Bird screening for PV arrays?

I have a customer with a flush-mount rooftop PV array who is experiencing problems with pigeons roosting underneath, making noise and a huge mess. Has anyone heard of a product to screen the edges and prevent birds from getting under the array?

We are looking at some SS mesh, which we would have formed to slip onto the bottom lip of the panels, and skirt the edge of the array, but it's very expensive.

Any ideas or products out there?

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    Sounds like they aren't really flush mounted.

    Bird-X has strips of plastic spikes, that may work. Beware of metals, if they contact both the grounded rack system and somehow pierce the thin back sheet......
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    Sounds like they aren't really flush mounted.

    Bird-X has strips of plastic spikes, that may work. Beware of metals, if they contact both the grounded rack system and somehow pierce the thin back sheet......

    Here in OR we refer to any array mounted parallel to the roof and within 12 inches of the surface as flush mounted. There's about 6" beneath the modules where the offending birds are roosting.

    So nobody has heard of anything?
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    i haven't personally heard of this, but i certainly don't disbelieve you.
    could you try the old scare crow tactic by putting owl or cat lookalikes mounted near the pvs?
  • petertearaipetertearai Solar Expert Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    Hi Had a similar problem with sparrows perching on the tops of window flashing.I ran monofilament fishing line along where they were perching.Works a treat!
    2225 wattts pv . Outback 2kw  fxr pure sine inverter . fm80 charge controller . Mate 3. victron battery monitor . 24 volts  in 2 volt Shoto lead carbon extreme batterys. off grid  holiday home 
  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    sjsafady:

    Take a look at this product. I think they are used in airports.

    I don't know if they work, but I am eager to find out. If you buy one and it works, please tell me!

    http://www.bird-x.com/products-ultrasonic-bird-repellers-c-5_11.html
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    JESSICA wrote: »


    I mentioned Bird-X also in my post.

    Inflatable snakes and owls don't work.

    http://www.bird-x.com/bird-and-pigeon-spikes-needle-strips-polycarbonate-p-37.html

    I'd strongly suggest something passive (spike strips) and not the ultrasonics which will affect wildlife all around.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • JESSICAJESSICA Solar Expert Posts: 289 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    mike90045 wrote: »
    I mentioned Bird-X also in my post.

    I'd strongly suggest something passive (spike strips) and not the ultrasonics which will affect wildlife all around.

    Mike:

    Do those ultrasonics really work? I have had ultrasonics to make dogs stop barking; to chase mosquitoes away; to keep mice away; etc.; and NONE of them have actually worked. That's the reason in my previous post I asked safady to notify me if those expensive Bird-X actually work.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    Besides the screening materials, there are:
    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    JESSICA wrote: »
    Mike:

    Do those ultrasonics really work? I have had ultrasonics to make dogs stop barking; to chase mosquitoes away; to keep mice away; etc.; and NONE of them have actually worked. That's the reason in my previous post I asked safady to notify me if those expensive Bird-X actually work.

    I think ultrasonics are unnecessary, except in the indoor situations. Much wildlife can hear into the ultrasonic range, and it does carry quite far, I don't see how it could be limited to a single roof top, and not impact a larger area.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • TypeDrTypeDr Registered Users Posts: 13
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    Hi Had a similar problem with sparrows perching on the tops of window flashing.I ran monofilament fishing line along where they were perching.Works a treat!


    Since you posted this, I have been trying to imagine HOW you strung the line. Straight across, 2 or more rows, or looped diagonally, or even more elaborately? This has worked for you, apparently doesn't hurt the birds, so to me, it's way ahead of everything else except the plastic spikes.

    A rumored fix for keeping birds off fruiting trees is to hang strings of tinsel, or loop magnetic tape from busted cassette tapes. Seems the birds are confused by the shine and the movement. Haven't tried it but a few of the old-timers up by me say it works really well - and since they do harvest fruit, maybe they're onto something.

    Curiously, TypeDr
  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    TypeDr wrote: »

    A rumored fix for keeping birds off fruiting trees is to hang strings of tinsel, or loop magnetic tape from busted cassette tapes. Seems the birds are confused by the shine and the movement. Haven't tried it but a few of the old-timers up by me say it works really well - and since they do harvest fruit, maybe they're onto something.

    Curiously, TypeDr

    A few years back there was a TV show that put squirrels through an obstacle course to show how determined and smart they are. One old timer's method of keeping squirrels away from his bird feeder, used a jack-in-the-box attached to a lever. The squirrels had to climb the lever to get to the seed, ensuring the puppet would always come out and surprise them.
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    so who kept climbing back up there to put jack back in the box?:confused:
  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    Thanks for all the replies. Unfortunately, spikes and chemicals are out because of the specifics of this situation. I guess ultrsonics could be considered, but aside from the high price tag, this home is situated along an estuary, so i don't really want to use them for reasons stated in other posts. I can't attach anything to the comp roof, and positively attaching anything to the PV panels will void their warranty. This is why we were thinking of a crimped SS screen which would grab and bite into the lower lip of the modules. It needs to be strong enough to prevent the birds from pushing under it since it won't be attached to the roof, and would probably be braced back to the racking in severl places. Sound like none of you have heard of such a pre-fab product, so i guess we'll have to have something made.
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,583 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    I'd use wads of plastic fence or deer netting, jammed under the panels. I think using a conductive product will be asking for trouble, with both corrosion, and eventual insulation puncture to the back of a panel at 400VDC - But then you have your electroshock protection method.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • bmetbmet Solar Expert Posts: 630 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?
    niel wrote: »
    so who kept climbing back up there to put jack back in the box?:confused:

    It was on a fulcrum. When the squirrel's weight was removed from the lever, the puppet disappeared behind a hinged cover.
  • solarixsolarix Solar Expert Posts: 713 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    Am looking for an update to this problem. Any more solutions? My thinking is to use wire management clips from Wiley or others to fasten a strip of chicken wire or hardware cloth to the perimeter of the array
  • rollandelliottrollandelliott Solar Expert Posts: 834 ✭✭
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    I'd just attach (chicken wire, expanded metal mesh, etc) to the panels using the grounding holes already present
    or make a single roll of it and put a stick of metal through the roll and screw stick into roof....place along the perimeter.

    or use dow silicon caulk to take regular nylon screens and use a stick of 1" x 1/8" aluminum clamped to the panels till the silicon set.
  • BB.BB. Super Moderators, Administrators Posts: 32,924 admin
    Re: Bird screening for PV arrays?

    They do make plastic bird screening--I would possibly look at using that instead. Mixing Aluminum and galvanized steel together as you bolt everything together--I would worry about rust and corrosion.

    -Bill
    Near San Francisco California: 3.5kWatt Grid Tied Solar power system+small backup genset
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