Megapixel Solar Wireless (Micropower) Examined

By: Ethan Ace, Published on May 12, 2015

A fully wireless professional surveillance offering, no networking cables, no power lines.

That has been the goal of Micropower for 5 years. However, low resolution and framerate have limited its appeal.

Now, they have improved resolution, framerate, and other features aimed at these limitations.

In this note, we examine this new release, how it relates to old models and other solar options, and its potential impact on MicroPower's positioning.

* ***** ******** ************ surveillance ********, ** ********** cables, ** ***** *****.

**** *** **** *** goal ** ********** *** 5 *****. *******, *** resolution *** ********* **** limited *** ******.

***, **** **** ******** **********, framerate, *** ***** ******** aimed ** ***** ***********.

** **** ****, ** examine **** *** *******, how ** ******* ** old ****** *** ***** solar *******, *** *** potential ****** ** **********'* positioning.


******* ********

*** ***** **********,**********'* **************** ** ***-***** (watt) ************ ******* ******** with ***** ****** ***** transmit ***** ***** * proprietary *.* *** ******** to * ******* ***, which ******** ** ** 6 ******* ** *** surveillance *******. ************ ***** is ********* ** ** half * **** **** of ****.

* ******* ****** ** shown ** **** *******:

New ************

***** *** ***** *** improvements ** **********'* ****:

  • ********* **********:******** ****** **** ******* of *** ********** ****, limited ***** ********** ** small ***** ** "***** points" ****. *** ****** have ********* ********** ** 720p, *********** **** ** cover * ********** *** twice ** ****. 
  • ********* *********:*** ****** **** * maximum ********* ** ** FPS *** ******, ***** past ****** **** ******* to *. **** ********* ********** ****** matches *** ******* ****** ********** used *** *********, ** *** ***** of *-**.
  • ** ************: *** ****** have ** ****** *** an ******** ** ***********, specified "** ** *** feet" ***** (****** ****** ************** ** ***** ******).

*** ******* ********* ********** with ***** *** ****, as ** *** ** past **********, *** ********** says *** **** ***** conformance ** ***** **** release.

*** ****** ******* *** previous **********, **** ***** models *** ** *** next *** ******.


******* ** *** ******* line ** ******* ** past ******, **** ***** of ~$*,*** *** *** camera *** ~$*,*** *** hub. ********** **** * 4-camera ****** ** ****** at ***** $**,***-**,*** ********* on ******** (****** ** solar ****** ********) *** lens *********.

**** ******* ** *********** with ** ******** ***** than ***** *******, ********* on ****** *****. *** full *********** ** ***** options, **** ** ***** surveillance ****, *** *** coverage ** ***** ******** **********.

Potential ******

**** ***** *** ************, MicroPower *** ********* ***** key *********** ***** ** their **** **** ***** may **** **** ****** integration ** ******, ***** kit, *** ******** (**** separate *************) **** **********. While ***** ************ ******* a *****, ***** ******* may **** **** ****** in **** ************. **** being ****, **** ********** continuing ** **** ******, *** 1080p *** ***********, ********** may **** **** **** cameras '****** *** *****' and **** ******** ** develop ****** *********** ** these *** ***** ***** to **** **. 

Further *******

*** **** *********** ** solar ************, *** *** further coverage, *********:

Comments (13)

From my perspective, the biggest drawback to the Micropower system is that it appears to require 110V AC power at the head end/hub location which means only the cameras/transmitters are solar powered, the AC powered hub location and internet connection needs to be relatively close to the cameras (1/2 mile).

Most of the solar powered camera projects that I’ve done for remote locations have required a 100% Off-Grid power solution as there was no AC power available within miles of the project location.

Agreed. Even if there is power 1/2 mile away, what benefit does the head-end provide as opposed to using 4G directly? Is the idea that the hub is a super-sensitive receiver which saves the camera transmission power?

But if they can power IR illuminators now, you would think that you could take that power and apply to instead to a higher power transmitter, as an option.

