Bird Proofing of Solar Panels

Solar panels perform an essential role in the conservation of resources and the reduction of air pollution. They are a source of free electricity, created by means of a number of photovoltaic cells on the panel, which allow particles of light (photons) to release electrons from atoms, generating electricity for us to make use of.

In order for these Solar Panel systems to remain functional, there must be nothing obstructing the light from reaching these photovoltaic cells. A building up of dirt or debris on the Solar Panel can drastically reduce its efficacy, and may cause power supply issues for those reliant on the power that these Solar Panels generate.

With the majority of Solar Panels installed to the rooftops of buildings, these panels are extremely vulnerable to bird activity, and often provide optimal roosting spots for pest birds. The consequence is that these Solar Panels are then soiled on a regular basis with their droppings, resulting in the need for regular cleaning in order for the photovoltaic cells to remain effective.

Further to this, such obstructions that remain in place for a sufficient time can ultimately cause the affected cells of the PV panel to become permanently damaged, thereby reducing generated energy. Due to the nature of the circuitry, this can then lead to a “bottleneck” of power generation that affects the entire bank of panels as opposed to the small area affected, thereby resulting in a disproportionate loss of generation.

If the Solar Panel is installed in such a manner that it is raised on one side (IE: it is not flush with the surface of the roof), this creates an ideally sheltered area within which pest birds often build their nests. The presence of nests will, in turn, increase the amount of bird activity on and around the arrays.

The Bird Deterrent Specialists approach to bird proofing of a Solar Panel is threefold:

1. Reduce Maintenance and Preserve Efficacy of Solar Panels

Where pest bird activity in the vicinity of the Solar Panels leads to the presence of bird droppings on the panels, we apply a Nano Silver hydrophobic protective coating to the photovoltaic surface of the panels. This coating prevents any liquids (except organic solvents) from penetrating or sticking to the surface of the solar panel, making it very easy to clean. Rain water, or a small amount of water, running down the surface of the panel, will take any dirt or droppings with it, washing the surface clean and maintaining the efficacy of the Solar Panel.

Solar Panels

2. Create a Barrier to Nesting under Solar Panels

In order to prevent pest birds from making use of the shelter provided by the raised section of the Solar Panel, we install our long-lasting SheerStop Net bird deterrent netting or Galvanised Weld Mesh solution to the back and sides of the openings created. The openings are, therefore, completely closed, and the product installed thus acts as a physical barrier to pest bird activity. Neither our SheerStop Net  nor our Galvanised Weld Mesh will negatively impact upon the aesthetics of the building.

3. Creating a Barrier to Roosting on Solar Panels

Lastly, to prevent the pest birds from perching on top of the arrays, or from entering the spaces between the Solar Panels, we install a specially designed Wire Trip Stainless Steel Wire Deterrent System to the panels. This Wire Trip system comprises very thin stainless steel monofilament wires, supported by stainless steel posts or brackets, running over the Solar Panels. These wires protect the edges of the Solar Panels from pest birds looking to perch there, and creates a barrier for pest bird entry to the spaces between the Solar Panels.

Solar Panels

As an example, this robust and effective system is currently keeping Seagulls away from the large Solar Panel arrays on the roof of the Merchant House building at the Waterfront, Cape Town. A building previously infested with a heavy presence of Seagulls on the roof and Solar Panels.

When it comes to protecting your Solar Panels from pest bird activity, our threefold bird proofing approach is the most comprehensive and durable system available.

Give Bird Deterrent Specialists a call, so that we can provide you with a quotation to rid you of your pest bird problem.