What technical/scientific calculations can I compute for this project?

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Sebastian Lee, Jul 19, 2016.

  1. Sebastian Lee

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jul 19, 2016
    For knowledge sake, as an RE diploma engineering student, my teammates and I are on the threshold of developing a solar-powered remote surveillance system.

    After conducting extensive research in the first phase, we agreed to implement this smart innovation for our Final Year Project tallying with our course, which harnesses the energy from the Sun through the right solar panel we've studied to power up our machine.

    To paint you a bigger picture, our innovation dubbed Smart-Solar Surveillance & Security (4S) is basically a wireless, standalone, and renewable energy-powered machine which has a superficial appearance of a trolley integrated with a pole transfixed with IP cameras and PA system, and on top of the 'trolley' lies the photovoltaic module.

    The way 4S operates is that users will place it at a definite distance from the wireless Internet source (note that the movement of the 'trolley' IS NOT remote controlled; users must manually move it) and the IP cameras (integrated with motion sensors) will detect movement regardless if it's caused by animals or foliage (users may set the sensitivity on PC) and that action will trigger a notification on users smartphones (Android or iOS) via the cameras' included app.

    After that, alerted users can choose to neglect the information displayed as push notification if it's a false positive or trigger an alarm/siren through the machine's PA system at the push of a button on their devices to startle the threat/target and people around it.

    Users can monitor live and also watch a recorded playback of the footage marked with timestamp. Footage will be stored in a network video recorder (NVR) for a limited time span before they're overwritten and are transferred wirelessly to PC using the same internet connection.

    The downside everyone must acknowledge is that if 4S is placed beyond the safe and optimum internet range, the surveillance system might experience interruption such as video lagging or worse, drop all away.

    Furthermore, 4S is embedded with a Li-ion deep-cycle battery to store electricity garnered from the Sun in the day hence supplying seamless functionality at night. The cameras are also of passive infrared to enable night vision.

    So what other calculations must I take into account before developing this project apart from a) energy capacity of battery and b) total load power expended (from CCTV system comprising of IP cameras, NVR, PoE and PA system consisting of loudspeaker and warning light)? Thousand thanks folks!
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 20, 2016
  2. Alec_t

    AAC Fanatic!

    Sep 17, 2013
    Welcome to AAC!
    You will need to calculate how much energy your solar panel can provide on a daily basis, to ensure it is greater than the total energy used by the system. You also need to factor in the energy losses involved in converting between the voltages/currents required by the different components of the system.
  3. tcmtech

    Distinguished Member

    Nov 4, 2013
    Total power consumption per 24 hours would be #1.

    Next, would be battery capacity to work around that power requirement given extended low output condition for the solar panel.

    Last, would be sizing the solar panel to be able to properly power the system plus recharge the battery in a reasonable timeframe even with less than optimal light supply.
  4. WBahn


    Mar 31, 2012
    You also should consider threats and its vulnerability to them. For instance, what if someone simply jams the wireless signal? What if they hijack the signal? What if they overwhelm the cameras with a slowly ramped IR source?

    The mere fact that you are designing something for security purposes means that you working in an adversarial environment and must take into account the range of options available to the people that want to circumvent that security.
  5. #12


    Nov 30, 2010
    I'm with WBahn on this one. You should prepare for bullets to arrive.
    I know if some machine on a pole watched me 24 hours a day, and then used a speaker to tell me what to do, I would decide how to kill the machine.
    Sinus23 and nsaspook like this.