Battery backup in CCTV installation
Ola our student was up to his first installation of installing an eight-camera CCTV system in Lagos, Nigeria. As frequent power cuts are common in Lagos, Ola wants to know what is the best way to power the CCTV system and is it wise to use a battery power backup? If this is the case, how to calculate the backup power required? Or is there any other alternative ways to power the system?
CCTV systems can be powered by different power sources, such as a generator and solar power, etc. UPS (Uninterrupted Power Supply) is often used as an alternative and temporary power source. The below article explains what is UPS and the best techniques used to power a CCTV system via it.
When main power fails, UPS will provide power to the system to function for that period, often for a few minutes, but this depends on required power load. UPS is very common in developing countries and places where frequent power cuts are experienced. UPS is a battery-backed power supply which will be charged when main power is on and when an interrupt in power supply is experienced, battery will continue with temporary power to keep current flow uninterrupted. Once the main power is back, UPS will terminate power supply and go back to recharging mode. As it uses rechargeable batteries, it will normally have a lifespan and this can be seen as a drawback. However, lithium-ion batteries are incredibly popular for their long lifespan.
UPS in CCTV
A CCTV system’s power supply, DVR and any other devices can be plugged to a UPS and when power fails, these devices will get powered via UPS. It is important to understand the total power load (amps) required by the system, this includes all cameras, monitors, dvr’s/nvr’s, etc. By adding the required power load of each device connected to the system, you can calculate the total power load required. Once you have the total power load then you can compare it with UPS power load. When all equipment is powered via UPS, it’s very likely you will require a huge power load and in most cases your battery backup can only last for few hours. It is advisable not to power the monitor with UPS.
What to look for in batteries?
Input and output voltage and watts, as different countries adapt different standards it’s advisable to check local standards. Protection and filtering, lightning and surge protection are some of the features included in UPS. Recharge time of the battery, backup time, total output sockets are some of the main features to look for in UPS.
What should Ola be doing to find the right backup?
Ola should decide what amp is required on each of the outputs of the CCTV power supplies used to power the cameras. Also if he is using infrared cameras he should take extra caution in deciding on the right power supply unit. Infrared cameras pull up to 1A and DVR can pull up to 4A and normal cameras amp requirements need to be taken in to consideration. Ola should understand, just a battery backup will not be enough to draw power to the system for a long time. Batteries are used as an emergency power supply for a few minutes before main power comes back. If he needs the system to function for hours, then he is advised to have a generator as battery will provide power till the generator kicks in.
In conclusion, battery backup is only for a few minutes or in some cases a few hours, if you are looking for a longer backup power, a generator or solar power will be the right solution.
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