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Most Asked Questions About Solar Surveillance Trailers

Solar Surveillance Trailers

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Solar Surveillance Trailers are ideal for off-grid, temporary, or targeted security requirements. Here we explore some of the most frequently asked questions about these increasingly popular surveillance units.

Everything You Need To Know About Solar Surveillance Trailers

Solar Surveillance Trailers are a rapid-deployment mobile video surveillance solution. They combine security cameras with a portable trailer mast, solar panels, and backup battery power.

Their portability and autonomous operation means they can be deployed and relocated within minutes, allowing for immediate security coverage at temporary or off-grid locations.

Typical deployment scenarios for Solar Surveillance Trailers include:

Solar trailers offer multiple benefits compared with typical security camera setups and are typically much more cost-effective than legacy security methods such as physical guards.

Below, we answer some of the common questions about the use of solar trailers, with a specific focus on the way these units are powered.

What Size Solar Panel Does a Solar Surveillance Trailer Need?

Imagine deploying a solar surveillance trailer to protect your critical assets, only to discover that it has run out of juice - leaving your site vulnerable and open to theft.

Unfortunately, this scenario is far too often the reality as inexperienced trailer suppliers underspec the setup required to deliver continuous power supply in times of limited sunlight.

Likewise, some manufacturers will attempt to overcompensate and supply trailers with oversized solar panels - making them cumbersome and difficult to install.  

At WCCTV, we manufacture our solar trailers in the USA and have over 20 years of providing off-grid surveillance solutions. We know what it takes to deliver year-round operation.

We specify our solar trailers with 750w - 800w solar panels, balancing the need for a powerful solar draw with the ease of installation required to respond to immediate security needs. 

Surveillance Trailer for Jobsite Security

What Kind of Batteries Does a Solar Trailer Need?

Typically, surveillance trailers will utilize either AGM gel batteries or Lithium batteries.

Both of these battery types have unique advantages, and depending on the scenario, one could be more suitable than the other. 

In the case of surveillance trailers, AGM batteries are a great option as they offer:

  • Zero maintenance requirements
  • Durability and reliance in any weather 
  • Higher storage capacity
  • Time tested reliability

While lithium batteries are a great solution in many places, when you need a solution that is reliable, proven, durable, and requires zero user maintenance - AGM batteries have it all.

How is Solar Charge Controlled on a Surveillance Trailer?

Solar surveillance trailers should be fitted with charge controllers.

These devices stop reverse currents from the batteries into the PV modules, help prevent overcharging, and improve overall charge quality. Charge controllers also disconnect power to the loads when the batteries' voltage dips too far.

Depending on your choice, charge controllers come with additional features such as lighting control, remote temperature sensors, a remote meter, and an optional meter.

What Power Management Features Does a Solar Trailer Need?

Keeping an eye on the performance of your batteries and solar panels can be the difference between safety and catastrophe.

A high-quality surveillance trailer should provide all of the following features:

  • True battery state-of-charge
  • Time remaining feature
  • Remote power monitoring and management
  • Local remote control
  • Performance history

Remote power management is especially vital as it provides a snapshot of power performance, allowing users to monitor, manage, and optimize the power system remotely.

An effective power management platform will allow users to set alerts and alarms to catch potential issues early. This type of software can be provided as desktop software, a mobile app, or (ideally) both.

At WCCTV, we typically hire our solar trailers as part of a completely managed security service. We handle all battery performance monitoring to ensure you have no nasty surprises. 

But we make all our management tools available for those who want to be more hands-on.

WCCTV Surveillance Trailer at ATT Stadium

How Long Does a Surveillance Trailer Last Without Sun?

The type of battery, wattage ratings, and power consumption rate will determine how long a solar surveillance trailer can last without direct sunlight.

WCCTV's solar surveillance trailers will run for a minimum of 10 days on battery autonomy compared to other commonly used systems that only provide a maximum of 4 days.

How Long Does it Take to Charge a Solar Trailer?

The recharge rate for a solar surveillance trailer will vary depending on factors such as the solar panel’s wattage ratings and the light conditions.

Even in ideal summer conditions, a solar trailer with a 100, 250, or 400w panel could take several days to completely recharge, which is another reason we always spec 750-800w panels.

The angle and direction of the solar panels will also play a key factor in recharge rates, as there must be direct sunlight on the panel. At WCCTV, we provide full training and instruction on how best to position your panels in your locations.

Summary

If you're serious about securing your property, people, or assets, then it pays to do your research on what solar surveillance trailer you're planning to use. Not all solar surveillance trailers are created equally. 

WCCTV is proud to manufacture solar trailers in the USA. Our vast experience working with major construction companies, property managers, government and law enforcement agencies, and critical infrastructure locations has led us to develop the most reliable trailers in the marketplace. 

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