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IR detectors linked to video cameras at solar farm

Optex Europe : 03 October, 2013  (Application Story)
A solar energy farm connected to the UK's national grid is being protected with infrared Rednet perimeter sensors connected to CCTV cameras to prevent and detect intrusion
IR detectors linked to video cameras at solar farm

A major new security system comprising more than 25 of the active infrared REDNET perimeter sensors from OPTEX Europe has been specified and installed by AVA Security & Communications to protect a multi million pound solar farm in Herefordshire that provides power to the national grid.

The infrared beams (IR beams) are positioned in discrete towers alongside the CCTV cameras, which are located every 50 meters around the two kilometer perimeter. When an intrusion is detected, live images are captured and transmitted to a remote video response centre operated by Cougar Monitoring, and the appropriate action is taken.

The installation took six weeks and included close support and training from OPTEX’s technical engineers, according to Richard Beynon, Technical Director at AVA: “We always had the REDNET intrusion detection sensors in mind when designing the plans for this site,” he says. “We have installed security systems for a number of solar farms and can rely on the OPTEX technology to generate the highest capture rates and lowest false alarm rates in what are nearly always challenging environments.”

The REDNET series takes active infrared technology to the next level, utilising a 16 beam ‘net’ configuration to provide high level detection capability and can be configured to drastically decrease the level of nuisance alarms generated by wild life or environmental changes, a key consideration for both installers and central monitoring stations alike.

“There are sheep roaming around the solar panels so traditional PIRs would not have been suitable,” Richard continues, “whereas the REDNET’s have animal tolerance and are the most stable and reliable detectors we have found. We are extremely pleased with the low false alarm rate, and so too is the customer.”

Martin Dews, Business Development Executive at Cougar Monitoring is equally impressed with the low false alarm rate especially considering the geography and nature of the site: “In the two months since this installation was completed, we have received something like 300-times fewer false alarms than we would ordinarily expect from a site of this size and complexity.

“We are already recommending this system to installers that we work with due to its outstanding performance.”

Takuya Okamoto, Managing Director for OPTEX Europe says that the REDNET and other OPTEX active infrared beams are especially well suited for perimeter security applications where animals might cause false alarms: “The flexibility provided by mounting the REDNET infrared rays in towers means a huge number of configurations are possible to fit most customers’ requirements and reach a very stable intrusion detection system,” he says. “This in turn improves the operational efficiency at the remote monitoring centre in charge, and reduces the costs associated with false alarms.”

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