While construction management technologies are a necessary concern on all projects, some sites and situations require a greater degree of flexibility than others. Remote locations, absent of readily available power, and urban locales, where it can be difficult to coordinate utilities, often present a need for independently available power. Similarly, power is often unavailable during the site preparation stage. This lack of initial power makes it difficult to monitor and manage a project's crucial beginnings and can limit a builders' ability to use the ideal tools for a given task, exposing them to the risk of costly delays and scheduling difficulties.
In recent years, advances in construction technology have allowed solar powered camera systems to emerge as a reliable and durable solution. Builders coping with powerless jobsites or wanting to leverage green technologies now have the alternative they have been seeking.
Engineered with the same goals as the OxBlue construction camera, the solar powered stations needed to be reliable, maintenance-free and cost-effective. While customers have been asking for a solar powered alternative for years, they often faced a daunting set of mixed messages from vendors. Clients have reported price fluctuations as high as 300% for the same site across multiple dealers. The most significant factor in the cost of a solar station is the quantity and quality of the panels and batteries being utilized. Most often, fluctuations in cost speak to fluctuations in quality. Borrowing from the approach we used with our construction camera, OxBlue has developed a highly standardized system that delivers high quality images that are both reliable and cost effective.
OxBlue's standardized approach to the situation allows us to eliminate much of the guesswork in terms of cost and performance. We use the same premium components in the largest and smallest systems and have employed a uniform production process. As a result, OxBlue brings a greater purchasing power to bear and is able to deliver a premium solar station at a reduced price. OxBlue's Chandler McCormack provided an example, One component in good solar power stations should be a quality charge controller. With other systems a controller consisting of one or two indicator lights to display its status would be typical. However, with OxBlue's units we've been able to leverage our purchasing power to incorporate a top of the line charge controller that includes an LED screen, increasing reliability and giving the user an easy to understand system. As a result of our engineering we've been able to incorporate many similar improvements into the system while keeping the cost low.
Adopting a standardized model also creates an easier to use system for the customer. Instead of having various wires and connections to make between the parts, OxBlue has special outdoor cables manufactured specifically for their solar systems. These cables eliminate the need for a conduit and, since they only connect the correct way, they eliminate the complications of having to figure out the wiring involved. Similarly, every system is designed for December conditions, when average daily sunlight is at a minimum, and even in these conditions the power stations are capable of running for almost a week without sun.
AMB Property Corporation (NYSE:AMB) started using OxBlue Solar Construction Cameras on jobsites in order to monitor the project from day one, when sites are being cleared and temporary power is not yet available. A construction camera is only as good as the view it can capture, and Solar Power Systems allow AMB to position cameras anywhere on the site they like, regardless of power line locations. The systems eliminate the coordination and headaches of getting power to the right location, which can be an issue in both urban and rural areas. In addition, AMB were able to use the OxBlue Solar Power stations as part of their LEED certification program and to take advantage of the 30% Federal Tax Credit for Renewable Power. Needless to say, the decision to use OxBlue Solar Power stations has resulted in a successful customer and program.
An additional incentive for these construction cameras is the renewable energy Federal tax credit program. The Solar Energy Federal Tax Credit offers a 30% credit for equipment that uses solar energy to generate electricity, such as the solar power stations available from OxBlue. For most companies, that translates into savings starting at more than ,000 per camera.
The Solar Energy Federal Tax Credit has become so popular that the U.S. House of Representatives recently passed legislation that extends the 30% Federal tax credit through 2017, giving business owners plenty of time to purchase a solar construction camera system and take advantage of the dollar for dollar tax savings opportunity.
In addition to federal tax incentives, customers purchasing the solar power station for a construction webcam system may be eligible for other state, local and utility incentives that promote renewable energy. Additional information regarding these incentives can be found on the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) website at dsireusa.org.