Subscriber Discussion

Recommendations For Solar Powered, Wireless PTZs

Undisclosed Integrator #1
Jul 03, 2013

Would also appreciate pro's and con's plus better solutions if possible.

John Honovich
Jul 03, 2013

Micropower is focused on wireless solar turnkey kits, however, they are fixed only, so that's out for your needs.

Probably the closest fit is the Dotworkz Solar Kit which packages all the solar components and housing, letting you add your own PTZ.

Beyond that, there are a lot of options that are mostly DIY.

There'a solar surveillance pole that might be interesting and our solar surveillance guide provides general background.

Carl Lindgren
Jul 03, 2013

Keep in mind PTZs, especially high-quality ones, require lots of power - typically 20VA for indoor apps and as much as 60VA for outdoor apps requiring heater/blower. That's typically 4-20+ times the power requirements of fixed cameras.

Undisclosed Integrator #1
Jul 03, 2013

Great information, thank you both!

Francois Malan
Jul 07, 2013

In our experience with Thermals on PT heads is that they use a lot of power to maintain position and use even more when you move them. If your only have a requirement for Day/night possibly rather try 4 high resolution static cameras or something like Aerocont 360 or Mobotix. I also see some manufacturers proposing a 360 camera with a PTZ, the 360 acts as a detector or overview camera. Inverting or stepping the power up or down is also not the best design, try stick to 12vdc, 24vdc or 48vdc then use a 48vdc switch that can support Hi powered POE to PTZ.

Mike Baron
Mar 13, 2014

I am a pre-sales engineer for both wireless and solar kits for IP CCTV projects. Company undisclosed. Here is a typical PTZ ALTERNATIVE solution....


Typical MAXIMUM Power Generation From a Pole Mounted Solar Kit = 60 Watts (Think Central To Southern California Latitudes)

Typical Wireless TX/RX Node Power Consumption = 6 Watts

Typical Multi-Imager IP Cam Power Consumption = 9 Watts

Typical Heater/Blower = 5 Watts + 5 watts

Low Power PoE IR Illuminator = 23 Watts

Total Power Draw = 48 Watts

Jeffrey Hinckley
Mar 14, 2014

I would probably use something like a WV-SW396 (24W POE+ or 43W 24VAC) or an alternative that can run on 24 VDC (no loss from inverters or rectifiers), 4 150+ aH batteries, 2 x 140 W panels, MPPT charge controller 24VDC, and a Ubiquiti radio set. This is for Maine (my state, which is probably worst case, unless you live in Alaska).

You can use a solar calculator to determine your needs on probably the PTZ Camera POE+ (25W?) + Radio (5W) + Inverter Loss (2W?) + POE Injector Loss (2W?) = 35 W (worst case). Things get better in warmer climates because of increased sun duration and higher battery temperatures. Online sites, like below, give good information, calculators, pricing, and other information that can be helpful.

Off Grid Calculator | altE | altE

If you do not mind spending the money, companies/manufacturers such as Sunwize will customize a solar system for you.

I engineered a solar system for a wireless IP camera system last fall, at todays low solar prices, which ran great all winter (very cold and snowy winter). Total cost was less than $2K (140 W panel $300, 15A MPPT $125, 5 GHz radios $150, IP HD IP66 camera $600, 2 x 200 aH batteries $400, battery box $150, panel mount $125, other hardware and cables $150). This is for a large national company (you all know), who was so thrilled by the publicly exposed "green-ness" of it, that they are talking the purchase of many more. Sometimes it is not so much the functionality of it, but the image it may give to the customer in their community/industry.

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