There are many advantages to utilising fibre optic technology (as opposed to Cat5 copper wiring) for perimeter CCTV cameras around solar farms:
In a redundant ring configuration, a fibre optic Ethernet cable enables data to flow both ways, which ensures the whole system remains live even after damage to one section.
In stark contrast, a breakage in traditional metal (Cat5) cabling means the distal parts of the system are immediately cut off and all camera coverage lost.
Fibre optic cables have a much greater bandwidth than metal cables meaning they can transmit far more information at any time, and therefore far faster data from cameras and at higher quality for analytic software.
Offering low power loss, fibre enables longer transmission distances of up to 2000 metres compared to the longest recommended distance of 100 metres for copper cabling.
Fibre optic cables are also immune to electromagnetic interference which means they remain unaffected by electrical surges, such as lightning strikes, that could permanently damage CCTV components.
This effectively ‘future-proofs’ solar farm security beyond a typical 25-year lifetime by providing the ability for any new components or technologies to be easily added in the future, without restriction on data transmission.
In contrast, metal cabling effectively consigns a system to today’s technology, so that when these components do need replacing (which they will) it won’t be able to keep up to date.
Just imagine how much more advanced such cameras and analytics will be in 25 years’ time!