Do Hydropower Plants Need Surveillance Cameras?

Hydropower is the nation’s oldest source of renewable energy and can provide power to the nation’s grid after traditional sources fail. It is estimated that in 2021, hydropower made up 31 percent of U.S. renewable energy generation – eclipsing the total production of solar and wind farm energy combined. This valuable resource must be protected from harm, whether it comes from outside influences or originates within the hydropower facility itself. Hydropower facilities can benefit from traditional security measures like perimeter fencing, but the addition of a robust hydropower video surveillance system boosts security and will keep these critical infrastructure sites safe.

Boost Your Security Profile With Video Surveillance Cameras

A hydropower facility is unique from other renewable energy sites because it collects millions of gallons of water for energy generation. If a security breach were to occur, this water could be unleashed on downstream communities – which would endanger lives and property on a far-reaching scale. This is why securing hydropower facilities and dams from unauthorized access is critical. Advanced video surveillance systems can help. When installing such a system, consider investing in equipment that includes the following features:

  • Rugged materials – a camera’s housing is key to its long-term performance. Because the environment of a hydroelectric plant is often extreme, it is necessary to make sure that the equipment you buy is suitable for these conditions. Invest in cameras with a rugged outer casing that is equipped with onboard heating and cooling systems for reliable operation.
  • Easy setup – make sure your hydropower video surveillance system features easy-to-install and service components, especially since they may need to be installed in areas that are difficult to access frequently. An easily deployable surveillance system will save you time and frustration.
  • Long-range viewing capabilities – long-range surveillance cameras are the name of the game for a sprawling water site. Consider infrared or thermal cameras as well, which can provide visuals in adverse weather conditions as well as at night. Invest in cameras that have pan, tilt, and zoom capabilities and feature motion sensors, which can follow a subject within the specified field of vision. Make sure the cameras are placed strategically for overlapping coverage so that no area of your facility is left unmonitored.
  • Advanced analytics – investing in big data means that you have the benefit of high-tech algorithms at your fingertips to recognize the properties of objects within a video stream and track them frame-by-frame. This technology results in a high detection rate and a dramatic reduction in false security alarms at your facility. This software also tags and sorts footage, making it easy to pull clips afterward if it is necessary to review them or provide documentation to authorities.
  • Remote 24/7 viewing – monitor your hydropower facility, even if you are not on-site, from your cell phone, tablet, or laptop. Remote viewing options make security easy, and allow facility operators to keep an eye on employees as well as intruders from a remote location at any time of day or night.

The Benefits Of Video Cameras At Hydroelectric Plants

Hydropower plants and other water sites are challenging to secure. Weather, natural disasters, and a sprawling footprint work in combination with the potential threats of terrorism, vandalism, and aging infrastructure that must be proactively addressed to mitigate risk and prevent disaster. The location of hydropower plants is one of the biggest challenges operators face. Many hydropower sites are difficult to access at the best of times, but when adverse weather conditions occur they become extremely dangerous to reach. Water also carries the risk of flooding or drought conditions that would impair the plant’s ability to make power. Seasonal variations in the landscape can make it challenging for operators to maintain the security of the site or even reach the facility. In these instances, an advanced hydropower video surveillance system can provide a proactive security solution for plant operators.

  • Protect unauthorized access – cameras act as a visual deterrent to keep criminals from breaching your perimeter. But when combined with audio deterrents like alarms, they can be very effective at scaring away intruders with malicious intent.
  • Document events – advanced video surveillance systems allow operators to access video, images, and long-term archives of video footage.
  • Monitor infrastructure – thermal cameras are unique in that they can monitor the inner workings of a water site. These cameras can alert operators to potential failures in damn walls or the imminent malfunction of a turbine or generator before it becomes a more significant problem.
  • Real-time alerts – in addition to recording security breaches, advanced video analytics means that operators can receive real-time notifications and respond to threats and/or maintenance issues quickly.
  • Reduce revenue loss – hydropower video surveillance systems can help reduce revenue loss for hydropower facility operators by decreasing the threat of a physical or cyberattack and keeping the plant operational.

There are many ways bad actors with criminal intent could access a hydropower plant without being seen, even if the facility is difficult to reach. Today’s high-tech surveillance equipment offers an effective solution to monitor and secure critical infrastructure sites. Advances in technology ensure that these surveillance systems can do the job 24/7, even if operators are not on-site. Additionally, they can reduce the risk of a disaster from natural or unnatural causes at the facility, ensuring the safety of all of those who live and work downstream from the plant.

 

 

To learn more about hydropower video surveillance options that are available through SentryPODS, click here.