Off-grid solar system for park monitoring

PowerStack off-grid solar system uses integrated vertical solar pole to power cameras and communications for the Royal National Park.

Project type: Remote monitoring camera deployment using an off-grid solar pole system and adjacent infrastructure to increase staff and visitor safety in a signal black spot.

Location: Wattamolla picnic area and car park, Royal National Park, Sydney

Product: M80 (8m) PowerStack solar pole. Paired 2 Axis® Communications cameras and network access point.

Technology Partners: Starlink Wi-Fi, Ubiquiti Outdoor Access point, Lonngevity Wireless Link, Axis® Communications Cameras

Integrator: Roden Security

Date/Year: 2023 

Off-grid solar system powers monitoring of Wattamolla beach carpark and picnic area
Construction images for PowerStack off-grid solar system showing a pole top face on with two bullet cameras mounted on it. The pole is resting on a workhorse, ready to be winched or craned into position

Project: Wattamolla is a beautiful inlet and beach area in the Royal National Park in Sydney. It is backed by a dramatic cliff wall with a waterfall. A popular spot with tourists and locals, there is a carpark, toilet facilities and picnic area at the site.

 

Due to the remote nature of Wattamolla, mobile phone coverage is very unreliable or non-existent for many. The area is staffed by park management but they are covering a large area and getting in contact with the area office when at Wattamolla is near impossible. 

 

The park management team wanted to increase safety and security for visitors and park staff by deployment CCTV cameras and the required communications. 

 

They were also looking increase monitoring for predictive maintenance and proactive servicing of areas like the rubbish bins. 

 

Challenge: The nearest grid power pole from the carpark area is 3km. Network reception in the area is patchy enough that staff often need to drive up the road to make a broadcast, and the site is a 30 minute drive from the area office. With no existing surveillance, any incidents at the carpark and picnic area might go unreported for a while and the team had a lack of oversight. This leaves them and park visitors at risk.

 

With no existing AC grid supply, they needed an off-grid solution, and an off-grid solar system seemed to be the way to go. Because the chosen site was in a well trafficked area and in a flower bed, they did not want heavy concrete foundations. Something that could be installed efficiently would be ideal. 

 

And of course, aesthetics were a consideration, if they could find something that wasn’t too bulky. 

Off-grid solar systems from PowerStack running critical monitoring infrastructure.

PowerStack solar solution: The integrator on this project, Roden Security, chose PowerStack as part of a holistic monitoring and communications solution for the site. 

 

This solution consisted of two bullet style Axis cameras on an 8m PowerStack pole. It also featured a Ubiquiti outdoor wireless access point. 

 

This wireless point was then connected to the wireless bridge and access point. These devices were installed on a newly constructed toilet block, powered by their own solar panel and storage system. 

 

The solution creates a reliable communications network, enabling remote access to the camera feed from back at the area office. The off-grid solar system supplied by PowerStack provides reliable green energy to run the two cameras and the wireless access point. 

 

Altogether, the new setup increases safety and security for staff and users by providing greater oversight and quicker detection of any issues. It also enables proactive maintenance of the area, ensuring an enhanced experience for users. 

 

The PowerStack pole (with attached devices) was installed in a matter of hours, using a concrete-free foundation. This minimised disruption, and creates a sleek finished installation that doesn’t detract from the surrounding area. 

 

PowerStack’s rugged, glass solar panels are also weatherproof and vandal resistant, so it’s built to last even in remote and rural locations.

Micropiles for PowerStack off-grid solar system installation. Piles are in position on the concrete free steel base plate, ready to be jackhammered into the ground.
PowerStack off-grid solar system - power poles for infrastructure. Shown in an 8m vertical solar pole with attached camera, installed in a flowered bed. A man stands next to it showing scale.

”Without PowerStack’s off-grid solar, this project wouldn’t have happened. Getting electrical infrastructure to the site wasn’t really an option, but with this technology we’ve delivered reliable communications coverage and monitoring. By far the coolest outcome.”

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How it works - PowerStack off-grid solar system enabling critical infrastructure

PowerStack works with different technology partners and integrators to ensure the best solution for the end user. Here we worked with Roden Security and their chosen technology partners, STARLINK, Ubiquiti, Longevity and Axis Communications to create an ‘all in one’ solution. 

 

The power of PowerStack however is that it is brand and technology agnostic. So the poles are compatible with a huge range of different devices. And, whilst we don’t sell directly to end users, we’re here to help with specification and design. So if you have an application and device in mind, reach out to us for technical information or with any questions. 

 

For more information on compatible technologies and applications, please GET IN TOUCH. For a list of PowerStack suppliers, see the ‘Where to Buy’ page. 

An image of Wattamolla Falls in the Royal National Park, a case study for off-grid solar systems powering critical infrastructure

Solar Power Poles Drive Key Outcomes 

PowerStack vertical solar can be used to power a number of different technologies including security cameras, IoT sensors, lighting, help points and wi-fi networks. Aside from reliable power supply, vertical solar has numerous benefits for both the integrator and the end user. Here are a few of the key features that made PowerStack a standout for this project. 

Reliable green energy that enables power supply in areas that grid power can’t reach. Providing 24/7 uptime, totally off-grid. 

Rugged, weatherproof design with shatterproof, fire resistant, glassless solar panels. 

Flexible modular, integrated design is technology and brand agnostic, giving the end user full choice.

No heavy machinery required, installed in under an hour by a 2 person team. Winches down for easy maintenance. 

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