Increased Security at EDF Hydroelectric Power Plant
Hydroelectric power has become increasingly popular due to its environment friendliness, and EDF, a leading power company in France, has demonstrated its hydroelectric and hydraulic expertise by conducting construction of over 600 hydroelectric schemes across France and worldwide. One of EDF's most important projects, the hydroelectric plant situated 2000 meters above the sea level in the Savoie region, has made full use of the geographical advantages in this area. With big water pipes running down to the valley and aggregating at the power plant, the Savoie hydroelectric power station provides the residents with abundant power for their daily life.

However, EDF has encountered many difficulties in the operation of the hydroelectric power plant. The water extraction devices at the plant are confronted with the problem of water blockage caused by the environment or the weather, such as fallen branches, rocks, fishes, soil, and snow, and the complicated and extensive piping network makes maintenance and surveillance work extremely difficult. Due to the fact that these large-scale projects require more efficient management schemes as well as strengthened security mechanism at each water extraction site, a solution is needed to ensure the safety and efficient operation of the hydroelectric power plant. Besides concern over better management efficiency, EDF is also faced with low bandwidth problems when installing surveillance cameras because the company uses a telephone line-based 56KB modem at this moment. Insufficient bandwidth will result in poor image and streaming quality, thus leads to a waste in EDF's investments. To fulfill EDF's demand, a cost-effective and high-efficiency solution is needed. EDF has thus turned to CONECTIS, an authorized distributor of VIVOTEK in France, for suggestions on an ideal solution.

In order to achieve centralized management capability for its hydroelectric pipelines, EDF has chosen the VIVOTEK PZ6122 network camera to help it minimize on-site operation difficulties and improve surveillance efficiency. The powerful PZ6122 boasts a 10x optical and digital zoom lens, making it possible to provide great depth of field and clear-cut images on close and distant objects. With the pan/tilt functions that can be controlled over the Internet, PZ6122 offers an extensive view of the hydroelectric plant and avoids the need to install several cameras, helping EDF to ensure seamless monitoring of the site. Of the two selectable MPEG-4 and MJPEG compressions offered by PZ 6122, EDF has opted for MPEG-4 for faster streaming and good image quality. In addition, the two-way audio function allows real-time communications between the viewer and the monitored object.

To date, more than 15 VIVOTEK PZ6122 network cameras equipped with VIVOTEK vandal-proof enclosures have been installed at the Saovie hydroelectric power plant. This solution enhances EDF's control over its hydroelectric power station, allowing the company to maintain a disaster-free environment for stable power supply. After the deployment of the VIVOTEK solution, EDF significantly saved the travel costs to the water extraction sites as well as the time on maintenance.

• Uncompromised Image Quality and Smooth Streaming
With the dual-codec feature, users can choose either MPEG-4 for bandwidth optimization or MJPEG for high image quality. The availability of these two selectable compression technologies offers great flexibility in terms of image quality and bandwidth consumption as users can choose a desirable compression format based on their needs and applications.

• Cost-effective Solutions
Since the installation and maintenance of the digital surveillance system utilizes the Internet infrastructure, no tangling cables are needed. With network infrastructure already in place, this proves to be a cost-effective solution that protects the client's existing investment in networks.

• Remote Accessibility
With an Internet Explorer browser, the client can monitor and access images anytime, anywhere. The pan/tilt/zoom functions can be controlled remotely, dramatically improving management efficiency.
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