The San Diego Alternative Energy Meetup Group Message Board › Solar & Electric › Protecting solar panels from theft
|A former member||
CBS video on PV theft
Solar panels are a natural item to be stolen. Better than bikes. Considering they cost 1K a piece. What's the solution? Serial numbers won't do any good. Ask any official. They'll say most nothing is ever recovered. But you have to take down the serial numbers so you can go through the preliminary motions. (The serial numbers are more important for warranty issues.)
Locks are a must. They make quite a few different varieties making it somewhat difficult for some to steal the panels. However locks don't work well either. If you are going to be leaving out 40K worth of panels you'd best get real.
Here's my solution. Use something like the panels from http://www.enphaseene... with built in internet connectivity for monitoring. Then tie that into your linux laptop you always leave on. If any panels go offline then send a text message to your cell phone immediately. However if you are not there you had best have some sort of surveillance cameras tied to the net. As in uploading everything to some centralized place off the property.
As PV becomes more popular this topic should become much more entertaining.
Edited by Bill S on Nov 1, 2008 9:54 AM