Solar panels are something to celebrate, they mark a gateway into a future of sustainable energy and reduced bills. They are one of the best investments you can make, not only for reducing your own outgoings but also for selling unused electricity back to the grid.
Solar panels make for perfect pigeon bolt holes. The feathered pests can nestle right behind the panels and be protected from all kinds of weather. Cool in the summer, warm and dry in the winter, and perched on the roof - a pigeon couldn’t ask for more when it comes to picking a home. Pigeons, gulls and other birds adore solar panels; they like to be up high, so they have a good vantage point and they also like to feel sheltered and hidden from the preying eye of predators. Solar panels tick all these boxes.
For homeowners, having a flock of pigeons nesting behind your solar panels is nothing but bad news. Pigeons are messy guests and won’t think twice about covering your pretty panels in droppings and feathers, dirt and debris.
If the surface of your solar panels is covered in pigeon droppings, then they won’t be able to drink in as much sunlight, which means they won’t store as much power and therefore you won’t have as much leftover to sell back to the grid. Not only are your pigeon guests stealing your sunlight harnessing capability, but they are also costing you money.
As pigeon droppings are also super acidic, they can also lead to corrosion and structural damage to your solar panels. Over time, the framework can rust, and the cables can become damaged. Even if it doesn’t lead to structural damage, the incessant noise of the birds in the morning, the guano blocking your guttering and drains, and the bird mites making their home in your pets, all this should be enough to convince anyone to pigeon proof their solar panels.
Pigeon preventative action comes in the simple form of a bird mesh. This thin mesh or bird netting can be attached to your solar panels, either through clips or carefully drilling. It’s not only the surface of the solar panels that need to be protected, but all around the sides so that the birds are unable to find access to the safe space underneath.
Bird mesh comes in many different qualities, but we suggest sourcing the strongest and smallest holed option you can find. If you are going to do it, you may as well do it right. Often made from galvanized steel and with tiny holes of around 10-15mm, the best mesh ensures that even the tiniest little pest has very little chance of breaking through. A good mesh system will also still provide great airflow and ventilation for your solar panels.
If you have fallen victim to a solar panel preying gang of pigeons, then make sure that you get the experts to thoroughly clean your panels prior to attaching the mesh. To get your panels back up to the best speed, they should have all traces of guano, feathers and debris cleared away.
Another option for pigeon proofing is to have spikes fitted beneath the solar panels. While the spikes won’t touch or affect the solar panels, they will provide that necessary barrier to stop birds from snuggling up. The steel pins act as bars and should also be fitted by solar powered water tanks and systems if you have these on your property.