“Continuous Coverage Surveillance System Tracks Poachers and Saves African Wildlife,” a case study in using solar to power a remote infrared surveillance “curtain” in the world’s second largest wildlife refuge, in Zambia. > Case Study
Building Surveillance & Lighting system using solar power in Caracas, Venezuela—providing security in a very volatile and challenging region without a stable source of electricity, using Morningstar ProStar solar controllers > Project
Video Surveillance systems using Morningstar SunSaver solar controllers in various U.S. locations, courtesy of SSIG (Surveillance Security Intelligence Group) and SunWize Technologies > Project
Security and Surveillance is now one of the leading applications for solar electricity. With security stations typically at the edge of perimeters and far from any source of grid electricity—and often in very high locations where changing batteries frequently isn’t practical—solar PV systems are often both first and only choice in security deployments incorporating video, sensors, infra-red imaging and more.
Morningstar charging technology is eminently suitable and flexible for Power over Ethernet (PoE,) internet protocol (IP) video, internet-of-things (IoT) devices, pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) cameras, and all the other tools comprising the portfolios of today’s security professionals. Morningstar components incorporate all required certifications, provide layers of on-board protection for sensitive electronic components, and are engineered for extremely long life and trouble-free operation in remote, inaccessible locations and enclosures—the ideal powering safety net for the most sensitive and critical security systems conceivable today and ready for the future.
Morningstar’s proprietary TrakStar solar harvesting technology and fanless design make for inherently more efficient systems. And with over four million Morningstars installed in the field since 1993, there’s no brand in the solar industry that’s more proven or accepted in terms of reliability.
Maximum Power Point Tracking (MPPT) technology to extract every bit of electricity possible from the solar source, by converting extra voltage into useful amperage. Morningstar MPPT controllers have industry-leading TrackStar technology on-board for that purpose
Industry-leading technical support from a US-based company
Easy system integration with generator control
Standard serial and optional Ethernet capabilities provide data integration into existing IP based security networks for remote monitoring and control
Remote access and control
Selected models support industrial-standard networking, monitoring and communications protocols including MODBUS, MQTT and SNMP, when used with Morningstar’s Ethernet MeterBus Converter (EMC) accessory
Data logging to record charging/load Amp-hours and alarm/fault notifications
Full programming to enable a high-level of system customization
Built-in communications and diagnostics capabilities
Temperature charging protection and advanced charging algorithms to protect expensive storage batteries, both lead-acid and advanced types including lithium. Dead battery recovery feature helps reduce system down-time
Designed for trouble-free operation in extreme temperature and weather conditions. Epoxy-encapsulated circuit boards and 60C ambient temperature ratings to handle harsh environments including tropical, coastal and arid regions. Weatherized construction; no cooling fans to fail
Simple, out-of-the-box operation and easy installation
UL and IEC listing on most models; FCC Class B certification
Low noise operation
Safety features built-in, including alarm/fault notifications, mis-wiring protection, lightning protection
24V and 48V (Positive Ground) system capability
How it works
During the day:
Sunlight is converted into DC electricity in the solar modules or panels.
The DC electricity from the panels flows into a charge controller, which both provides perfect battery charging and powers DC-operated loads.
Smaller systems and systems with consistent sunlight (little shading or seasonal variation) usually feature PWM (pulse-width modulation) charge controllers, which are simple and reliable. Larger systems and systems where there is variation in sunlight due to seasonal changes or shading often use MPPT (maximum power point tracking) charge controllers, which are more complex but also are more effective at harvesting solar electricity.
During the night:
The solar charge controller keeps working—by preventing any “reverse current” flowing from the batteries to the PV modules, and (if equipped with load control) disconnect power to the loads if the battery voltage dips too far, which can quickly kill batteries.
Legendary ProStar design and performance for mid-range lighting systems in areas with consistent sunlight and minimal shading. Available in 15 and 30 amp versions for 12 and 24 Volt batteries. Includes lighting control.
Morningstar’s SunGuard™ is the world’s leading single module controller. We have combined all the advantages of our SunSaver charging circuit with less expensive packaging to provide an economical controller for small PV systems.
Compact “point of use” design that mounts directly to the solar panel junction box or module/panel frame in its own IP65-rated case. Approved for use in Class 1 Division 2 hazardous environments including mines and oilfields. Available in 6 and 12 amp versions for 12 Volt batteries.
The world’s leading controller for industrial use, and approved for use in Class 1 Division 2 hazardous environments including mines and oilfields. Available in 6, 10, and 20 amp versions for 12 and 24 Volt batteries. Lighting control not included.
Morningstar’s TriStar™ is a three-function controller that provides reliable solar battery charging, load control or diversion regulation. It is rated at 45 or 60 amps, both at 12-48 volts, and has an optional meter, remote meter and remote temperature sensor.
Proven over two decades, the “legend that keeps improving.” An advanced controller for systems up to 1,100W. Available in 25 and 40 amp versions for 12 and 24 Volt batteries. Includes lighting control.
The “single most successful controller in the solar industry.” Industrial-grade proven in mining and other critical applications, for systems up to 400W. Rated for 15 amps for 12 and 24 Volt batteries. Includes lighting control.
Compact, powerful and proven in demanding rural electrification projects around the globe. Ideal for powering AC-based solar lighting systems up to 300W.
How do I choose if I need MPPT or PWM-type solar controllers?
This is not a quality difference, but a function of prevalent solar conditions and location considerations.
Because MPPT (maximum power point tracking) controllers convert extra solar electricity voltage into useable electricity, they are ideal for areas where seasonal, weather and shading conditions cause wide variations in solar “harvesting.” Morningstar’s proprietary TrackStar™ MPPT technology is considered the industry’s performance standard. Because of their additional circuitry on-board, MPPT controllers are also more complex and expensive.
PWM (pulse-width modulation) controllers are the right choice for systems using 36 or 72-cell solar-panels in locations with consistent sunlight, minimal shading and no physical space limitations—such as at the top of light poles, for example. PWM controllers are simpler and cost effective as a result.
All Morningstar charge controllers, regardless of their technology or design, built to one industry-leading quality standard. They all have “over-spec’d” components, incorporate advanced electronic design and thermal engineering, and have no cooling fans to fail—unlike all the in-kind competition. Because of this, over four million Morningstars have been sold since 1993 and are the first choice for leading solar installers in mission-critical installations around the globe.
Security and Surveillance Resources
Solar Powered Security Camera Buyer’s Guide: Top 8 Things You Need to Know