As the AcuSense technology embedded in the cameras helps to differentiate between humans and other moving objects such as animals, falling leaves or heavy rain, false positives are minimised, and DECHO will be alerted only in the event of real security threats.

In addition, being waterproof and dust-resistant, the solar power cameras are suitable for deployment in any kind of outdoor environment. “These cameras are sturdy enough to withstand the harsh conditions on the construction site, as well as Auckland’s frequent rainy and windy weather,” said Zhao.

Expanding sustainability while reducing costs

Requiring only a single solar panel, the self-contained setup operates for up to seven days on a single battery charge, which delivers significant cost savings for DECHO. In addition, powered by clean and renewable energy, the solar cameras not only help to save operational costs for the building firm, but also reduce the company’s carbon footprint. Zhao added, “We work hard to build a green culture within DECHO. Deploying a solar-powered wireless camera system represents an opportunity to have an immediately positive impact on sustainability.”


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