Substation case study

The Site

Multiple electrical substations in the Mid-West United States operated by a large electric power holding company.

The Challenge

Due to the high price of copper, the customer faced the growing issue of theft and damage at multiple sites. The few hundred dollars of copper that was being ripped out was causing hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, repairs, and down time, while creating unsafe grounding conditions for the electrical equipment. Changing site conditions, large perimeters and the inability to trench, and remote locations were all challenges that needed to be addressed when deciding on a solution.

The Solution

An integrator was selected who then teamed up with Optex to create a reliable, effective security solution. The team decided on protecting multiple areas on the properties by taking a layered security approach. The solution would meet the customer's needs by protecting the sites from copper theft, while also eliminating the chance and liability of injury or death from trespassers.

At the first area of intrusion, both the existing perimeter fence and automatic gate systems were reinforced using pairs of the SL-350QFRi, a battery-powered, wireless 350ft. point-to-point photoelectric detector. The battery-powered perimeter beam system allowed the integrator to set up the units without running power to them, eliminating the need to trench or run cables.

For the interior locations on the property, mid-range SIP series and short range HX series passive infrared detectors were installed to offer the customer a stable back up to the perimeter system.

Because the customer operated their own central monitoring station, all detectors on the property were set up to trigger PTZ cameras that were fixed within the sensor's area of detection. This allowed the monitoring station to capture and record any intrusions on the property and take the necessary action before any theft or vandalism occurred.


The end user now maintains a secure perimeter and site that detects intruders and helps to prevent possible injury. With the system in place, the customer has multiple levels of protection and can respond with quick efficiency to catch criminal activity.

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