iBEAM Insights

The TRUTH About Solar Power & Construction Cameras

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At this point, it’s pretty common knowledge that construction cameras provide an array of benefits to a variety of projects (but if you’re new to construction cameras, get caught up on the benefits they provide here).

It’s also no secret that any construction camera or time-lapse solution requires a power source. So how do construction professionals deploy construction cameras on remote projects or projects where there’s no power available?

The most widely-used alternative power solution is to harness the power of the sun with a solar-powered construction camera!

What's the Deal with Solar-Powered Construction Cameras?

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Solar-powered construction cameras harness the renewable power of the sun and are effective off-grid solutions when hard-wired power isn’t available on a job site.

They’re extremely versatile solutions, too. Construction cameras powered by solar energy are easy to install and reinstall on projects, which means you can use them on project after project for years to come. Using your solar-powered construction camera on multiple projects defrays the overall cost of a solution, helping you get more value out of investment in a construction camera.

Additionally, solar-powered construction cameras provide increased flexibility to projects because they’re not dependent on hard-wired power outlets. This means they can be located virtually anywhere on a job site to capture the exact photos and time-lapse movies you want.

Solar-powered construction cameras also require little to no ongoing maintenance once set up. Just make sure the solar panels are clear of dirt, snow, and other debris...that’s it!

Keep in mind that it’s important to carefully evaluate potential installation locations for your solar-powered camera before actually installing it, as you want to ensure effective year-round use. This means making sure solar panels are pointed south (as much as possible) for maximum sun exposure (and power generation).

You’ll also want to ensure that your solar panels won’t be shaded by neighboring buildings or seasonal changes. (If you have a longer-duration project take into account the relative change in the sun’s position over the course of your project.) It may come as a bit of a surprise, but afternoon shade can have an adverse effect on proper sun collection.

Our custom-sized photovoltaic solar solutions deliver a renewable power source that provides continuous, autonomous power for our construction cameras, even under sunless conditions.

Be Warned: There is No "One-Size-Fits-All" Solar Solution

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iBEAM’s solar solutions are custom-sized for every project in order to ensure continuous power to our clients’ construction cameras even on the darkest, coldest days of the year.

Solar power kits consist of one or more photovoltaic panels that charge batteries that provide power to the camera. The right combination of power generation (panels) and power storage (batteries) is key to having a reliable off-grid power solution. This is the reason we take the time and effort to custom-size every solar solution we provide.

Think about it: isn’t winter in Minnesota just a little bit different from winter in Florida?

So why would a construction project in the snowy, frigid north of Minnesota, where, on average, there are only 2.9 hours of usable winter sun, use the same solar solution as a project in sunny, warm Florida where there’s almost double the amount of usable winter sun (5.1 hours)?

There really is no such thing as a "one-size-fits-all" solar solution — it’s just not possible.

Your project’s location and weather conditions, the camera’s power requirements, and the solar system’s efficiency all factor into designing a reliable solar-power solution.

Here at iBEAM, we take all of these variables into account. We configure the solar power solution based on the worst-case scenario for winter sun at your project’s location to ensure you’ll always have power available for your camera. Always.

Improvise. Adapt. Overcome with Solar.

If your next project won’t have power available but a construction camera is still needed, adapt your plans and put a solar-powered construction camera to work!

All of our construction cameras — the OnSite Fixed 4K, the OnSite PTZ 4K, and the Time-Lapse Pro 4K+ — are solar compatible to help make finding the perfect solar-powered camera for your next construction project that much easier.

Even better, all of our cameras and solar solutions include weatherproof enclosures to ensure functionality in all conditions, even on the coldest/wettest days of the year. Heck, iBEAM construction cameras withstood the frozen polar vortex of 2018-2019 (where temperatures plummeted down to -28F/-56F with windchill) without missing a beat!

And did you know with the Business Energy Investment Tax Credit, you can save up to 30% on your next solar-powered construction camera? That’s right — check your specific state policies and incentives to see what’s available.

iBEAM solar-powered camera

When you’re ready to request a personalized quote for a solar-powered construction camera, or if you have questions about our other power solutions or pricing, our team of camera specialists is here to help.

Until next time, keep what’s really important in focus.

 

Vicki Robertson
Vice President
iBEAM Construction Cameras

Doing the right thing, for every client, every time.