If you are a small business owner, you are probably aware that theft and burglary can take a serious toll on your bottom line. As per a report published by Business.org, up to 89 percent of small businesses experienced shoplifting in 2021. Moreover, the US Chamber of Commerce states that organized retail crime cost retail stores more than $700,000 per $1 billion in sales in 2020, an increase of over 50% in the past five years.
While it might not be possible to entirely protect your business from every possible break-in and theft, you can take steps to secure your assets and minimize the damage if an accident does take place. One way to do this is to set up solar-powered security cameras. In this article, we will talk about why and how you can install portable solar panels to safeguard your business.
What Are Portable Solar Panels?
If you are not familiar with portable solar panels, let’s take a few minutes to understand what they are.
Well, portable solar panels are small solar panels that you can take and use anywhere to generate electricity. These panels are simple to install and supply electrical power, just like regular solar panel systems. Portable solar panels can generate up to 350 watts of power, depending on how big they are.
A portable solar panel system includes several components, including a battery, a solar charge controller, an inverter, a stand, and a storage case. Among them, the essential components to power the off-grid system are the charge controller, inverter, battery, and portable panels themselves.
You can get mobile solar panel systems in various forms. However, they typically come as a folding suitcase panel kit.
How do Portable Solar Panels for Security Cameras Work?
Portable solar panels for CCTV cameras generate electricity through the photoelectric effect.
In simple words, portable solar panels for security cameras function by letting photons knock electrons free from atoms, producing a flow of electricity.
The more sunlight portable solar panels receive, the more electrical output they can produce. However, this does not mean that portable solar panels for security cameras will not function under unsuitable conditions. For instance, on cloudy or rainy days, portable solar panels can still generate electricity with visible light passing through clouds and rain but with lower efficiency.
Since there’s no sunlight at night, the batteries charged by the portable solar panels during the day can supply electricity to your security cameras.
Benefits of Solar-Powered Security Cameras
If your business is located in an area that experiences frequent power cuts or doesn’t have access to electrical circuits or power lines, using an electrically-powered security camera can leave you unprotected and vulnerable whenever the power is down. This is where portable solar panels for security cameras can be a savior.
1. Usage and Installation Flexibility
Businesses situated in distant areas are at a disadvantage when it comes to electrically powered security and surveillance systems. Fortunately, portable solar panels are well-equipped to mitigate a lot of the problems associated with protecting a large business located in a remote region.
An outdoor camera powered by portable solar panels can operate indefinitely as the solar panels harvest the energy from the sun and don’t depend on electricity lines. In addition, a lot of portable solar panels come with a battery backup. This means they can work in the dark and at times when there’s minimal sunlight.
2. Budget Friendly
It’s important to mention that portable solar panels are quite affordable. In the past couple of years, the cost of portable solar panel kits has fallen significantly, particularly due to the increasing availability of the materials required to manufacture solar panels.
Moreover, the tax exemptions provided by governments to businesses using renewable energy across the globe are increasing the popularity of portable solar panels for surveillance cameras.
Maintaining a portable solar panel kit is also pretty affordable and simple in the long term, as it’s made of basic parts and comes with a rechargeable battery that can run the system for multiple days after just a few hours of charging in direct sunlight. Additionally, portable solar panels are waterproof and durable, so your surveillance system can withstand the elements for quite some time.
All in all, this means you can save heavy security costs when you use portable solar panels to power security cameras and protect your business.
Go with the more environmentally-friendly option. Installing a conventionally-wired surveillance system can disrupt sensitive and natural locations. With solar-powered security cameras, there are minimal infrastructure requirements, which means you can leave the natural environment almost untouched.
Important Things to Remember when Using Portable Solar Panels for Security Cameras
There are several things you need to be mindful of when installing solar-powered security cameras to protect your business.
1. The Voltage of the Security Camera
The power supply voltage of the portable solar panels must be equal to that of the security cameras used by your business. If the voltages do not match, your security cameras might not work or even get fried or burnt.
Security cameras generally use either 24 or 12 volts of power. This means you cannot power a 12-volt security camera using a 24-volt solar panel system.
