In 2019 Safeguard Systems were given the contract to design and install a perimeter security system for one of the largest solar farms in Wales.
Over the past few years we have been involved in security system installations and upgrades on a large array of renewable energy sites. It’s a great testament to the Safeguard teams hard efforts to be awarded the security system upgrade on one of Wales largest solar sites.
We’ve been focusing heavily on security systems for solar farms, helping to reduce theft, vandalism and other forms of crime. The solar farm security systems we install cover:
- CCTV systems – HD and IP based video surveillance cameras
- Monitored and remotely monitored CCTV systems
- Access control systems
- Perimeter security systems – wired perimeter alarm systems
Security Systems for Solar Farms – Why Invest?
Solar site crime is fast becoming a real issue with thieves targeting renewable sites.
Solar panels are a tradeable commodity on the black market and can carry a high price. Therefore they are attractive to thieves looking to cash in.
Furthermore, solar farms are usually in remote rural locations. This buys thieves time and the opportunity to carry out their criminal activity.
This Solar Site is one of the largest in the UK at 47 MW the overall site perimeter length is approximately 8.2KM and the site is split up over 4 solar fields
Solar Farm Perimeter Security System – the Brief
We received a detailed brief from the client to design and install the perimeter security system on this solar site. For ease we have broken it down into 4 key areas below:
- Existing perimeter alarm system not functioning correctly
- All perimeter zones showing ‘open’ – System will not Arm
- A solution is required to simplify this large perimeter alarm system
- Keypad displays showing interference
It isn’t uncommon for us to find this level of issues on a solar farm security system.
On a previous project we found a host of issues when designing and installing a remotely monitored CCTV system on a large solar farm site.
Initial Solar Site Inspection – Pre Secuirty System Installation
Before commencing work on the perimeter alarm installation phase, we needed to inspect the site and review the existing security system. Upn inspection, we found the following:
- The Perimeter Alarm wire was broken in over 150 places
- The existing perimeter security system in place had just 1 central control panel. This meant the 8.2KM perimeter was split into only a small number of intruder zones. This made each perimeter zone section large, making pinpointing breaks a very time-consuming exercise
- The site has 4 separate entry gates, each with an alarm keypad to set/unset the system on entry. All 4 keypad enclosures are corroded/rusty. There were no entry/exit sounders on the gates to prompt people to unset the system on entry
- Existing 4 gate contacts corroded and not functioning correctly
- All Gate keypads showing signs of interference
The Safeguard Solution – an Advanced Perimeter Security System
After inspecting the site and uncovering all security issues with the current alarm system, we designed a robust perimeter security system. The system design was as follows:
- Rather than 1 large perimeter security system we proposed to split the site into 4 separate defined systems, one system for each of the 4 fields. Benefits of this are;
- Only the area of the site being visited is unset/disarmed, therefore the other areas remain set/armed and secured
- In the event of a fault developing in one of the areas, the other fields will continue to be operational
- Logging of personnel onto site can be tracked to certain areas/fields of the site
- Pinpointing perimeter breaks and system activations is much simpler and quicker process
- All four keypad enclosures to be replaced and new keypads to be installed at each section entry gate
- Entry/exit sounders to be fitted at each gate to allow notification of setting/un-setting clearly to visitors at each site entrance
- All four keypads to be re-wired in screened & steel wire armoured cable. This to remove the interference issues on the existing systems keypads and add resilience to the cabling infrastructure
- Lower perimeter detection wire to be rewired entirely for new
- New keypad, control panel and Webway Communicator to be fitted in each field. This will make the systems identical across all four fields
- Gate contacts to be replaced with more suitable heavy-duty contacts
- Engineer keypads to be fitted at each control panel for fault diagnosis purposes
- New communications units to be fitted to each system, allowing SIA format of communication. This will allow the Monitoring Station to see individual zone activations, isolations, faults, etc. This provides more clarity on the alarms received
- IP modules fitted to each system to allow remote engineer upload/download (UDL). This enables Safeguard Systems engineers to diagnose faults remotely and isolate temporarily (if agreed by client) in order to keep the system operational until an engineer attend.
The timescale originally proposed was 4 weeks for Two Engineers. To move the project along more swiftly we allocated five engineers to the project and had the upgrade complete within 2 weeks.
Our solar farm client now has a fully functioning perimeter security alarm system.
Looking for a security system for your solar farm?