Friday, May 4, 2012

Using Wireless Internet CCTV to Detect Fire and Flood

Wireless internet CCTV cameras are more than just CCTV cameras. These cameras allow you to see your property from anywhere, over the internet.  More than this, they can be used to alert you not only to movement within the camera view, but also to emergencies like fire and flood as this article explains.
Most internet CCTV cameras have the ability to raise the alarm when motion is detected within the camera’s field of vision, giving you the chance to log in over the internet and see what’s going on.  However, many of the good quality cameras can raise the alarm when other events happen in the vicinity.  They do this by “listening” for signals that are sent from sensors when conditions change, for example in those extreme cases when there is a fire or flood, and by sending text messages or email alerts when such signals are received.
The type of sensor you use will depend on the type of event you want to protect against.  You could buy a heat sensor and set it to trigger when the temperature exceeds a certain level.  This could be used to detect a room becoming too hot, a freezer breaking down or a refrigerator getting too warm inside, for example.  You would use a moisture sensor to protect against flood.  This could be placed in a basement or near a washing machine.  Normal industry-standard sensors will work with all good makes of camera, but you should check the trigger voltage and wattage of each to make sure.  In all cases the sensor will send a change in voltage to the camera so that it can take action, as the next section explains.
To attach sensors to your camera, it needs to have a so-called digital input port.  Most of the reputable makes of internet CCTV camera have one.  Two wires are attached to connectors that make up the physical exterior of the port, and these wires run to the sensor.  The camera is programmed to recognize a change in voltage at its input port caused by a signal from the sensor, and to act upon it immediately.  Typically it will send you an email and also an instant SMS text message to your mobile phone or as many mobile phones as you choose.  You can then log in over the internet to see what is going on, and if necessary call the emergency services, all within seconds of your sensor detecting a problem.  Of course, it takes some technical work to get your camera working in this way, and you will need external service providers to handle things like sending SMS text messages.  If you don’t like the thought of setting this up yourself, I always advise getting a pre-configured camera and monitoring service from an internet CCTV provider.
Using wireless internet CCTV cameras in this way really broadens their role.  Seeing your home from wherever you are is just the start.  Attaching sensors and programming the cameras to act upon their alerts turns your camera into an all-round automated property monitoring system that keeps you informed about any problem in your property, within seconds of that problem arising.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The future Security Moves on solar power

Solar panels generate power directly from the sun. They convert the sunlight that they draw directly into electricity; this form of power is friendly to the environment, as there are no harmful gases or chemicals that are used in producing this power. This is therefore better for the environment.
The solar panels are made up of a collection of individual silicon. A single solar cell can produce about 0,5volt. Solar cells are grouped together to create a panel, which can produce up to 24 volts output. Solar panels can also be wired in parallel, this will increase the power output creating more power, and if wired in series, this will increase voltage for 24, 48 or possibly even higher voltage systems.
The three types of solar panels are mono-crystalline, polycrystalline and amorphous. At present, PSS Distributors is concentrating on two types, mono-crystalline and polycrystalline. We already discussed in my earlier post.

The differences between the panels are as follows:
Monocrystalline – All crystals face the same direction. This form of solar panel is the most effective, but the cost factor is a lot more expensive. Slices are cut at sizes of 0,2 and 0,4 mm thick. These are then put together as individual cells, wired together in the panel. Manufacturing temperature is around 1400 degrees Celsius.

Polycrystalline – Crystal faces have different directions, grains are not parallel and can also be called multi-crystalline. These panels are less expensive, but can also be less efficient. The cells are not single crystals but a block of many crystals. Manufacturing temperature is a bit lower than Monocrystalline at about 800-1000 degrees Celsius.

Amorphous – This is the angle of the adjustable solar panel, which can be changed two or more times during the year. This helps increase the solar output by approximately 25%.
When you have decided on the location of the solar panels, ensure you have a good amount of sunlight between the times of 9 am – 4 pm. It is not advised that solar panels be placed in the shade, but remember that heat build up can cause the panel to be less efficient. There should always be spacing around the panels, this will ensure that there is sufficient cooling and ensure that the panels do not build up to much heat. 

Solar panels should always face the equator for effective coverage. So if living in the southern hemisphere, the solar panels would face in a northern direction. The angle of the panel should only be changed twice per year. In winter +15° latitude and in summer -15° latitude. This will increase the solar panels output by a further 25%.
Tracking solar panels are the most effective type as they follow the sun, but the cost of these units are expensive and during winter, may not be as effective. Solar panels are a more cost effective way of ensuring constant power as well as ensuring that the environment remains emission free and allows the environment to remain green.

