The Medupi power station has been in the news of late, most of it bad news. It’s not all gloom and doom for the security industry though, as it is playing a significant role in the development of the site, expected by most to be a key element in Eskom’s turnaround.
For an important site like this that needs protection both during construction as well as once up and running, Eskom implemented a thorough security plan to ensure the safety of the site and its ability to perform uninterrupted once in action.
Stallion Security won the tender to install the security systems for the site. In turn, Stallion obtained its products and services from various security distributors. Principle among these was Mass Solutions, which inter alia supplied 104 360-degree fixed cameras from Vivotek, which Stallion placed at specific points around the power-generating site.
Also on the product list from Eskom were three Panomera cameras from Dallmeier, also supplied by Mass.
The Panomera is a multifocal sensor system that offers a resolution of up to 51 megapixels and frame rates of up to 30 fps. The three systems installed at Medupi are used for site surveillance and are mounted at heights of over 200 metres. From this vantage point security operators can keep an eye on the whole site and zoom into any event and capture clear images.
These systems are mostly used to monitor industrial action and equipment damage claims at the moment. If, for example, a contractor tries to claim for damaged equipment from Eskom, the company can review clear video images of the event to determine if the damages are for Eskom’s account or the contractor’s.
Due to the speciality of the Panomera cameras, Mass and Dallmeier engineers were called in to assist Stallion in the setup and configuration of these systems to ensure their optimal functioning 24 hours per day.
Of course, the cameras are only part of the surveillance solution. Eskom also demanded that the video captured was stored for long periods of time. Mass’s technical director, Ettiene Swanepoel explains that Mass also supplied the recording hardware for the solution.
Dell servers with iSCSI RAID storage were installed to cater for the video storage for the Vivotek cameras. To cater for the 12 months of storage required, each server was linked to a 112-bay RAID system. A total of 896 terabytes of Surveon storage and the associated management software was installed for this purpose.
Footage from the Panomera cameras had to be stored for two years, which meant 2 petabytes of Dallmeier storage was installed to hold the video footage of these three surveillance systems.
Mass supplied the storage as well as certain networking components to connect the surveillance system to the site’s network. Thermal cameras were also supplied to allow security operators to maintain their surveillance coverage after dark.
To cater for perimeter protection for the large site, Medupi also installed five ground radar systems from Mass. Swanepoel says these systems are able to detect a human at a distance of 1,6 km.
At the moment all the systems delivered by Mass are installed and functioning as required. Due to the continued construction on site, however, they are not integrated into a single control room system yet. Once the site and its control room have been developed, they will all be configured to feed into the same control room to be managed centrally.
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