Solar powered surveillance cameras have become a popular option for those wishing to secure remote locations with little to no access to a traditional power source. Additionally, the use of solar power is an environmentally friendly form of surveillance, causing minimal impact to the land. So what do you need to accomplish this? We’ll go over everything you need to know here.
What factors to consider:
The first thing you will want to consider is the type of battery you need. You should be sure to get solar batteries that are capable of recharging quickly. You will also want to ensure that they are able to store enough power for continuous monitoring.
Further, the power supply voltage of your battery must match the voltage of the cameras. 12V and 24V are the most common options you will come across. They require less power and deliver more power respectively. The type of power supply you use is important to know because if you use a 12V power supply with a 24V camera, you will not have enough energy to operate the camera; and if you use a 24V power supply with a 12V camera, you will fry the device, rendering it inoperable.
You will also need to use outdoor security cameras with a good IP rating. Ingress protection ratings rank how well a camera is sealed and protected from water, dust, snow, dirt and other elements. For most environments, an IP65 rating would be sufficient, providing protection against water projected from a nozzle. However, you can also gain up to IP68-rated protection from complete, continuous submersion in water.
Proper placement is imperative for your solar powered cameras to function optimally. The solar panel should face the equator for maximum exposure to sunlight. The panel should also be angled at an optimal tilt to further allow the unit to capture the most energy possible. Before switching from traditional to solar power, you will want to connect your camera to WiFi and fully charge the battery pack to simplify the installation process.
The financial cost of solar power can dissuade some from the idea. All the equipment can be expensive, typically ranging between $400-1000 on top of the cost of the surveillance system. Additionally, some cameras use cellular service to survey remote locations. The data charge for this signal can add up and become a frustrating expense to deal with. Though you will save money on the cost of power in the long run depending on your use, solar power can be a serious initial investment.
How to do it:
If you are interested in using solar power for your surveillance system, there are two ways to go about it. First, you can purchase an off the shelf solar powered camera or security system. This is the easiest option as it gives you direct access, without any alteration or further setup required. Second, you can create a DIY solar powered system, this allows you to customize and use an existing outdoor wireless camera system. This can save you money if you’ve already invested in a surveillance system or if you want to add to your system over a period of time.
What you’ll need:
Outdoor Wireless IP Security Camera
Outdoor security cameras are IP-rated for protection from weather and environmental conditions. Because solar powered cameras are used outside, it is important to select devices that will be safe and work correctly in those conditions. The camera should also be wireless, connecting to the internet via Wifi, as this will allow for the independent connection you are trying to accomplish.
You will also need solar panels to collect your power source. The number of solar panels you will require depends on the amount of cameras and other equipment you plan to power. You want to make sure that the panel space is large and efficient enough to properly power all the devices as well as charge them quickly for times when the sun is unavailable.
These power devices will properly convert the power from your solar panels into usable power for the security cameras. If you want to power an AC surveillance camera with a DC battery, the power needs to be changed into the correct format, and vice versa.
Solar Battery Pack
Power consumption of CCTV cameras varies due to different features like IR vision at night or pan, tilt, zoom functionality. Therefore, you will need to be pumping out power at significant speeds. Solar batteries will allow you to store power for nighttime surveillance or cloudy weather conditions.
Solar Charge Controller
These devices work to keep power at an optimal level and prevent the cells from overcharging. This is primarily designed to protect larger systems with multiple cameras and panels and is typically considered unnecessary for small 1-5 Watt trickle charge panels.
If you are thinking about installing solar powered cameras in a location that has access to power, or are simply off-put by the price of solar powered security, you may want to consider a few other options. Battery powered cameras are a good, covert option for surveillance without connection to power. These devices can effectively secure an area and store data on an internal memory card slot or transmit it via WiFi. They are also less expensive while still providing a similar effect. The only downside is that you will have to remember to charge or swap the batteries or else your cameras will be useless. Another alternative option would be to use network cameras compatible with power over Ethernet. This provides a simple and secure connection to your network and power with minimal wiring.
2MCCTV offers a wide range of surveillance system equipment available at the best prices. Log on and give us a call today, we would love to help you out with all of your security needs. We provide installation services as well as technical support to not only give you a great security system, but also to keep it functioning properly.
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