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Why Smart Security Systems are Indispensable to the Energy Market

The infrastructure that supplies energy stretches across the U.S. These sprawling networks of production and supply are uniquely vulnerable to any number of threats.
oil field Surveillance

The total worth of American energy producing businesses is valued around $380 billion. Since consumer demand for these resources remains high, we depend on the energy sector for our comfort, our work, and our very lives. Making the security for these energy infrastructures invaluable.

Here’s how energy companies are stepping up with smart security systems that leverage technology to protect our energy infrastructures.

What is the Energy Sector?

Energy oil and gas video surveillance

The energy sector includes: 

  • Regulated power utility companies.
  • Businesses involved in the exploration of oil and gas resources.
  • Renewable energies like solar and nuclear power.
  • Drilling and refining operations such as coal mines or off-shore oil wells. 

This industry is typically segmented into two categories:

1. Non-renewable energy resources

  • Coal

  • Diesel fuel

  • Gasoline

  • Heating oil

  • Natural gas

  • Nuclear energy

  • Oil and petroleum products

2. Renewable energy sources

  • Biofuels like ethanol

  • Hydropower

  • Solar power

  • Wind power

When you consider the energy industry, its importance goes beyond just providing modern conveniences like lighting and heat to businesses and individuals. As Investopedia sums up, “The energy sector has been an important driver of industrial growth over the past century, providing fuel to power the rest of the economy.”

The infrastructure that supplies energy stretches across the U.S. These sprawling networks of production and supply are uniquely vulnerable to any number of threats, whether it’s adverse weather or terrorist attacks. It is vital to our national interests to protect these facilities. Here’s how smart security with video surveillance can help.

Smart Surveillance for Energy Infrastructures

The energy grid consists of substations, transformers, and power lines. It’s a complex system of publicly regulated utility providers, independent power producers, regional power networks, delivery transmission systems, and more.

There are 600,000 miles of backbone energy transmission lines in the U.S. and another 5.5 million miles of local distribution lines. How can you protect this infrastructure? The answer is by using increasingly sophisticated smart video surveillance tools. By upping the ante with technology, the energy sector can increase its proactive observation of these architectures and delivery systems. Here are some examples of how smart security systems can help the energy sector:

Coal and Gas Security Solutions

Oil and Gas Surveillance Remote Cameras

Harsh weather environments, like those present in coal mines or the oil fields or North Dakota, can present a challenge for any security system. Today’s intelligent video surveillance solutions can be hardened to withstand -40 degrees or a sweltering 150 degrees or higher. These systems can be dual powered for redundancy by using electricity and solar with a battery backup for continuous service. They can also be cloud-connected and monitored carefully to ensure proper function 24/7/365.

Energy Substations

There are thousands of energy substations around the U.S. They are threatened by everything from adverse weather to curious passers-by. The solution is continuous and automated remote monitoring of these substations with cloud-connected video solutions. This smart technology uses the internet to ping a cell phone or alert a remote observer when there is a problem. These tools can alert security staff to everything from unexpected equipment failure to trespassers. 

Natural Gas Energy Security

Natural Gas Energy Video Surveillance

The latest in smart video surveillance offers natural gas production and delivery companies an intelligent way to monitor these systems. Thermal cameras can detect temperature increases that could signal an equipment leak. This data can flow to an automated alarm and email or cellphone notification system. Sophisticated analytics can even predict equipment failure before it happens. This keeps everyone a little safer while protecting the security of our natural gas energy delivery systems.

Oil and Gas Infrastructure Security

The security of our oil and gas infrastructure comes with some unique challenges because of the remoteness and sheer length of these pipelines. Video surveillance can help by covering the massive miles of pipeline infrastructure that delivers raw materials to production facilities. Solar power IP-connected cameras eliminate the need for electricity and the cell phone grid offers a continuous or motion-activated video feed. There are also mobile and stationary solutions tied to sophisticated software that can detect and pinpoint activity at any point in your architecture. Artificial intelligence can learn as it goes, creating a more sophisticated security detection process designed to handle escalating threats.

Nuclear Power Plant Security

Oil and Gas video surveillance

The idea of a security breach at a nuclear power plant is terrifying. Fortunately, smart security systems allow for sophisticated video analytics that can:

  • Provide a virtual tripwire for a perimeter violation from a trespasser.

  • Detect motion and respond with audio and visual alarms.

  • Monitor for camera tampering to ensure no video surveillance system is compromised.

  • Track loitering to ensure unauthorized people don’t linger too long in a certain area.

Wind Farm and Solar Farm Security

Wind farms and solar farms are not only remote, but they are often located on sprawling acres stretching for miles. Since there is no way for a human security presence to cover every area of a sprawling wind farm, smart video solutions must be employed. However, video surveillance requires hardening for extreme weather conditions. Camera hardening for dust, vibration, sun, rain, and cold is a standard. Video surveillance must also transmit data into the cloud to provide real-time information to protect these facilities.

There are many things that can go wrong at power plants of all types. Massive delivery infrastructures create unprecedented security challenges. Each point in these architectures creates unique vulnerabilities that threaten energy delivery. These vulnerabilities can be exploited by criminals or terrorists. Adverse weather can also cause structures to fail. Even on-site accidents can happen. In all of these cases, proper security with video surveillance is paramount. But what company is uniquely positioned to handle the varying needs of both renewable and non-renewable energy providers?

The answer is smart, modern security like Pro-Vigil. 

Keeping the Energy Sector Safe with Smart Security Systems

Oil Field Video Surveillance

Whether it’s wind farm security, nuclear security, or the infrastructure security of our nation’s oil and gas pipelines, Pro-Vigil can help. We understand that our energy utilities are mission critical for life as we know it. That’s why we design and deploy redundant intelligent security solutions for our energy sector customers. Contact our team today to find out how we can help.

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