Friday, November 13, 2009

Olin Corp. purchases Lat-Lon solar tracking units

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Olin Corp. has purchased hundreds of Lat-Lon's solar tracking units, with built-in camera capability, to bolster security for its tank car fleet. Designed to provide "much more information than can be collected with traditional sensors," Lat-Lon says the pictures can show “the position of valves, hatches, brakes, condition of asset, weather, intruders, or damage," providing "increased security and safety by allowing the customer to act on a visual picture."

Clayton, Mo.-based Olin Corp. produces chlorine and caustic soda, sodium hydrosulfite, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen, potassium hydroxide, and bleach products, which are shipped by rail.

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The camera captures pictures based on an event such as an impact or hatch opening, which matters to Olin executives such as Principal Software Engineer Don Loftis. “When an alarm is generated, the first thing I would like to do is go see the car. Now with the camera on Lat-Lon’s STU, that’s exactly what I can do,” Loftis says.

Images can be taken during the day as well as night. The camera has infrared capability and can capture a photo in complete darkness without intruders knowing that a picture was taken. The unit is powered by the sun and has a backup battery that provides the required power through the night. A patented Lat-Lon power system extends the life of batteries so that they do not need to be replaced as often.