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Solar panels power remote monitoring system to provide early warning of land slips

A solar-powered communications gateway is a key part of a large-scale wireless monitoring system to protect trains from the dangers of landslides. The InfraGuard system developed by wireless condition monitoring specialists Senceive has been installed on steep cuttings and embankments along more than 40km of track in Kent, Sussex and Wessex in South East England on behalf of Network Rail.

Comprising rows of tilt sensing nodes fixed to metal stakes, together with a 4G Gateway and a 4G camera, the system enables early identification of small movement and near real-time detection of sudden movement. The system employs a series of four alert levels based on the scale of movement recorded and these automated alerts are validated by photographic images reducing the risk of false alarms.

Along the 40km of track there are more than 20,000 tilt sensors, 750 cameras and 500 gateways.

Powering the lithium ion batteries in the communications gateways are Solar Technology International’s PV Logic 20w and 45w rigid solar panels. Secured to a metal pole with a bespoke aluminium bracket, the premium 12v solar panels connect to the battery through a MPPT charge controller to ensure the battery is regularly charged and the communications gateway can work reliably in remote locations.

The InfraGuard system for detecting landslides and slope failures is proving a practical long-lasting solution for off-grid, isolated locations as notifications of ground movements provide an instant view of potential problems, all without visiting the site.

For more information visit Senceive case study Earthworks Monitoring – Kent, Sussex & Wessex

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