Preventing Theft of Photovoltaic Solar Panels

Preventing Theft of Photovoltaic Solar Panels

The boom in thefts of photovoltaic panels, more than 200 units in 2007, with the total number purloined gone up to tens of thousands, is a worrying phenomenon. Perimeter security can provide a solution.


The improvement in technologies of photovoltaic solar panels and the consequent reduction in production costs, the great increase in the cost of oil, and the endorsement by national governments of renewable energy sources, have produced positive changes in the techniques used for the production of electric power by conversion of direct sun light. Studies into renewable sources of energy concur that, world-wide, the photovoltaic industry has the potential to reach US$440 billion annual turnover by 2030. By this date, the sector will have 6.5 million working systems and will be in a position to fulfill 9.4 percent of the world's electricity requirements. There will be 2.9 billion people benefiting from solar energy in the developing nations alone.


Production of electricity using photovoltaic modules is differentiated from other systems of electricity production by the creation of, rather than small locations with high or very high power, many very small, small, or medium power centers spread across an area – even down to domestic systems serving a single dwelling.


Theft of the still expensive photovoltaic cells has assumed a worrying increase. Official data relating to a single Italian territory indicates in excess of ten thousand thefts of solar panels during 2007. In other European countries, the problem is no less alarming, to the point where there are government incentives for the development of installations fitted with anti-theft systems that meet the requirements of the highest security levels.


The best conditions for exposure to the sun are found in open fields, isolated, without human habitation; the provision of fences is inconsistent and the environmental conditions can be extreme. Protection technologies must possess the highest Probability of Detection (PD) in all environmental and weather conditions; the lowest false alarm rates; the highest reliability and be robust; the ability to automatically diagnose and signal faults or sudden malfunctions; the capacity for remote diagnostics and remote signaling for each single detector, to carry out essential preventative maintenance from a remote location to ensure perfect reliability of the system.


The ERMO482X Pro uses "Fuzzy" processing for its intrusion signal. This guarantees the highest PD in temperatures of between -35°C and 65°C, with an extremely low level of false alarms. Models are available with wide fields (up to 50 meter range), long fields (up to 200 meter range), and in the longest range (up to 500 meters).


Using IB-SYSTEM cabling, it is possible to connect every detector using an RS485 network in copper using a fiber optic network or an Ethernet network. All types of networks can be created, which ensures the network (double closed ring) has extraordinary isolation of the elements and redundancy of operation (Self Healing Ring). In particular, IB-FMC-Rep FO allows the interconnection of a double ring in fiber optic which ensures completed electrical isolation and separation between the various detectors.



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