Solar farm with sheep in the foreground


The challenge

With high value technology vulnerable to theft, and a dispersed estate encompassing sites in remote locations, the energy providers looked to security systems integrator, ISD Tech, and technology partner Xtralis to develop a flexible perimeter solution to safeguard over £2billion worth of assets.

Demanding a fast return on investment, ISD-Tech needed to demonstrate a solution enabling 24/7 surveillance coverage across all 60 sites while simultaneously reducing overheads. The approach needed to satisfy local planning authorities with respect for the environment, and, crucially, allow the safe return of grazing livestock to the sites without triggering false alarms. The customers needed completion of an on time and budget deployment that took place during the wettest British winter in over 50 years.

The ISD Tech solution

Conducting side-by-side trials, using three comparable perimeter detection systems over a fortnight period, ISD Tech hired livestock to analyze alarm activations caused by grazing animals. After careful valuation, ISD Tech chose the ADPRO Perimeter and Multi-site Enterprise Security Solution from Xtralis.Providing a reliable 24/7 remote monitoring capability with complete coverage across each perimeter without triggering false alarms, the Xtralis system enabled the fast and effective detection of security threats, eliminating the need for costly manned guarding.

In the event of a trespasser, the ADPRO FastTrace 2E Remotely Managed Multi-service Gateway (RMG) transmits high-quality images to a remote monitoring centre, enabling operators to visually verify a threat and take appropriate action. Used in conjunction with ADPRO IntrusionTrace, FastTrace 2E, the result is a primary detection system for operational alerts and event-based recording across the sterile zones between two security fences at each solar park perimeter.

Awarded Primary Detection System Classification from the UK Home Office Scientific Development Branch (HOSDB), ADPRO IntrusionTrace provided the certification demanded by a regulated environment. Officially approved as a primary detection system for operational use in sterile environments, ADPRO IntrusionTrace is also accredited by the Imagery Library for Intelligent Detection Systems (i-LIDS), the UK government’s benchmark for video analytics systems.

To meet the logistical challenge of ensuring the timely arrival of equipment to each customer site, ISD Tech worked with leading security distributor, Norbain SD. Providing dedicated account management and technical support from the design phase through to project delivery, Norbain SD warehoused all required equipment and shipped to each solar park, successfully working to a tight and complex schedule.


The ISD Tech and Xtralis solution has paid for itself within the first 12 months of deployment. All sites are now remotely monitored from a central location, eliminating the need for expensive on-site manned guarding and massively reducing on-going security costs. Vitally, ADPRO IntrusionTrace enables operators to differentiate between a grazing animal and an actual intruder, with livestock safely reintroduced to the sites just eight months after deployment.

With many solar parks located in remote locations with no access to a local area networks, the unique video compression capability offered by the Xtralis system enables the cost-effective use of mobile 3G connections. The small bandwidth requirement delivers a lower cost of ownership compared to traditional video transmission methods, and eliminated the cost of installing and maintaining any local networks.

Since completion, the solar parks have experienced a number of attempted break-ins, all of which were detected and prevented by operators utilising Xtralis technology. In the event of any environmental changes, detection areas can be adjusted remotely without an engineer to needing to visit the site, which significantly reduces the incidence of false alarms, while saving on unnecessary call-out costs.

Signed off by the customer’s insurers, the ISD Tech and Xtralis solution has resulted in reduced insurance premiums and continues to deliver a clear return or investment.