What’s the deal when birds are perching beneath your solar panels?
Solar PV system owner Jason has an issue.
“Birds are really enjoying themselves perching under my solar panels”, he typed on a relevant forum for solar panel owners. He then proceeded to ask “has any of you tried anything for getting rid of pigeons?”
It’s a frequent issue.
While just a couple of pigeons won’t ruin your solar panel system long-term, the birds perching just under your panels may ruin it for good.
Pigeons especially often like to nest in gutters and, rooftops, overhangs, and even window frames. They are also social buddies who like to live with each other in large groups. And is there anyone who likes to rise from the bed hearing all these pesky bird noises?
Solar UV panels aren’t placed actually on the rooftop but above the grid that lays on your roof, offering a gap between the components of the roof. Pigeons prefer to nest there because it provides a good shaded space and guards them against element and predator exposure. They also like to sit or move around these units.
While specialists agree that the pigeons are not really keen on feeding on solar panels or nibble the wires, their faeces are a major reason to worry. And that is definitely a big issue. Keep in mind that anything that hinders the panel from being exposed to the solar rays may have a negative impact on energy production. If the issue is major and chronic, this can even make the whole solar system futile.
Wiping out all this pigeon poop from the solar panels is also something to consider. Bird poop happens to be acidic, something that may damage the aluminium layer of the panels, and lead to a high level of corrosion.
The collection of the nesting stuff and poop may lead to the formation of nodes that lead to repeat blackouts of cells inside the panels.
When pigeons perch inside the panels, the might hold water during rainfall and let the water accumulate or transfer to delicate spots.
To make matters worse, when pigeons perch beneath the solar panels, they invite other pesky and dirty pests e.g. rodents. These can nibble on the solar panel’s electrical cables and trigger instant circuits and even flames in extreme circumstances.
Additionally, pigeon poop is a host to several pathogens and disease carriers. And all these can be transferred to the air circulation of your home.
So how can you fix that?
There are plenty of methods to tackle the issue effectively.
1. Bird meshes
To cover the surface beneath the solar panels, you may set up a wire screen that attaches directly to the area and covers the whole formation. A less costly alternative would be a synthetic bird screen, which does a similar job, but it may not offer the same level of element protection.
You can employ this method when you set up the solar panels from the beginning or once you see that an increasing number of pigeons are moving around their surface.
Initially, the surface should be cleaned out to get rid of dust and nest droppings prior to the installation of the screen, something that renders the area hard for pigeons to perch on. If there is a big build-up of this debris, it’s suggested to call an expert company to clean and sanitize the surface under the panels.
Make sure to avoid adhering or screwing any object into the solar panel wiring or mountain frame, as this may ruin them and nullify your warranty.
Additionally, avoid placing any mesh layers over the actual panels as these may hinder the sun rays from entering the panels.
Spikes aren’t the mildest and most humane method to apply but they do work in repelling the birds and keeping them from perching under the panels.
3. Fake plastic predators
These do a similar job to the good ol’ scarecrows–an old as hills fix for sure, but a fake eagle or owl with a swivelling head (based on the direction of the wind) can be a good protector for your panels. If you wish to up your game, you may invest in auto bird predator.
Additionally, it is important to keep your garden as clean and clear as possible. Why? Birds love to nest around spots where they can easily find something to feed on. Make sure your garbage cans are completely sealed and that there is no food waste around your house.
In some occasions, it’s not just the pigeons that you have to watch out for. Insects like bees and flies are on the hunt for cold spots to perch on in warmer weather. However, they usually get their nests messed up in all the wiring spots. Bees are much more fierce than pigeons when you tamper with their nests so take extra care when inspecting their homes. It much more difficult to attempt to repel them but once they become an issue, it’s wise to contact a professional for pest control.
Should you experience any of these issues, above all, you have to be extra cautious. If you aren’t sure you can do the removal job yourself, by all means, employ a solar panel bird proofing specialist to do it for you. Be aware that anything that has an impact on your solar panel effectiveness, can have an impact on your wallet too in the long run.