"The more critical the environment to be protected, the higher the levels of protection and reaction speeds required. This is why we decided to focus on the integration of different technologies on one single platform to guarantee maximum safety and significant scale economies" – Claudio Toaldo, owner of Sicurtel.
Having now completed the construction of a 9.4MW 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 4,000m) 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 night-time monitoring and are also fitted with a powerful optical zoom for close-up inspection when ecessary.
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 control room. This enables the control room to handle emergencies and, at the same time, collect information on any alarms detected by the IB-IP SYSTEM Cias and recorded by one of at least three pre-set cameras, which the Milestone video management software (VMS) immediately positions 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 an exceptionally 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 the Milestone 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 advantages of this solution
"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 realise 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 Sicuretel 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.