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February 9, 2024


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Setting standards for solar CCTV systems: Ensuring safety, cybersecurity and reliability

In this article, Simon Legrand from Sunstone Systems takes a closer look at solar CCTV systems, providing insight on factors such as privacy and data protection, design and resilience, maintenance and environmental considerations.

In recent years, there has been a significant increase in the demand for deployable solar CCTV systems in various markets and applications. These advanced surveillance solutions seamlessly fit into sectors ranging from security to highway monitoring.

Early standardisation is crucial to ensure not only their safety, cybersecurity, and reliability but also their long-term efficiency and acceptance. This rise in demand highlights their essential role in meeting evolving security and monitoring needs in complex and remote locations.

As we embrace this transformative technology, it’s important not to overlook the need for establishing common practices and standards. This is particularly crucial as these systems evolve and are deployed into more mission-critical applications. In this article, we explore not only the immediate benefits of protecting users and the environment but also the long-term vision of building a resilient, efficient, and trustworthy market.

Through collaborative efforts, stakeholders (from customers to manufacturers) have the opportunity to contribute to a safer and more secure future by adhering to industry standards. This ensures that the Solar CCTV System market not only thrives but also continues to grow across diverse sectors.

Privacy and data protection

How secure is the data generated by Solar CCTV Systems?

All industries must attend to privacy and data protection obligations, and safeguard commercially-sensitive data. Legal obligations are complicated by different jurisdictions’ legal requirements, so standardisation work could also contribute towards resolving cross-jurisdictional privacy and data protection conflicts. For Solar CCTV Systems, they should be designed and deployed meeting stringent standards including:

  • Cybersecurity Assurance A standardised framework should specify common protocols for encryption, secure data transmission, and authentication mechanisms. It should also specify processes for safeguarding against unauthorised access and potential cyber-attacks.
  • Data Storage and Retention Standardised guidelines for data storage and retention address issues related to compliance, privacy, and legal requirements. This ensures that these technologies store and manage data responsibly, protecting user privacy and complying with relevant regulations.
  • Compliance with Regional Data Privacy Laws Ensuring systems adhere to relevant regulations like GDPR or CCPA, depending on deployment location.

Design and manufacturing

The reliability and safety of the equipment is paramount in any deployable technology. Standards here should specify stringent electrical safety compliance, engineering standards for reliability, and addressing challenges like high winds and extreme element resistance and electromagnetic interference. Standardised practices in these systems not only enhance user safety but also ensure more consistent performance, interoperability, and resilience in diverse operational environments.

  • Electrical safety compliance Solar CCTV Systems involve complex electrical components and power storage solutions. Standardisation in electrical safety ensures that these systems adhere to internationally recognised norms, reducing the risk of electrical malfunctions or fires. Compliance with established standards will enhance user safety and minimises the likelihood of accidents or equipment failures.
  • Engineering standards for reliability Standardised engineering practices are essential to guarantee the reliability and performance consistency of Solar CCTV Systems. Standards might cover the design, manufacturing, and testing processes, ensuring that the systems meet specified criteria for functionality and durability. Doing so will enhance the overall physical quality of these systems, which also reduces the probability of malfunctions.
  • Interoperability and integration Standardisation can also support interoperability and integration between different types of security systems. If Solar CCTV Systems can align with existing (common) standards in security systems, they will be able to seamlessly collaborate with existing infrastructure. That promotes a cohesive and efficient security ecosystem and reduces technology fragmentation.
  • Safety in high winds solar CCTV Systems frequently operate in areas susceptible to strong winds and challenging weather conditions, often without being anchored to the ground. These technologies must adhere to standards that ensure they can withstand high wind speeds, especially in situations where the repercussions of a toppled system could be significant.
  • Resilience to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) and Radio Frequency Interference (RFI) Standards for EMI and RFI resilience help Solar CCTV Systems maintain functionality in the presence of electromagnetic or radio frequency disturbances, ensuring uninterrupted surveillance even in challenging electromagnetic environments. Also, this testing and conformity means that the Solar CCTV System does not create a detrimental effect on nearby equipment and systems by producing unintended electromagnetic and radio frequency emissions.

Deployment and maintenance

Simon Legrand, Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer at Sunstone Systems

The development of Solar CCTV System standards will benefit all stakeholders in the deployment and maintenance of the systems. Standards will contribute to better training for installers and operators, routine inspections, and clearly defined protocols for system decommissioning. This means that the deployment of the system is more likely to be successful, aid the system’s long-term functionality and reliability, and contribute to being environmentally responsible in the end-of-life disposal of the system. Standards here should cover:

  • Training and Certification for Installers and Operators Setting minimum qualifications and training requirements for personnel handling installation, maintenance, and data management.
  • Periodic System Inspections and Performance Checks Establishing routine inspection schedules and standardised procedures for ensuring system functionality and preventing failures.
  • Clear Decommissioning and Removal Protocols Defining responsible procedures for decommissioning and removal of systems at the end of their lifespan, including environmental considerations.

Environmental considerations

Finally, the development of industry standards can also specify eco-friendly practices, ensuring that these technologies adhere to sustainable principles, including:

  • Material Sourcing and Sustainability Setting standards for sourcing eco-friendly materials for manufacturing and responsible end-of-life disposal of discarded components.
  • Minimising Energy Consumption Encouraging energy-efficient design and operation of systems, potentially incorporating sleep modes or adaptive power management during low-activity periods.

The Solar CCTV System market is the culmination of technological innovation in CCTV, solar power and communications technologies, and offers existing and emerging industries a new and exciting capability. As the market matures and expands, the establishment of comprehensive standards is not merely imperative; it is the key to unlocking the full potential of these systems and ensuring their successful adoption as mainstream capabilities.

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