Apart from that, if you need to run an AC-powered security camera using a DC-powered solar battery, you need a device to change DC power to AC power or vice versa. A solar inverter converts a direct current input voltage into an entirely different alternating current output voltage (either lower or higher).
2. The Battery Backup
The off-grid power generated by your portable panels should be able to power the outdoor cameras long enough when the sun isn’t shining, or there are rainy or cloudy days.
Note that the power requirements of surveillance cameras vary, particularly those with features such as pan/tilt, night vision, etc., that could require higher power.
Thus, you need to ensure that your portable solar panel kits for surveillance cameras supply electricity at the required speed.
Additionally, you need to ensure the batteries can recharge quickly and store sufficient energy for constant surveillance and recording.
3. The Impact of the Elements
Your solar-powered security cameras installed outdoors will be exposed to various elements, including dust, moisture, wind, etc.
Thus, make sure you opt for a waterproof surveillance camera and safeguard your portable solar panel kit with a waterproof box or solid housing. In addition, keep your solar-powered security camera clean and away from bugs, spiders, and other insects.
4. The Positioning of the Portable Solar Panels
The position of portable solar panels makes a huge difference when it comes to energy generation. Try to position the panels towards the equator so that your panels can get the highest exposure to the sun rather than placing them in a shaded spot.
Before moving from alternate current to solar energy, ensure that the Wi-Fi connection of your surveillance camera is configured. This way, you can easily connect the camera to your business network later. Also, it is important to completely charge the battery before moving to solar energy.
Things You Need to Power Outdoor Security Cameras with Portable Solar Panels
To power your business’s security camera, you essentially need these primary elements:
- A wireless outdoor IP camera
- Solar panel kit to produce electricity
- Rechargeable battery pack to store electrical energy
- Solar charge controller
- Cables to connect everything
How to Choose the Right Portable Solar Panels for Security Cameras
If you have decided to purchase a portable solar panel kit for your outdoor cameras, you need to think about which size of solar energy kit is most suitable. Here are some important factors you shouldn’t miss out on.
1. The Availability of Sunlight and Your Requirements
The most suitable portable solar panel for outdoor cameras depends on your energy requirements and the peak hours of sunlight in your area.
The best way is to consult the sellers of portable solar panels for surveillance cameras directly. After all, they have the highest level of expertise!
2. The Efficiency of Portable Panels
The efficiency of portable solar panels refers to how well they can convert the energy from the sun into electricity. Note that the efficiency primarily depends on the quality of solar panels. The higher efficiency portable solar panels have, the more electricity they can supply to your surveillance camera.
Thanks to the advancements in solar technology, the efficiency of portable solar panels is now close to 20%. In fact, the portable solar panels sold by BLUETTI have an efficiency of almost 23.5%.
You can get the efficiency of portable solar panels in the product specifications or ask the sellers and use it as a benchmark to evaluate the quality of solar panels.
3. Your Budget
Larger and more efficient portable solar panels usually cost more than smaller and less efficient panels. Thus, it all boils down to how much your business can afford to spend on solar-powered security cameras.
As mentioned above, the advancements in solar technology have made portable solar panels quite affordable, and it’s a good idea to use solar energy to protect your business. The best thing is that the long-term advantages of solar energy will surely offset your initial investment costs.
How to Maintain Portable Solar Panels for Your Security Camera?
As bird droppings, grime, dust, and other substances can build up on your portable solar panels over time, it’s important to clean them regularly to maximize their efficiency.
There’s no definite answer to how many times you need to clean your portable solar panels. It all depends on where you have placed the panels and how dirty they get after some time.
The portable solar panel experts suggest you clean them at least twice a year to ensure they operate optimally. In order to clean the panels, you need a high-quality brush or a sponge. Avoid using metal objects or harsh cleaning agents, as they can scratch the panels and compromise their efficiency.
Invest in Solar Energy Today!
Solar energy as an alternative power source is gaining a lot of popularity these days, and rightfully so. Its ability to supply power to security cameras in areas where running cable would be extremely expensive or highly complicated makes portable solar panels an excellent solution.
At Bluetti, we have a vast range of portable solar panels available that you can use to protect your business and save heavy security costs. We also have a number of other solar-powering devices, including portable solar generators, battery systems, portable solar power stations, etc. Backed by customer support and a warranty.