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How to Protect Your Solar System from Animals

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Jane Marsh's picture
Editor, Environment.co

Jane Marsh is the Editor-in-Chief of Environment.co. She covers topics related to climate policy, sustainability, renewable energy and more.

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  • Dec 28, 2022
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Solar panels are a great energy source due to their ability to generate electricity while remaining environmentally friendly. Unlike fossil fuels, energy from the sun is renewable, sustainable and easy to maintain. According to reports, solar power is cost-effective and many Americans prefer to use it over other sources of electricity. However, animals can prevent solar energy from providing its long-term benefits due to certain damages that may cause panels to malfunction.

As a result, it is crucial to ensure solar panels are safe from animal attacks. To realize the full benefit of solar energy, you must prevent animals from causing damages that may be expensive to repair. Here are seven ways to stop animals from gaining access to solar panels.

1. Mesh

The best approach to keep out some animals — like birds and squirrels — is to install mesh or netting around the panels. It inhibits access to the sides and hinders the construction of nests underneath the machinery. These solar products are called critter guards in the solar energy industry and are constructed from high-grade metal mesh resembling chicken wire.

2. Spike

Another technique to prevent animals from damaging solar panels is mounting short metal teeth around the system. This method is safe for keeping animals like birds away due to the barrier it creates between the roof and the boards. The base is constructed to endure ferocious winds and extreme temperatures.

3. Animal Control and Removal

Putting measures in place to prevent animals from damaging solar panels does not necessarily mean animals will be wary of them. In case animals get trapped in the property when trying to gain access to a solar panel, you can employ animal control or wildlife removal services to ensure they are preserved and their lives are not in danger.

4. Angular Structure

Installing solar panels at certain angles can make it difficult for animals to access them comfortably. Because it may not be easy for them to get a grip on the panel’s surface, animals like monkeys may find it challenging to get on, let alone damage them.

5. Fake Bird Decoy

This method of keeping animals away from solar panels is not very popular because it may be ineffective if certain animals — such as birds and squirrels — dominate the area. This preventive measure is less likely to scare away birds that have already made a nest. However, it is a great way to scare other smaller animals away if adequately used.

6. Sanitation

Animals’ access to a property might leave dirt on a solar panel which puts it at risk of expensive damage. This is why monitoring the panels' location and checking for dirt is necessary to ensure the place is well-sanitized. In addition, a property may need a deep cleaning if animals are removed after gaining access to a solar panel.

7. Solar Board Servicing

It is advisable to provide a yearly service to keep solar panels operating correctly. This will guarantee system maintenance is in whole working order and any faults or drops in electricity generation are instantly identified and fixed.

The majority of panels clean themselves with typical rainfall. Although a yearly service may not be required, a checkup will ensure owners may continue efficient usage.

Build Animal-Proof Solar Panels

Jeopardizing the time invested in building a solar panel is not worth it, so it is crucial to protect them against animal destruction. To enjoy maximum solar energy efficiency, builders may combine two or more preventive methods to keep animals away. Consider utilizing these seven animal-prevention methods to keep a solar system operating at its full potential.

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