Jeff, how do you protect those panels from theft, being that they are out in the middle of nowhere and likely to fetch over $1000 for just the solar cells?

If the Micropower hub is connected to a VMS/server like Milestone this would be useful for a situation like a school campus that might want 1 or more solar powered cameras up to 1/2 mile from the main facility, with wireless links back to the head end. Using 4G cellular for this type of situation might not be as efficient as the MicoPower system and may not integrate as well as the MicroPower system.

The IR illumination built into cameras/housings are likely to have a somewhat limited useful distance/angle, example: in order to deliver LED light 100' at a 45 degree FOV usually requires a standalone lighting system, with greater power requirements resulting in larger solar electric plant.

Assuming there's zero light at night, if a client wants to take measures to protect their property and the camera system from theft at a remote location, a solar powered camera system can be equipped with PIR motion sensors that will fire off LED white lighting upon detected event (or strobe lights if LED lighting is infrared), play recorded warning messages or talk live to intruders through loudspeakers. This tactic usually chases any intruders away before they do any damage. We usually use Mobotix cameras for these type of projects due to low power requirements of cameras (5w) and most all the functionality of a VMS/DVR/NVR is embedded into each camera, just add a 128GB SD card to the camera for storage.

An alternative to using PIRs and LED lighting for zero light conditions could be to use thermal cameras.

The 10-1 rule is a good solar array estimate to maintain the 5 days of battery bank for the operational load demand.

Remote site deployment costs are usually modest against operational outage expenses. Pickup truck thieves with battery operated saws are the recent modus operandi for customer reported stolen solar plants. As in many thefts, the mugs likely don't know what they've stolen or it's value.


Based on your past solar power camera projects can you recommend some good options for an off grid solar set-up?

On a single tower will be a long range thermal/color PTZ (100W average) camera and an Axis Q8685-LE PTZ(80W) into a a switch and to a Bridegwave microwave link (50W). Peak consumption should be 250W max, average probably little over 100W

It's in the middle east in a desert so sun light is abundant but at the same time temperature and conditions (frequent sand storms to coat the panels) are brutal and definitely not ideal conditions for battery life longevity. Although I believe burying the battery in a suitable cabinet might also be an option.

Any info available on the new platform loads?

I was a big proponent of this system last year but I just found out that Micropower has terminated all sales and marketing personnel. Looks like they are exiting the market. Can you look into this?

They just raised ~5 million less than a year ago. Sounds like 34 people might be less than happy.

Confirmed from Micropower's CEO:

"While we have seen strong sales growth doubling year over year the level of sales does not support the investment in sales and marketing we were making. We will continue to support our existing customers, ship product and work with our manufacturing representatives on new projects.

Based on input from both existing and prospective customers we are focussing our resources on the development of our next generation platform. We are not yet discussing the specifics of this – more details will follow as get closer to release."

Evidently, the 'strong sales' growth was not enough strong. We'll see what they do with their next generation.

In the meantime, the CEO said they "will coordinate with independent rep firms as needed for in the field sales support. We continue to have a resource to support existing installations."

Micropower has stated that their 720p cameras operate on less than 1 watt of power. They may have some intellectual property related to low power consumption cameras that is useful and valuable. If they have a low power technology that could be applied to 1080p or higher resolution cameras, that could be ideal.

IMO, this would be a winner: a solar powered wireless camera system that includes a 1 watt camera and a 2 watt 4G/LTE cellular router powered by a relatively small, solar electric plant.

FWIW, I don't think they stopped sales, just salespeople. I am still getting banner ads for them.

"I don't think they stopped sales, just salespeople"

Yes, see my statement from Micropower above. I am sure they will continue to take customer money but not having any sales people will put a dent in that.

Yes, maybe just online sales campaigns.

I think I was subconsciously reacting to Jeff's declaration of their 'valuable intellectual property' as if he were eyeballing the company for liquidation, though he may not have intended that impression.

