Do you have pigeons or other small animals making their homes under your solar panels? It’s a problem we see all too often, but luckily it has an easy solution. The most effective way to stop pigeons from getting under solar panels is with solar panel critter guards. And not to worry, just as solar panels do not harm birds, as these guards will not either, but they are very effective at preventing birds from nesting under solar panels.
So What Are Solar Panel Critter Guards?
Usually made of galvanized steel that is PVC coated, these mesh looking guards help keep small animals, birds and large pests from nesting under your solar panels. Here is an example of a home with critter guards and one without:
As you can see, the home without these guards has a large gap under the panels, leaving plenty of room for pigeons, squirrels, and debris to collect under them.
Why Would You Want To Keep Pigeons From Under Your Panels?
While it may seem harmless to have birds such as pigeons under your solar panels, most critters can cause damage to your system costing you hundreds in repairs. Squirrels, for example, can nest under the panels, and like to chew through exposed or hanging wires. They can cut power lines from solar panels if they chew the right wire. Birds (such as pigeons) also nest under and around panels, causing a buildup of dirt and feces that can lower panel efficiency significantly. Its important that rooftop solar panels maintain airflow underneath to keep them cool and running at the ideal capacity.
In addition, environmental debris, such as leaves or twigs, can also lead to panel damage. Having a build up of dry leaves and twigs can act as a dangerous fire hazard. This is why it is important to have a critter guard installed around your solar panels.
How Do You Keep Birds From Nesting Under Your Panels?
Critter guards have the most proven success in this area. They block birds and other pests from making a home under your panels, or possibly damaging them. There are a few different brands for critter guards and they can be easily installed at the same time as your panels.
What If I Already Have Solar Panels Installed? Can I Install Critter Guards Myself?
Amazon has critter guards for sale and there are plenty of videos on YouTube that show how to DIY the install. However, attempting to install critter guards yourself can be physically dangerous, as well as dangerous to your existing system – rooftop solar setups can be complicated, and pulling a wire or shifting a panel by accident can compromise your entire system. It’s always best to let professional installers add critter guards for you. Calling the company that originally installed your system is the best and safest course of action. It allows for any workmanship warranties to still be intact and alleviates you from any liability should something go wrong.
Are Critter Guard Worth The Extra Investment?
As mentioned above, pigeons and other pests like to nest under panels which can cause extensive damage. While it may not seem like such a big deal, having no power because one of the wires was chewed by a rodent is definitely not ideal. To prevent such things from happening, installing critter guards either during or after your solar install is a wise decision for any homeowner.
If you are interested in solar energy, make sure to check out our tips for any homeowner looking into solar.
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Did you know?
One wind turbine can produce enough electricity to power up to 300 homes.
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Solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass, and geothermal power can provide energy without the planet-warming effects of fossil fuels.