Solar panel and wind power plant anti-theft protection

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Украденная солнечная панель

Returning from vacation and not seeing your solar power plant or windmill is a very likely scenario now. Decades ago, windmills and solar panels were not considered a toy. But with the rise in the cost of electricity and the popularization of green tariffs, more and more homeowners have begun to use roof and land areas to produce green electricity. At present, this market is developing rapidly, attracting the attention of thieves.

Thefts of European scale

Germany has long been confronted with the problem of thefts at solar power plants. And in recent years, professional thefts have started breaking all records. At one time, they can remove, detach and remove dozens, even hundreds, of solar panels of any size. Particular attention should be paid to the theft of the town of Arnsberg from a local solar farm. From there, in October 2014, 250 solar cells measuring 1 * 2 meters and weighing 30 kg each were taken out at a time. That means that 7.5 tons of solar panels were stolen. And according to Frank Fidler, CEO of the second-hand alternative energy sales platform, the number of thefts will continue to increase.

Total losses for the first quarter of 2015 from thefts on the SES in Germany amounted to 500 thousand euros.

Thus, the project of a solar road in China was also threatened. The new highway consists of solar panels under a thick protective glass, and also includes inductive charging, which allows you to recharge some electric vehicles on the go. But as it turned out, some of the road was just stolen a few days after the highway was opened. Although in this case, the cause of the theft is not clear, because the price of solar panels in the Celestial is very low, and the scale of theft is very small and more likely it is related to industrial espionage.

Power thefts in Ukraine

In 2018, there was a large-scale theft of solar in Kherson region. 51 solar panels were stolen from the solar farm with a total value of UAH 375 thousand. Fortunately, police were able to locate and apprehend the attackers and return the solar panels to the owner. Another high-profile case occurred at a Jewish cemetery in Mukachevo. Not only the solar panel was stolen by the thefts, but also the inverter, battery and other equipment, which had previously installed a patron for night lighting in the cemetery.

From the thefts of solar panels are affected by gas distribution points of Kyiv region. Thus, Kyivgas installs telemetry to protect its solar panels from theft.

Why are windmills and solar panels easy to steal?

The problem is that solar panels and windmills have virtually no theft protection. Just remove the panel or windmill from the mount, disconnect it from the inverter and load it into the car. Solar panels with very rare exceptions have mechanical anti-theft systems.

How to protect your power plant?

Video surveillance

24/7 video surveillance allows you to monitor your power plant around the clock, and when connected through the network to watch it from anywhere in the world. And the video itself allows you to find thieves faster.

Video security

GPS / GSM tracking

In recent years, German security companies have been developing an integrated tracking system for solar panels. Which allows you to capture the moment of theft and catch criminals in the hot, or to track stolen solar panels. But a GPS tracker can cost more than $ 100, which greatly reduces the profitability of solar panels, so you can use GSM trackers if the panel design allows you to hide them inside. In the case of the windmill, it is a little easier to install a hidden tracker. The only problem is the constant power of the tracker.

Mechanical protection

Keep the solar panel in the box as the outside of the air conditioner does not work. Just like the windmill. Therefore, it is recommended to install additional mounts and angles for mechanical protection of solar panels and windmills. They will not allow to remove equipment so easily and quickly.

Protection clamp for solar panel

Alarms

The most effective protection is with alarms similar to those installed in electronics stores. A sensor is attached to the smartphone, which works when it is ripped off from the smartphone or cut through the wire and transmits an alarm to the remote control. Thus, the security company instantly learns about the thefts and can quickly arrest the attackers. Similar sensors are also installed on windows, doors and gates and work when switched off. There are also solutions that work when the cable is disconnected from the solar panel. They can already be ordered in China.

Solar panel alarm

IR motion detectors

Motion detectors are by no means one of the best solution for keeping strangers out of your home solar of wind power plant. It detect any motion big enough to be a human. And it completely ignores birds, snow and rain. But be aware, that there are some cheaper options.

Insurance

The best is to keep your power plant safe. But there can be a lot of factors that can make it dispensary from your roof or be shattered or scattered all over the place. It can be stolen as well as destroyed by a natural disaster. That’s why insurance is something you need as well. But be aware that this market in Ukraine is only starting to develop. Be careful while choosing an insurance company.

Summary and main problems of power plant protection

The new windmill is close to the car at its price, so installing comprehensive security with CCTV, alarm and trekking is quite logical. But with solar panels, it’s the opposite. With a solar panel price of 200-300 watts, like an average smartphone, installing security systems can delay the moment when the power plant returns its money. In addition, the services of security companies can generally make the SES unprofitable. That is why it is recommended

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