Login to read this IPVM report.
Why do I need to log in?
IPVM conducts unique testing and research funded by member's payments enabling us to offer the most independent, accurate and in-depth information.

Related Reports

Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Axis ARTPEC-7 P1375-E Camera Tested on Jul 12, 2019
Axis claims the new P1375-E box camera with ARTPEC-7 chip delivers "clear, sharp images in any lighting condition." But how well does it do? We...
Last Chance - Camera Course Summer 2019 on Jul 11, 2019
Last day to register is Thursday, July 11, 2019. This is the only independent surveillance camera course, based on in-depth product and technology...
FLIR Saros Visible / Thermal Analytic Camera Tested on Jun 26, 2019
FLIR's Saros claims "accurate, actionable alerts" with a combination of 1080p visible and dual thermal sensors along with IR and white light...
Directory of 60 Video Surveillance Startups on Jun 25, 2019
This directory provides a list of video surveillance startups to help you see and research what companies are new or not yet broadly known. 2019...
Hikvision ColorVu Camera Tested on Jun 24, 2019
Hikvision says their new ColorVu line captures "vivid chromatic images in darkness", with unconventional white light illuminations whereas most...
Risk of Amazon Alexa Guard: No Battery Or Cell Backup on Jun 20, 2019
Amazon positions its Alexa Guard Service as a "smart home security system" and says it can help you "keep your home safe". However, the...
Repositionable Multi-Imager Camera Shootout - Avigilon, Axis, Dahua, Hanwha, Hikvision, Panasonic, Vivotek on Jun 19, 2019
Repositionable multi-imager cameras are one of the fastest growing segments in video surveillance, with a slew of new offerings being recently...
Genetec Synergis Cloud Link - Complex, Costly and Confusing on Jun 18, 2019
Genetec's Synergis Cloud Link is complex, costly and confusing compared to competitor access control architectures. Inside this note, we examine...
Favorite Wireless Manufacturers 2019 on Jun 12, 2019
Many wireless options exist for video surveillance but how are integrator's overall favorites? 170 integrators answered the question: What is...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Responsibility Split Selecting Locks - Statistics on Jul 22, 2019
A heated access debate surrounds who should pick and install the locks. While responsible for selecting the control systems, integrators often...
Vivotek Trend Micro Cyber Security Camera App Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Vivotek and Trend Micro are claiming five million blocked attacks on IP cameras, with their jointly developed app for Vivotek cameras. This new...
Avigilon ACC7 VMS Tested on Jul 22, 2019
Avigilon's Control Center 7 boldly claims it will "transform live video monitoring" with the new Focus of Attention "AI-enabled" interface. We...
History of Video Surveillance on Jul 19, 2019
The video surveillance market has changed significantly since 2000, going from VCRs to emerging into an AI cloud era.  The goal of this history...
Mobile Access Usage Statistics 2019 on Jul 18, 2019
The ability to use mobile phones as access credentials is one of the biggest trends in a market that historically has been slow in adopting new...
New GDPR Guidelines for Video Surveillance Examined on Jul 18, 2019
The highest-level EU data protection authority has issued a new series of provisional video surveillance guidelines. While GDPR has been in...
Wyze AI Analytics Tested - Beats Axis and Hikvision on Jul 17, 2019
$20 camera disruptor Wyze has released free person detection deep learning analytics to all of their users, claiming users will "Only get notified...
Anyvision Aims For 2022 Revenue of $1 Billion on Jul 17, 2019
Only 3 video surveillance manufacturers do a billion dollars or more in annual revenue - Hikvision, Dahua, and Axis. Now, Anyvision plans to join...
HD Analog vs IP Guide on Jul 16, 2019
For years, HD resolution and single cable signal/power were IP camera advantages, with analog cameras limited to much lower resolution and...
How To Troubleshoot Wiegand Reader Problems - Inverted Wiring on Jul 16, 2019
Wiegand is the dominant method of connecting access readers, but problems can arise for installers. In fact, one of the most difficult reader...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact