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News

Video Analytics Protect Italian Solar Farms

March Networks : 01 August, 2011  (Application Story)
Renewable energy generators in 50 locations in Ital are being protected by Video management and analytics provided by March Networks

March Networks has been selected along with local partner Campus to provide its Video Management System (VMS) platform and advanced video analytics for the protection of 50 remote solar farms across southern Italy.

Italy currently represents the second largest market in the world for solar farms. The sites can cost millions or hundreds of millions of dollars to build depending on their size and design, and may operate for years before those costs can be recouped. Most are located in isolated rural areas, making them prime targets for the night-time theft of valuable solar panels and copper materials, which can cause delays in energy production and economic success. In one recent incident, 230 solar panels were stolen from a single site in Italy, at a cost to the operator of EUR 250,000.

The March Networks VMS software was selected for its scalability, and provides the high-performance and efficient video management needed to effectively secure dispersed critical infrastructure sites. The company’s PTZ IP cameras and four-channel Edge encoders feature both industry-leading H.264 and MPEG-4 video compression to support flexible video streaming in low bandwidth environments. When combined with the advanced intelligence and event-recognition features in the March Networks’ intrusion detection analytics, the system is programmed to only initiate video transmission to central monitoring stations when alarms are triggered. The alerts are confirmed by recorded images or real-time evidence, which allows monitoring staff to assess and quickly determine an optimal solution to the threat. As a result, the monitoring is more focused and fewer resources are needed. 

“It is cost-prohibitive to monitor all of the farms on a 24/7 basis, but with solar panels and copper scrap increasing in value, they represent a significant theft risk,” said Paolo Matarrese, Sales Representative, Campus, “Stolen or damaged equipment must not only be replaced at the operator’s cost, but can also disrupt energy production significantly. We selected the March Networks solution for its high reliability, remote video management and integrated analytics, which combine to provide the security intelligence our customers need to guarantee uninterrupted solar energy production.”

“Critical infrastructure operations are often very expensive to build, widely-dispersed, and difficult and costly to secure,” said Net Payne, Chief Marketing Officer, March Networks. “Our solutions support the centralized monitoring and management of hundreds or thousands of remote sites and provide our customers with the reliability and cost-effectiveness they require.”

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