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Sunstone Systems develops innovative solar surveillance solution utilising Axis technology to deliver highest standard of protection in the harshest of conditions.


Sunstone Systems is a British technology company with a focus on creating robust, innovative, renewable energy solutions to help its clients protect their assets, some in the toughest of conditions. It prides itself on developing smart solutions to security challenges in rugged environments or unsafe settings which often offer limited or no access to power. Sunstone needed to design and install a solution to protect a giant oil field in Kazakhstan. The system would have to be capable of not only withstanding corrosive elements and extremes of temperature, but also incorporate a system of network surveillance cameras, passing high quality video data back to a central control location a great distance away.


Solution

Working is close partnership with Axis, Sunstone delivered a dedicated solution which utilised renewable energy, could withstand corrosion and incredible day and night temperature variations, and deliver high quality data for comprehensive protection of the oil field and machinery. Two systems were developed: a large Solar CCTV System (SICS) and a smaller Autonomous Remote Communication System (ARC). The Solar CCTV System, designed for remote locations, utilised AXIS Q60 Series of PTZ cameras. For the smaller ARC system, fixed Axis bullet cameras from AXIS M20 Series as well as AXIS Q17 Series were used. Rugged PTZ cameras were utilised to provide exceptional clarity of image over long ranges; critically important when securing the vast surface area that the oil field spans.


Result

The system has been a resounding success. The use of a solar system, combined with cameras that require only low power to operate, has removed the need to employ diesel powered generators or to attempt to lay hundreds of miles of cable to the nearest town or city. In addition, the corrosion resistant coating of the Axis cameras and Sunstone equipment means they continue to operate perfectly in an environment that’s high in hydrogen sulphide. As a result, the Sunstone and Axis solution will be replicated across additional oil fields, and Sunstone’s expertise has led to further projects including a highways-related project in the UK.


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Can you provide some background information on Sunstone Systems?

Sunstone Systems was established in 2011, operating primarily as an integrator and working closely with several Blue-Chip organisations. But fast forward to today and we have evolved into an OEM manufacturer working specifically in the clean energy space. We specialise in providing surveillance solutions that utilise renewable energy in remote, off-grid locations and have implemented successful projects in the oil & gas, critical national infrastructure, as well as highways and defence sectors. How did Sunstone Systems begin working with Axis and what does the partnership mean? Axis was one of the first technology providers that we worked with. Axis is constantly evolving and innovating, continually pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. As a result, technologies such as radar and thermal imaging that would have been well outside of our price range, are now affordable and available to use across a multitude of security projects. The partnership with Axis is integral to how we operate our business. There are other companies that innovate, but they don’t have the same attention to detail and quality that Axis has. Axis takes time to understand a problem and works closely with us to find a solution. You are currently involved in a significant project with an oil company in Kazakhstan. What have been the main challenges that Sunstone Systems has faced in this environment? The main oil field is in a very remote location. The extremes of temperature were initially a concern, as any technology deployed needed to be able to withstand highs of 50 degrees Celsius to lows of minus 40 degrees. In addition, operating in a highly corrosive environment that’s rich in hydrogen sulphide will result in anything that isn’t properly protected disintegrating at an alarming rate. Our Solar CCTV System (SICS) is made from 316 stainless steel which is impervious to such corrosion, and the Axis cameras have an anti-corrosion coating. Power was a further consideration, but with the lower power demand from Axis cameras and the increased efficiency of our solar system, this is an incredible combination to put our integrated technologies into remote locations and be confident that they will operate effectively all year round. You have been implementing sustainable security systems for this project that utilise renewable energy. Can you describe how the technology has been beneficial? We built 58 solar powered systems to power the Axis cameras. In such a remote location it was simply not feasible to consider running cables from the nearest towns or cities for power or for online connectivity. With the guarantee of sunlight, solar energy is the most effective and cost efficient choice. Nowadays, the efficiency of renewable options is constantly improving, while the power demand of cameras is reducing, so clean energy is proving to be a perfect fit for powering today’s surveillance technologies. We’re seeing the move to clean energy replicated across the market. There is pressure from end users too as they work to reduce their carbon footprint, lowering emissions to meet global targets. The fact that they’re doing their bit for the environment, even if this hasn’t previously been their main focus, is beneficial to us all. You’ve incorporated several Axis solutions for this project - can you explain which technologies were chosen, and why? We have developed two systems: a large solar IP video surveillance solution, called the Solar CCTV System and a smaller Autonomous Remote Communication System (ARCS). The Solar CCTV System, designed for remote locations, utilises Axis’ Q60 range of PTZ cameras. For the smaller ARC system, we use fixed Axis Bullet cameras from the M20 range to the Q17 range. Axis cameras all offer easy plug and play capabilities, great light quality, and we know how to integrate them onto our networks. The rugged PTZ cameras have the added benefit of being able to provide exceptional clarity of image over long ranges; critically important when securing a vast surface area, such as an oil field. Axis prides itself on continuously striving for new ways to innovate for a smarter safer world. Are there learnings from your use of Axis technologies that can be applied to future projects? The fact we have developed and patented a system that works in one of the most hostile environments on the planet has given us confidence that we can do this anywhere, and it’s testament to the quality of Axis technologies. Axis has supported us and taken the time to understand the complexities of delivering such a solution, and we will continue to work closely alongside the team at Axis in the future. We’re constantly impressed by the capabilities of all the Axis solutions. As a result of our work in Kazakhstan we have been commissioned for a highways related project in the UK, where power considerations and environmental factors are thankfully less of a concern.


Full Article

As the global impact of Coronavirus and COVID-19 escalates, I wanted to update you regarding Sunstone’s response.

You may have seen and heard the decisive announcements made by the UK government on the evening of Monday 23rd March to control the spread of the virus. These actions are very necessary in order to protect the population. We at Sunstone take these very seriously and will comply in full.

Our priority is to make sure that all our employees, customers and partners in the UK and abroad are safe and that we are maintaining our delivery commitments to our customers. Today, all members of our team who are not directly involved in the manufacturing process are working from home and we anticipate this continuing for several weeks. Our Installation and Maintenance team are continuing to work on existing projects as long as the necessary safety precautions are in place on site, whilst ensuring to maintain strict distancing measures while on site. We hope to maintain our usual high level of service but please be understanding as we fully transition to this new model of working. Our production team remain fully functional currently and our supply chain is fully intact, so we remain confident in our ability to continue to meet our product delivery commitments. So, in summary, we remain confident in our ability to secure raw materials and ship product, however, we do expect our lead times to be impacted in the short term. To help us, please continue to place your orders at the earliest opportunity to ensure Sunstone has the maximum amount of time to resolve and mitigate any issues arising. Thank you for your support as we continue to work tirelessly to keep our team, customers and partners safe and minimise any risk in our supply to you. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for further information. We will keep you updated as this unprecedented situation evolves. Best Regards, Paul Schelhaas

 
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