Having now completed the construction of a 9, 4-megawatt solar farm in the province of Turin, the company turned to address the problem of guaranteeing the highest possible levels of protection.
“The client asked us to design a solution in which the network infrastructure was both sturdy and scalable so that it could be used simultaneously by the security system, the video-surveillance system and the other equipment used to monitor the production of electricity. Moreover, in compliance with the applicable laws in force, the video-surveillance system had to ensure low luminous impact at night and, therefore, had to be able to operate satisfactorily without any lights on, except in exceptional circumstances,” explains Claudio Toaldo, owner of Sicurtel, the company that built the plant.
The plant took about two months to complete, including meetings with the client and the realisation of the design plan.
Given the distance of the perimeter (about 4000 metres) and the possible electromagnetic interference caused by 12 inverters installed on the field, Sicurtel decided to construct a closed ring fibre-optic Ethernet infrastructure using O-ring technology with 12 field switches and an extended temperature range of -40°C/+75°C.
The network hosts 28 ERMO 482 X PRO Cias microwave barriers and 11 Ulisse Compact IP 36 + Videotec 110 mt IR cameras.
The Cias barriers are connected on the field via 15 485/Ethernet IB-FMCREP-ETH converters and are controlled by means of an IB-SYSTEM IP server.

The Videotec cameras used for the surveillance system guarantee lowest environmental impact during nighttime monitoring and are also fitted with a powerful optical zoom for close-up inspection when necessary.

Sicurtel considered the Milestone XProtect system to be the only fully integrated platform that could manage all the field equipment on an IP platform, hence satisfying its client’s requirements.

“We decided to use the Milestone XProtect Corporate video management and recording system,” continues Toaldo, “because it allows you to record video images and transmit them to the security company’s control room. This enables the control room to handle emergencies and, at the same time, collect information on any alarms detected by the system and recorded by one of at least three pre-set cameras, which the Milestone video management software (VMS) immediately focuses on the security barrier section that triggered the alarm. This is extremely helpful to the work of the security companies, as they are able to quickly and effectively verify all intrusion attempts”. 

The system provides the end user with real time data on the production of electricity. The XProtect Smart Client can be used from the company’s headquarters. Furthermore, XProtect Mobile is a useful and powerful tool for maintenance operators. It is used to remotely plan and verify all interventions, whenever and wherever they are. 

The Milestone VMS supports a number of I/O IP modules to allow the operator, the end user and the security company to use XProtect Smart Client to turn on the lights installed along the perimeter when an alarm is triggered at night, to monitor anomalies detected inside electrical substations or special situations such as a lack of power supply.

“The possibility to integrate the anti-intrusion security system, the video-surveillance system and the electricity production monitoring equipment within the same network infrastructure means that the end user has full control over all the systems installed at the solar farm and, at the same time, can realize important economies of scale, while paving the way for all future upgrades to the systems,” highlights Toaldo.
The solution guarantees efficacy and timely interventions by technical assistance teams managed by Sicurtel using remote systems. In particular, all the routine maintenance operations and interventions to resolve any malfunctions detected by the system that do not imply the replacement or repair of and field devices or equipment are managed via the Internet.

Protecting Your Outdoor Property with Wireless Security Cameras

You can protect your home better by covering the outside areas of your property. This will ensure that intruders are stopped at the periphery itself and they do not come close to the actual building – whether it is a home or office. You can use the alerts sent by outdoor security systems to take timely actions. For outdoor use, wireless systems are the best option. Let us look at one of the most effective security devices for outdoors – wireless security cameras.
Wireless security cameras offer a very advanced level of security. However, outdoor and indoor security requirements are different and therefore, the cameras installed inside your home might not work for outdoors. It is essential to consider the following points:

Coverage – Do you need to monitor the lawn and garden area or do you want to see only the entrance of your property? Will the garage and driveway need separate cameras? Answering such questions will help you in deciding your requirements. Also decide the angle that you need for surveillance. Wider angles are preferable for outdoor purposes as they cover a large area in one go.

Picture Quality – Low screen resolution cameras are cheaper but the quality of picture is not very high. If you want to have clear pictures, choose cameras with high resolution. There are many cameras that can have both low and high quality resolutions. You can alter the settings as per your requirements.

Wired or Wireless Security Camera – Big obstructions like walls and trees can disrupt signal from your wireless camera whereas wired cameras are difficult to install in remote places. Hence, you might like to choose the camera according to the landscaping of your property.

Features – Do you want to record data at all times or only when motion is detected? Do you want sound recorders as well? A camera that can zoom will be particularly helpful for outdoor security needs. Dwell on such requirements before selecting your camera.

Installation – How will you mount the camera? Will it hang from a place or attached to a wall. You can opt for cameras will multiple installation options like straps, adhesives, etc.

Climate – Outdoor cameras need to tolerate the vagaries of nature. They need to be protected against extreme temperature and moisture conditions. Choose cameras that can fit into the weather conditions at different times in the year. In case the camera is sensitive, you can build enclosures to protect them. Various IP/IK ratings are in there.

Recording – Will you use your camera only for surveillance or do you want to record data as well? In case you need to record data, choose the source that will receive feed from the cameras like TV, computer or VCR and connect your camera to the right source. Additional software will also be required in case of wireless cameras.

Monitoring – If you are selecting a monitoring agency to keep a tab on your property, it is always better to involve them while installing wireless cameras in the outdoor areas. You can also employ a professional from these agencies to do the installation.