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How Rugged NVRs Survive the Elements – Security for the Oil and Gas Industry

By ·Categories: Depend OnLogic, Tech Explained·Published On: October 15th, 2020·3.6 min read·

Rugged NVRs (network video recorders) have dramatically improved security & surveillance capabilities for the oil and gas industry because of their ability to withstand harsh environments. Keeping a close eye on critical infrastructure is a challenge in every industry, but arguably, it may be most challenging in oil and gas. Front of mind for oil and gas professionals is how to protect their assets that include drill sites, pipelines and refineries that are typically located in remote and inhospitable environments across vast geographic areas. A security solution requires rugged hardware including a rugged NVR that can survive a tough environment. 

So just how does the environment affect a computer and how can an NVR intended for oil and gas security survive the harsh conditions?

How Does the Environment Affect a Computer?

desert oil rigHeat:

The components within a computer system run at a specific current induced by a low voltage that can be very sensitive to even small changes. When a computer heats up, and the electrical resistance is lowered, the current can quickly increase causing slowdowns, damage and even failure of processors, power supplies, memory and storage.  

NVRs designed for high temperature environments have been engineered to stay cool to resist these adverse effects. They also have built-in safeguards to throttle back performance or shutdown in order to help protect the system in extreme heat situations. 

Arctic PipelineCold:

Most users don’t give too much thought to the other end of the thermometer, but cold temperatures can cause serious problems for computer systems and components. PCs exposed to cold temperatures can be subject to thermal shock, caused by the varying expansion rates of connecting materials during heating or cooling. Wide temperature swings that can be seen from night to day in many outdoor environments can exacerbate the problem as components continually contract and expand, weakening connections. Temperature changes can also lead to condensation buildup and it’s no secret that water and electronics don’t mix. Choosing an NVR that can withstand extreme cold and temperature swings is an important requirement not to overlook.


Dust and other airborne debris are a fact of life in the Oil & Gas industry (not to mention construction installations, manufacturing environments and warehouses). Dust can also bring in grease, metal shavings or corrosive particulate. Even if they’re not immediately harmful, these substances build up on internal components, creating an insulating layer that can quickly result in overheating or electrical shorting. Rugged computers are typically fanless and ventless which eliminates the opportunity for dirt, dust and grease to impact the inner workings of your NVR.

refinery2Shock & Vibration:

Another risk to NVRs deployed for security in challenging industries like oil and gas is the exposure to damage from shock and vibration. Systems utilized in mobile installations or attached to active equipment can be subject to sudden impacts or continuous vibration that can cause component degradation over time, or sheer off internal connections. Consumer computer hardware is designed to sit on a desk, not ride inside a crane or be integrated into distillation systems, that’s a job for rugged PCs.

Hardware as a Security Force Multiplier

A photo of the Karbon 700 from OnLogicWhen monitoring properties that span hundreds if not thousands of miles, security experts increasingly rely on technology to get the job done. When geography makes the job too dangerous or unsustainable, rugged surveillance hardware that withstand the elements is what you need for a robust security network.

Oil and gas security installations require a specialized and rugged NVR designed for the harsh rigors of remote installation. OnLogic systems are engineered to take the heat, resist the cold, stand up to vibration and protect components from dust and debris.Explore OnLogic’s NVR solutions and if you have questions about how to identify the right security hardware for your Oil & Gas installation (or any other challenging environment), the Hardware Solution Specialists at OnLogic can help.

Note: The article was originally posted on January 15, 2015. It was updated for content on October 15, 2020.

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About the Author: OnLogic

OnLogic is a global industrial computer manufacturer that designs highly-configurable, solution-focused computers engineered for reliability for the IoT edge.