To combat theft of solar arrays, security companies are developing a wide range of alarm systems including wired to wireless solutions to solve the problem, reports Security Systems News. They are also partnering with commercial solar companies to bundle the security systems with the panel installations, which should garner a lower cost for businesses.
One impetus is the increasing number of solar array thefts at Napa Valley wineries — more than 400 from June 2008 to September 2009.
Additionally, other vulnerable sites appear to be schools, empty buildings or any remote site.
One new company that has emerged as a result of the thefts in Napa Valley is SunLock, which specializes in wired solar-panel alarm systems, reports Security Systems News. The company is looking to partner with commercial solar companies to package the company’s alarm system with the initial panel installation, reports the newspaper.
Well-established Texana Security also moved into the solar security market as a result of solar panel thefts in Napa Valley. The company recently partnered with Shamrock Renewable Energy Services that allows the company to bundle in a security solution when the panels are installed, reports Security Systems News.
Texana’s wireless solution includes cellular video cameras, a control panel and keypad. The solution sends video in real time in 10-second video clips, which eliminate false alarms from animals and the weather that might trigger other motion-based solutions, reports Security Systems News. The company said the systems are easy to install and can be moved to a new “hot spot” in a minimal amount of time.
Emza also offers a video-based solution that transmits data back to the central station wirelessly, according to the article.
Gridlock Solar Security in Sonoma County offers a theft prevention system that detects attempts to remove panels from their frames and sends out alerts over radio frequency, cellular, satellite or landline networks, as well as activates lights and a siren on the site, reports North Bay Business Journal.
An exclusive distribution agreement between Gridlock Solar Security and DC Power gives the solar alarm company access to DC Power’s network of solar contractors throughout North and South America, reports North Bay Business Journal.