Solar panels aren’t built to withstand constant pecking and creatures playing and nesting on them, it certainly isn’t good if you want them to last a long time. In order to preserve the life-time of your solar panels you need to keep birds and creatures away as much as possible.
Over an extended period of time, birds can cause a lot of damage to solar panels if they start to nest around and underneath the solar panels themselves. If they peck at the panels or nest on the wiring, that will certainly cause damage.
If you’re wanting to know how to protect your solar panels, continue reading to find out more and what options are available to help you!
How to Keep Birds Away from Solar Panels
The reason why birds love to nest underneath solar panels is because it’s dark and there’s enough space to keep warm. They’re able to build large nests and pluck at the wire to help build their nest. The problem with this is their excessive droppings and nesting can ruin and disrupt the wiring as well as move around the panels and dislodge them, which doesn’t help in trying to collect solar energy for power. Having a cracked solar panel doesn’t exactly do anything to collect electricity. Here are some ways to prevent that and protect your investment.
Put Up Plastic Predators
Just like scarecrows, plastic predators are put in place to intimidate and scare birds away. If a bird notices that there is something in its way and is frightened, it won’t choose to stay or nest there. Plastic predators can be a giant owl that is placed on the roof of the building, a plastic fox within view for birds to see, or those balls that have evil eyes on them that can be hung anywhere. These are all fairly great deterrents for birds. It may not prevent bird poop from falling, but at least they won’t be nesting and causing problems.
Invest in Bird Mesh
Bird mesh goes underneath the solar panel and acts as a cage around the solar panel itself to prevent animals from getting underneath it. It clips to the panel and runs around the entirety of it acting as a barrier. The holes still allow for airflow, but prevents birds from nesting and bugs building hives as much as possible. You don’t want to burn up your solar panels, but you also don’t want bugs or birds underneath there, so this is a great option. It’s a relatively cheap option when it comes to protecting solar panels.
Try Roof Spikes
No, this is not some sort of medieval system that kills the enemies trying to climb onto the roof of your home. The spikes are designed smaller, specifically for birds, making it uncomfortable for them to sit down for extended periods of time or want to nest. The spikes themselves aren’t incredibly large, but when placed close enough together, birds won’t find it comfortable to sit, relax, and stay. They’re not the most beautiful option on the market in regards to decorations for your home, but they are effective.
Maintain Solar Panels
This is one of the most important steps when it comes to warding off not only birds but rodents and bugs as well. Making sure that any debris that gets stuck under the panels or wiring that comes undone is taken care of and cleaned is important to detouring birds. By up-keeping cracks that appear and any mounting issues will help to keep your panels safe from birds wanting to make a home. By having them professionally serviced a few times a year will also do a great service by increasing the longevity of the solar panels.
Does Bird Poop Damage Solar Panels?
Most solar panels are self-cleaning, but near the edges of the solar panels is where bird poop can start to collect, and over time will lower the amount of electricity that is produced. In drier climates the amount of dust that collects can be overwhelming. Bird poop isn’t radioactive or anything, just so we’re clear as mud. Technically, the bird poop and dust need to cover the whole panel in order to have an impact. This is another important part of maintaining solar panels so they don’t become a permanent place for bird residents.
Tips on How to Clean Solar Panels (if necessary)
First off, please do not try to climb onto your roof in order to clean your solar panels. If you don’t have the right equipment, such as a ladder, or can’t reach your panels, hire someone professionally so as not to hurt yourself.
Clean your solar panels either early in the day or later in the afternoon. If you try cleaning your solar panels when the sun is blazing, then the water will dry and the grime will smear instead of being cleaned off. Earlier in the morning means there is still dew on the solar panels, which helps to lift the dirt off the solar panels for easier cleaning. Even overcast days are perfect for cleaning, and you won’t sweat to death.
Remember to not use any tools that are super abrasive or will cause damage to your solar panels when trying to scrub off dirt. All you want to do is wash away grime, not try and scrape and cause scratches on the panels themselves. A cloth and water will be just fine, or even a fine bristled brush. If you can use filtered water that would be best, as minerals can leave streaks on the solar panels and collect more dirt.
It’s not dire to to clean solar panels every day or every weekend even. They don’t normally get dirty enough to need to be cleaned all of the time. Only clean your solar panels or have a maintenance crew come if you notice that the performance is impacted or can see that birds and rodents are nesting and chewing. Otherwise, just keep an eye on them and do what’s necessary when problems arise and are noticeable.