T&D World Magazine

System Detects Copper Thieves

Rising copper prices mean that copper theft is back. Utilities again are plagued with ransacked substations and vandalized utility poles. Videofied offers a cordless/wireless video security system that goes beyond surveillance – it delivers apprehensions.

The coffee-cup sized MotionViewer can be mounted anywhere in the substation or storage yard, up to 24 on a single system. In the event of a copper theft, the MotionViewer detects the intruder and sends a 10-second video of the intrusion over the cell network to a monitoring station that reviews the clip and immediately dispatches police to make the apprehension.

Each MotionViewer has a passive infrared detector, digital video camera, and infrared illumination for true night vision. It is waterproof and operates down to -20F. The system operates for over a year on one set of batteries and transmits the alarms/videos over the cell network as a small 200K file. The videos of the intrusions can be sent to an alert list as an email attachment. Because there is no need for power or Ethernet, Videofied is portable and can be redeployed as needed. Over 40 utilities are using Videofied to protect their remote substations and storage yards.

Videofied is affordable with a basic system costing less than $4,000. The big difference between Videofied and CCTV surveillance is that most surveillance video recordings are only viewed after the theft in an attempt to identify the criminals, after is has happened--too late to stop the damage and usually too late to catch the crook. Videofied immediately alerts the monitoring station of the intrusion and they can verify the crime and get priority police response – and capture the thieves red-handed.

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