Arteco VMS for solar farm

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Located in the Northern Cape and managing up to 75 MW daily of solar energy, the Renewable Energy Investments of South Africa (REISA) solar plant, situated 20 kilometres outside of Kathu and active nationally since February of 2014, needed to cover six kilometres of perimeter along with adjoining substation, gates and operational buildings.

According to Quentin Clarke, managing partner of system integrator Complete Security Services, the Kathu solar farm is a tracking-type farm and is one of the first of its kind to be commissioned in South Africa, providing power distribution to the national grid. It therefore required a robust perimeter intrusion detection system (PIDS) and a flexible and reliable VMS to ensure security.

Clarke added that Complete Security Systems, a level 4 BEE company from Muldersdrift, has been active in the security market for 21 years: “We specialise in integrated solutions for our customers and conduct full turnkey security solutions with in-house resources. We have a staff of approximately 40 divided between technical cabling and fitting, to senior techicians and programmers or commissioning engineers and the associated administration staff.”

He went on to add that they are not product bound and generally find installations and commission the best product that suits the clients requirements and are therefore trained and certified on several different brand security products.

Their independence and knowledge of the industry were important factors in determining their choice for Arteco as the VMS provider. Originally, the project was commissioned to CIAS, a leading perimeter protection company and partner of Arteco.

The client’s requirement was for a single operating platform with a map display interface that would allow for real-time monitoring of all CCTV camera analytic alarms, all microwave barriers and all alarm systems. The system also needed to control 36 LED light fittings on the perimeter that were to be used as ‘surprise lights’ that would light up when the microwave barriers were triggered.

However, the integration of the competitor’s solution with CIAS was only properly functional when a single output from IB system IP was used to send events to the VMS and would only work occasionally when more than one was used.

Clarke commented: “This issue, as well as the cost of adding analytics that were effective to the previous management platform, were the major issues in requiring the change to Arteco. The added benefits were that Arteco offered a far superior interactive map to the system.”

Project specifications

1. 140 Arteco channels.

2. 45 Ermo 480X barriers (42 x 250 m and 3 x 150 m).

3. 1 Arteco Everywhere Smart I/O 4+4 I/O.

4. The perimeter is approximately 6 km in length with 113 cameras on the perimeter and the balance on an adjoining substation, gates and operational buildings.

5. 75 MW peak solar energy distribution (this is the maximum regulated by SA law for a solar farm).

For more information contact Arteco, +39 348 365 5736,,


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