How to ensure pests and birds don’t impact your solar

How to ensure pests and birds don’t impact your solar

Solar panels are a brilliant investment for Australian homeowners, offering a sustainable solution to the rising energy prices. But like any investment, it’s important to maintain and protect it. One often overlooked issue is the impact pests and birds can have on your solar system. Let’s dive into the common problems and how to address them.

Minimising the Chances of Pest and Bird Infestations

Regular care and maintenance along with some clever protection applied to parts of your solar installation can minimise the chances of issues from pests and birds.

  • Solar Panel Mesh or Guards: Installing a mesh or guard around your solar panels can prevent birds from nesting underneath. Ensure that the mesh does not shade or block the panels.
  • Regular Cleaning: A routine clean can remove spider webs and any debris that might have accumulated on the panels. Remember to use soft brushes and gentle cleaners to avoid scratching the panels.
  • Seal Entry Points: Check for gaps or openings around the solar panel mounting system and seal them. This deters rodents from accessing and damaging the cables.
  • Use of Non-Toxic Repellents: There are various non-toxic repellents available that can deter pests. For instance, essential oils like peppermint or eucalyptus can be effective against rodents, or certain visual deterrents like reflective tape, old CDs or DVDs, or wind-driven devices can startle birds and make them avoid the area.
  • Maintain Surrounding Areas: Keeping the area around your solar panels free from tall grasses, shrubs, or clutter can reduce the chances of pests setting up home there.

Addressing Common Pest and Bird Issues

Some of the most commonly seen issues in Australia, include:

  • Bird Nesting: Birds, especially pigeons, often find the space beneath solar panels a cosy shelter from the elements. Over time, their nesting materials and droppings can accumulate, affecting the efficiency of your system. Installing mesh or guards around your solar panels can prevent birds from nesting underneath.
  • Bird Droppings: While these can be cleaned during routine maintenance, installing deterrents like bird spikes can prevent birds from settling on your panels in the first place.
  • Chewing of Cables: Rodents such as rats and possums have a habit of chewing through wires. This not only damages your solar system but could also pose potential fire risks. If you notice damaged cables, it’s essential to have them repaired promptly. Using conduit or protective sheathing can prevent future damage.
  • Spider Webs: Spiders spinning webs over panels can reduce their efficiency by blocking sunlight. Regular cleaning with a soft brush and gentle cleaners can remove spider webs and ensure that the panels receive maximum sunlight, maintaining their efficiency.
  • Debris Buildup: Pests can often lead to an accumulation of debris such as leaves, twigs, or even food remnants. This can hinder solar panel performance. Installing gutter guards can minimize debris accumulation, ensuring your panels remain efficient.
  • Nocturnal Pests: Creatures like possums can be active at night and might find solar installations intriguing. Motion-activated lights can deter these nocturnal visitors.
  • Ants and Insects: Ants and other small insects might be attracted to the electrical components of the solar system. Sprinkling natural deterrents such as diatomaceous earth around the base of the solar mounts can discourage them.
  • Corrosive Droppings: Some bird droppings can be corrosive and, over time, might damage the panel surface. Using a protective solar panel coating can help safeguard against this, ensuring the panels remain in top condition.
  • Noise from Birds: When birds nest underneath panels, the noise they make can sometimes be a disturbance. Using visual deterrents like reflective tapes or objects that move with the wind can keep birds at bay.

In conclusion, while solar panels are a fantastic addition to your home, being proactive in preventing and addressing pest and bird issues will ensure they remain efficient and safe. By following the tips mentioned above, homeowners can enjoy the benefits of their solar system without any unwanted interruptions.