An important thing to consider when getting solar panels installed on your roof is the possibility of having trouble from birds and other pests. Birds in particular can be keen to roost under and between solar panels because of the shelter they provide – the result can be significant amounts of bird mess around the area and particularly on the panels (which will make them less effective). In some cases there may even be damage to the wiring resulting in them not working at all (or potentially being a fire risk).
There is no definitive answer as to whether preventative measures are required or not. Signs that make them more likely to be required include the presence of birds on the roof even before panels go in, and another clue is whether neighbours who already have solar have seen the need to include control measures. The reason why it’s an important decision is that it needs to be done at the same time as the panels being installed, as adding it later will require scaffolding which is a significant cost (and is already one of the largest cost elements in a solar install).
There are three main types of bird control systems that we offer: in terms of increasing cost these are plastic fingers, steel mesh, and aluminium skirts.
Strips of plastic fingers are fixed around the edges of the panels before they are fitted. Because of the flexibility of the fingers they can adjust to fit complex shapes, such as curved tiles. An example system is the Van der Valk Bird Blocker.
Metal mesh is bent around the perimeter of the panels after they are installed and fixed in place with plastic clips. The mesh provides a strong barrier, and can be made from either galvanised or, at slightly higher cost, stainless steel. An example system is the Enviroguard Bird Exclusion Mesh.
Aluminium edge plates are fixed around the perimeter of the panels after they are installed and fixed in place with metal clips. The skirts provide a very smart aesthetic edge to the installation. An example system is the Titan Eco SolaSkirt.
Tanjent Energy has experience with installing all these different types of bird control measures, and we will be happy to include the price for your preferred option in our free quote.