Various options are available in today's market to power your security cameras.
We mostly look at complete wireless designs.
These complete wireless cameras, connect to a Access Point via WIFI or use a 4G SIM card.
The camera on the left is completely wireless.
It include a WIFI module for setup. Battery box with re-chargeable batteries. Solar Panel to charge batteries. 4G Mobile Network Module for a SIM card. Free APP to download.
There are also standard WIFI cameras to connect to an Access Point or Hot spot.
Solar panels and value calculations
Solar Power for security cameras, lights, Hot Spots, routers and all you will need. Design a power network using the power consumption calculator.
The best way to go about finding the wattage used. Find the power consumption tab in the specifications table. Mostly found in the user manual of the product.
Else try to find a sticker on the product that display the wattage used. If it only supply Volt and Ampere values, use the following to calculate Watt. P=V X I(Amp)
Now that you added all the Watt values of the various products, you can proceed.
Use a simple example for a 12V(2A) WIFI Hot Spot. We found the usage to be 24 Watt continuous as follows:
When the camera run on a 24 hour cycle, the total Wattage used for the day, will be 24 x 24 = 576 Watt
The next calculation is not a market standard, but will give you an idea of the minimum size Solar Panel Required. To add 20% on the panel size will be even better. Lets say we have 4 hours per day sunshine. Average in South Africa it will be 5-6 hours perfect clear sunny weather. Heavy cloudy days will be 1-2 hours per day.
So we can use 4 hours as a safe guide line.
Solar Panels are measured in the amount of Watt they produce in an hour. Thus a 100W Solar Panel generate 100W per hour. Charged and generated by your own Sun.
We will need a 150 Watt Solar Panel to recover the used Wattage for the day. So the calculation will be 150 Watt Panel x 4 hour = 600 Watt.
The Total of 576 Watt of electricity used by the camera, will be replaced in a 4 hour charge from a 150 Watt Solar Panel.
Do keep in mind that the camera will still use about 20% of the generated power for the 4 hour charge period. Thus the charge will be much more sufficient, when adding 20% of Watt to the panel. Which gives us an ideal of a 180 Watt Panel.
Battery values and calculations
Calculating solar system battery sizes, vary quite allot. There are various methods to calculate the required Ampere value of a battery.
The following method is not an industry standard, but will give you a better understanding.
When we look at the same example as above in our solar panel value, we find the following:
The Hot Spot is using 12V and 2 Ampere(A) per hour. Thus the 2A x 24 hours per day = 48 Amp per day.
The obvious will be to get a battery close to the 48 Amp value. So, if we get a 50 Amp capacity battery, it will use 48 Amp and still have 2 Amp in the tank. The solar panel will be large enough to charge the battery full in around 4 hours.
The major problem we have with this 50 Amp battery, is the charge period. When our solar panel face a serious dark cloud day, it will not charge the battery in time. So the battery will run flat and get damaged.
Market standard suggest that the battery capacity should never go below 30%. This will prevent any damage to your battery. Batteries running under the suggested 30% power mark, may be damaged and stop functioning properly after 6 months.
The minimum suggestion is to multiply the Ampere needed by 3(cloudy days with 2 hours charge time) and add 30% safety capacity. Thus, the 48 Amp x 3 = 144 Amp + 30% safety capacity = 187 Amp. The nearest battery size to be used will be 2 x 100 Ampere. Which are standard size batteries.
Your batteries will be safe from damage and will be able to last more than 2 years plus.
In the example of a Hot Spot powered 24/7 by a solar kit, we found the following effective and always online for 24 months:
Hot Spot Booster with a 24 Watt per hour power consumption, will need the following:
180 Watt Solar Panel, 2 x 100 Ampere batteries and a 12V regulator.