03 Sep Is Solar Panel Bird Mesh Worth it?
Solar panels are being installed in increasing numbers and there are plenty of reasons for this. They are particularly effective in a country such as Australia where the long hours of sunshine throughout the year ensure they’re especially good at generating lots of electricity.
If you want to help the environment and at the same time reduce your electricity bills, especially during the summer months when your air conditioning is working hard to keep you cool, solar panels are the way to go. And although solar panels aren’t cheap to buy and install, they are much less expensive than in the early years and they will start to repay your investment as soon as they are up and running.
Potential Problems with Unprotected Solar Panels
Solar panels have no running costs, create no noise or other drawbacks and have very few maintenance needs. And they will lower your energy bills significantly to potentially only around half of what they were previously. But they can cause certain problems and have issues you need to deal with.
- Appearance. Although most people don’t understand or care about the way solar panels work and the complexities of the operation, they can see how they look. This generally amounts to personal preference although most people will usually accept them over time as simply part of the roofline and may like the way they look. However, they won’t accept them if they don’t look right and one common complaint is the gap beneath the panels. That is necessary to provide sufficient airflow so that the panels operate efficiently but it is a bone of contention for many owners.The simple fact is that the gap can give the solar panels an unfinished look and make the installation appear untidy, even second-rate. Wires and racking are exposed and anything caught under the panels will be seen so the overall sleek and smooth appearance of the panels is rather spoiled.
- Pests. Birds, rodents and vermin of various kinds are attracted by solar panels. The gap beneath them is a tempting haven where they can obtain shelter from the wind, rain and sun, and are protected from predators. They will, therefore, often build nests under there and, as a result, the previously empty space can become rather full.The presence of pests under your solar panels can lead to all sorts of problems. Droppings will look messy, cause smells and be generally unhygienic while nesting material, feathers and other items will add to the general mess. All this debris can, over time, be washed into your gutters by rainfall and may block them, unless gutter guards are fitted, causing building damage and contaminating any stored water supply.
Rodents in particular also like to gnaw on things and that can include the wiring and other components for your solar panel system. The damage they can cause by doing this is more of a problem than any general mess and noise they may cause.
- Lost production and repairs. Any build-up of debris under your panels, caused by nesting birds or anything blown in on the wind, will reduce the airflow through the gap that’s been purposefully left beneath the panels. This, in turn, will mean the panels aren’t kept as cool as they should be and so they won’t run as efficiently as they are designed to do. The result is a lower level of electricity generation so that the anticipated energy savings aren’t achieved.Even worse is the damage that vermin can do by gnawing through wires and damaging components. This will cause no electricity to be generated at all, either by individual panels or possibly from the whole system. Repairs can then be expensive, requiring the erection of scaffolding and the removal and re-installation of panels in order to be able to clean the mess and to gain access to the components underneath them.
- Property damage. Any build-up of debris under the solar panels can cause a blockage that prevents rainwater flowing freely down the roof. This can, in turn, result in an irregular and unsightly run-off of water and, more seriously, water retention that can damage the roof in the long term.During the summer months, accumulated debris will become dry and will be a source of flammable material sitting directly on your roof. This can be a big problem in bushfire areas and is a serious threat to your property.
How Solar Screening can fix Problems Effectively
Solar skirts fit around the edges of the solar panels and provide a number of benefits since they:
- give a neat and clean appearance that makes the installation appear better finished off since there are no gaps between the panels and the roof
- are easy to install by clipping directly on to the edges of the panels. Since no drilling or screwing is necessary, the performance and warranty of the panels are not adversely affected. Nevertheless, the skirts are held firmly in place and will not slip. They can be cut to the required length with corner fittings available to ensure a neat finish.
- hide unsightly gaps so that wires and racking are not visible
- deter birds and other pests since there are no gaps for them to gain access to the underside of the panels, ensuring the space beneath is kept clear and protection is provided against damage
- are available for new installations and can be retrofitted to existing ones
- have a series of small holes that maintain the necessary airflow beneath the panels so they remain cool and can operate at peak efficiency.
Getting the Best and most Effective Solar Panel Bird Protection
Some of the benefits of solar skirts can be obtained by fitting chicken wire or a similar mesh around the perimeter of the solar panels. This will help to deter pests and prevent the build-up of debris while at the same time maintaining the necessary airflow beneath the panels. But it will look unsightly and may not be particularly resilient, especially if low-grade mesh is used and is not fixed securely.
Installing our solar skirts is a much more practical and effective solution. They are Australian made from high-quality materials and will last for many years — so long, in fact, that we’ll guarantee them for the life of the solar panels to which they are fixed. They are fully resistant to storm damage and other adverse weather conditions and are extremely easy to install. Nevertheless, given the dangers of working at height and the need for secure fixing, we recommend professional installation so you know everything’s right.
Our solar skirts look great and make your solar panel installation appear much more professional. They’ll protect the panels and your roof, ensure continuity of electricity generation and give you complete peace of mind. So although they add to the cost of the initial installation, they will save money in the long term, will protect your investment and should not be considered an optional upgrade but an essential element of the system. In short, solar skirts are definitely worth it so give us a call to arrange installation and start reaping the benefits.