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No mains power? Does CCTV Work Without Electricity?

No mains power? Does CCTV Work Without Electricity?
No mains power? Does CCTV Work Without Electricity?

CCTV cameras provide the best possible protection for businesses, properties, construction sites and compounds – but do they work without electricity? In short, CCTV won’t work without electricity. They depend on having a reliable, always-on power source to function, however, this doesn’t have to be a main power source.

CCTV can be powered wirelessly, through battery or solar means when there is no mains power available. Any CCTV camera you install, whether indoors or outdoors, permanent or temporary, wired or wireless, must have an electrical power feed, which ensures cameras are operational, transmit emergency alerts and capture unusual or suspicious activity.

The challenge for many site and business owners is that numerous instances exist where the mains power grid isn’t available, accessible or dependable – rendering even the most advanced CCTV security systems redundant. However – there are several options available to combat this and still install CCTV – even in the most remote locations.

In this article, the Clearway team explains the compelling advantage of wireless CCTV powered by solar and/or commercial-grade batteries, providing you with the assurance of comprehensive coverage, regardless of the location of your site.

Why Install Independently Powered CCTV Surveillance?

There are countless situations where mains power isn’t available, is subject to continual outages, or would be costly and complex to connect to. Some of the many scenarios may include:

  • Vacant properties and empty commercial units.
  • Remote buildings and developments.
  • Restricted access premises at risk of wire cutting.
  • Properties that rely on backup generators.
  • Areas with an unreliable mains power grid.
  • Sites with large outdoor spaces between buildings.
  • Compounds where perimeters are broad or have a variable topography.
  • Construction sites and developments where building work is incomplete.
  • Remote working teams such as highways workers.

In all the above circumstances, a wired CCTV unit would be ineffective, either because it would be rendered redundant during power outages or because the cost and time involved in fitting CCTV surveillance would make the added security too costly to be viable.

We often recommend wireless CCTV solutions with autonomous power sources for locations where a mains electricity connection isn’t available or where there is a pronounced risk of outages and blackouts. This presents a perfect way for opportunist intruders to gain entry.

Solar or battery-powered CCTV is cost-effective and suited to short-term applications such as providing security surveillance for events, construction sites and work zones.

what is vacant property security

How to Integrate CCTV Surveillance Without a Mains Electricity Connection

There are two primary options if you need the reassurance of always-on CCTV monitoring without a mains electricity connection:

  • Solar power: Solar-powered systems, such as outdoor CCTV towers, are fitted with advanced solar cells and solar energy storage devices. Each unit recharges to full capacity during the day, retaining a backup power supply to use overnight and during cloudy conditions.
  • Battery power: Commercial-grade batteries provide continual, uninterrupted power for multiple years and often feature casing and fixings that prevent the battery from being detached, damaged or otherwise tampered with.

Our CCTV tower units are fitted with batteries and casings tested to the highest standards and resistant to water ingress, extreme temperatures, adverse weather conditions and deliberate tampering. The right options may depend on the location of the site or property, whether you need CCTV cameras positioned internally or externally, and exposure to natural sunlight.

If, for any reason, we believe that solar-powered batteries may be ineffective, for example, because the site has extensive tree cover or your CCTV cameras will be positioned inside an entranceway, an autonomous battery with a lifecycle of several years may be the ideal solution.

You are welcome to contact the Clearway security team at any time to arrange a professional site survey and risk assessment.

Types of CCTV With Independent Integrated Power Sources

CCTV cameras with autonomous power come in myriad sizes and structures. They can often be connected to other aspects of your security coverage, such as alarm systems, remote monitoring through the Alarm Receiving Centre (ARC) and access control protocols.

Below, we’ve summarised the key features and uses of some of our most popular CCTV models that work without mains electricity.

Wireless CCTV Cameras and Towers

CCTV towers

CCTV towers comprise purpose-built units engineered for rapid deployment in any outdoor setting. Available for short and long-term hire, these towers are fitted with either solar or standard batteries or can be configured with a mains power connection should this be more suitable.

Fitting CCTV cameras at height provides maximum visibility 24 hours a day without any ongoing maintenance requirements. Each camera manoeuvres with 360-degree coverage and can be programmed to transmit alarms, begin automatic recording, sound a siren, notify the ARC response team of an incident, or send wireless notifications to site owners and security teams.

Wireless CCTV cameras can also be fitted as standalone components of a security system within vacant and empty buildings, working with the same battery-powered technology. Often used for properties with temporary security risks or where a mains power supply is unavailable over the short term. Each camera works similarly to a tower-mounted system, circulating alerts and footage remotely to any designated device.

Video Verified Alarms

video verified alarm systems

These alarm systems are intended for vacant properties, buildings without a main power connection, or empty commercial units. They operate like an intruder alarm but capture a short burst of photos whenever the alarm is triggered to verify the cause of the disturbance.

Each collated 10-second clip is circulated to the notifiable parties to ensure they can determine why the alarm has been sounded and respond accordingly.

Alarm units are completely wireless and operate with an in-built battery, without any need for wiring, cabling, an internet connection or other fixtures. The alarm uses cellular mobile signalling to notify owners and responders when the alarm has been triggered and to send the footage recorded.

Wireless Intrusion Detection Systems

Clearway inView Detect PIDs with engineer

Finally, the inView Detect system is often used to supplement the security provided by a wireless video-verified alarm or CCTV system. This portable, adaptable intrusion detection device is equally free of wires and works independently of a mains power supply.

Linking CCTV cameras, wireless towers, and video-verified alarms with an intrusion detection system into one cohesive surveillance approach is the optimal solution for properties or sites with a higher risk.

These units can be positioned to secure your perimeter, adjacent to assets or storage bays, next to high-value machinery, or anywhere you’d like to introduce extra security surveillance.

Not sure why type of CCTV is right for you? Get in touch with Clearway today and we’ll discuss your CCTV options and advise on the best solution should you not have access to mains power. 

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