Security must have permanent monitoring and protection solutions to prevent the risk of intrusion and attacks for the tertiary and industrial sectors, airports, distribution, and events, etc…. Thus, spy cameras or motion activated hidden camera informs us about the security cameras generated by solar energy.
With evolution, the burglary method has evolved. This is particularly the case with break-ins. This is why you must maintain constant control over your environment, by installing surveillance cameras inside, but also and especially outside your homes or businesses.
This solution can greatly improve and strengthen security in your home, but it may not work for everyone. In some sensitive areas, there is a 24/7 need for security.
Sometimes we would like to install a surveillance camera in a specific location. However, there are many reasons why this is impossible. For example, you are a tenant, or you don’t like to do any work, or there is simply no electrical connection where you want to put the outdoor camera. Well, in these cases, the solar panel will be your ally!
Why a surveillance camera with a solar collector?
As mentioned above, there may be a whole bunch of reasons why the solar panel, as a power source for your camera, will be a good option. To develop the reasons that would favor the use of such a product, here are some specific situations that may explain the purchase and use of a solar panel for a surveillance camera:
- You want to place the camera in a place where there is no electricity
- Electrical work scares you, and drilling a hole or connecting an electrical cable is synonymous with fear
- Your current camera is out of order and you need a safe and reliable alternative
- The characteristics of your home prevent you from doing any work (stone walls, special materials, etc.), and prevent you from drilling into it
- You are always on the move. Therefore, you need a camera that does not require much maintenance, especially to recharge the camera batteries.
- You live in a place where you need a camera that works perfectly, in all conditions
If you find yourself in the above scenarios, a surveillance camera with a solar panel power supply is what you need. It, therefore, seems important to focus on the characteristics and operation of a solar-powered surveillance camera.
What is a solar security camera?
Simply put, a solar surveillance camera is a wireless camera, powered by a solar panel. We can find some with Arlo, Ring, or Canary brand cameras. With this type of installation, there is no need for long electrical wires. Everything goes through the solar panel itself, and through the battery included in the surveillance camera.
The big advantage of a solar panel is that you can forget the long hours of charging. Normally, the solar panel will operate 365 days a year, regardless of weather conditions. However, of course, it will work better on a sunny summer day than on a rainy November day. In terms of the general characteristics of a solar panel, we can find the following elements:
- Easy installation and removal
How does a solar surveillance camera work?
Once you have placed your solar panel in sunlight (preferably facing south), it will charge automatically. The solar panel absorbs the sun’s rays using cells. These solar cells transform light into a current necessary to operate the camera.
Simply put, basically, solar cells produce a direct current supply that passes through an inverter. The latter then modifies the current to an appropriate voltage (alternating current) that has sufficient capacity to operate the camera. NOTE: At least 12 volts are required to operate the solar camera. Remember to take a good look at the power coming out of the solar panel, if you do not buy a product of the same brand as your surveillance camera.
Despite what has just been written above, it is useless to want to buy a huge solar panel for your surveillance camera. As long as you have enough sunlight, the camera will work efficiently.
Good practices for installing a solar surveillance camera outdoors
There are several factors to consider when installing solar-powered security cameras. Before buying a solar panel, it is important to read the following section carefully. Otherwise, you may be disappointed with your purchase. Here are the important points when choosing solar power for your outdoor surveillance cameras:
The characteristics of the solar panel
Electrical distribution plays an important role in the solar panel power supply. It does not only take into account the Watts and Volts at the output of the product. Normally, a solar panel produces just over 20W and redistributes 12V of energy. This is enough to power a surveillance camera. However, you may not have only one camera to power but other products at the same time, for example, a connected sprinkler system, or a Wi-Fi terminal. In this case, you will have to think big and take a bigger solar panel.
The correct location of the solar panel is essential
To function optimally, the solar panel must receive as much light as possible. Thus, it will be preferable to position your solar panel in a southerly direction. Therefore, you must carefully determine the area that offers the most sunlight. Determine if any obstacles could compromise the operation of the solar panel, such as tree branches above it, which in turn could affect the camera’s operation.
The problem of data storage and the Internet network
Being able to place a surveillance camera absolutely anywhere, even at the top of the most remote mountain, is great with a solar panel. But how can we access the data? Without access to the Internet network, no web, no possibility to view the captured data or direct access. Similarly, storage is one of the most important factors when installing a surveillance camera with a solar power supply. However, if there is no Wi-Fi, you may not receive the captured data or even live access. In a case like this, there are not 5000 alternative solutions:
- Either you make sure you can have a Wi-Fi network that will cover the surveillance camera
- You can always bring a Wi-Fi repeater as close as possible to each other.
- The camera you are investing in has a SIM slot so you can have a data subscription on it.
Think of a backup battery
This section is optional, but present because it allows you to think about the principle of solar panel power supply. Indeed, like any source of electrical energy, it turns out that sometimes there are problems. And these problems end in the same thing: no more electricity. And now it hurts. But we can postpone this problem with energy storage. In other words, batteries.
If you choose this idea, you should know that the size of the battery (energy storage volume) must be sufficient for it to work well in all circumstances. For this purpose, it is preferable to buy a battery that has a capacity 5 times higher than the original use of the camera. This will give you some peace of mind, at least for a while.
And the cost of all this?
Finally, the cost of a surveillance camera with solar power should not be ignored. However, with the kind of features reported, it is worth it, financially speaking. In addition, a solar panel has a long lifespan, so you won’t have to replace it any time soon. So if you can’t do any work at home, and the solar panel is self-evident, the financial cost is not that important.
How to install solar surveillance cameras as discreetly as possible?
The idea of displaying a perfectly visible and explicit surveillance camera so that everyone can see it is not the best idea to have. Therefore, any means are good to hide this camera, and more specifically the solar panel that goes with it. It should be noted that the cable connecting the surveillance camera to the solar panel is approximately 150cm. Thus, there is little space between the cable and the camera. It will, therefore, be necessary to find the right place to place the solar panel and the surveillance camera.
For this reason, it is preferable to fix your solar panel at least 2m above the ground. In this way, it will not be damaged by animals, children or others. You can place the solar panel anywhere: a wall, on a tree trunk, on a fence post, etc. So, at the other end of the cable, you will have the surveillance camera. But be careful not to leave the cable visible, and unprotected. To do this, place it in an electrical duct. It will be better protected from bad weather.
Conclusion on solar video surveillance
After considering the advantages and disadvantages of a solar panel camera, you now know everything you need to know about this type of installation. A camera like this will provide all kinds of convenience. As long as it is covered by the Wi-Fi network. With this type of installation device, the desired safety will be achieved.