Hikvision is helping to ensure a safe and reliable electricity supply across South Africa with the deployment of a remote surveillance monitoring solution covering thousands of electricity substations and power transmission lines.
The largest electricity power distributor in South Africa, Eskom, operates a network of 400 000 km of overhead power lines and several thousand electricity substations providing electricity to domestic and business customers. In recent years, critical power infrastructure has become a target for cable and metal theft, resulting in vastly expensive and disruptive damage.
To combat the wide-scale problem, Eskom enlisted the help of a South African investigations company, Combined Private Investigations (CPI). “Copper and metal theft targeting power transmission infrastructure has become a real problem for maintaining the supply of electricity in South Africa,” says Roy Robertson, principal director of CPI. “The impact of downtime for a substation hit by material theft can be significant, with loss of power to homes, hospitals, schools, factories and public transport services, so it was vital to our client that the theft incident rate should be significantly reduced.
“We needed to protect the most vulnerable and remote electricity substations, as these sites were experiencing the highest percentage of theft and service disruption. CPI strives to capitalise on the latest technologies to support an intelligence driven approach. As such, we approached Hikvision to provide the latest electronic security solutions.”
Collaborating with Hikvision, CPI assessed the most effective technical specification of products to detect and deter the thefts. The specification formed a blueprint to be installed at all of the vulnerable electricity substations across South Africa.
CPI installed Hikvision DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 and DS-2DE5120W-AE cameras covering the internal and perimeter areas of each remote site. Equipped with 4 MP resolution, 120 dB Wide Dynamic Range, 3D DNR, EXIR high performance LEDs and 80-metre IR range, the DS-2CD2T42WD-I8 4 MP EXIR Network Bullet Camera was the right choice to monitor the substations, utilising its advanced performance to provide clear images day and night.
Additionally, the Hikvision DS-2DE5120W-AE 1.3MP 20X Network PTZ Cameras were used to provide 3D intelligent positioning and 20X Optical Zoom, to deliver instant visual confirmation on any on-site intruder detection – all in 1.3 MP resolution.
In conjunction with PIR devices covering the sites’ perimeters, the Hikvision camera’s Smart Video Content Analytics (VCA) technology was set-up to perform Line Detection, to confirm alarm activations and eliminate false alarms.
Recorded to Hikvision IDS-9632 NXI-1816S Embedded Plug & Play NVRs, up to 6 Megapixel recording resolution and a capacity of up to 4 SATA interfaces ensured the high-quality of local recording needed. Both live and recorded images are transmitted over a wireless LAN, back to CPI’s central control room.
At the control room, Hikvision iVMS 5200 software with optional Video Wall driver was deployed to enable the monitoring of thousands of remote sites 24/7. In the event of an automated intruder alert being activated, surveillance operators can visually verify activity in seconds. During the process, all evidential video is tagged and automatically archived for future identification and prosecution usage.
“The Hikvision surveillance system ensures we can respond rapidly to any intrusion detected at the sites,” continues Robertson. “Our response teams are equipped to attend sites quickly, to catch perpetrators in the act. The Hikvision camera images have proved critical in detecting and prosecuting offenders of metal theft, they have reduced incidents and enable us to visually confirm the precise cause of an alarm. This means we no longer need to deploy personnel to a site when it may be just a false alarm – saving valuable man hours and costs, vastly improving the effectiveness of our service.
“We are rolling-out the Hikvision-based security blueprint to many other power substations across South Africa. To date, over 1 000 electrical substations are protected by Hikvision systems – making a real difference to the provision of reliable power to all sections of industry and society across South Africa.”
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