Rodent protection

Can anyone help with ideas for protecting a rooftop PV array from squirrels or other rodents chewing up PV wiring? Is this a problem?

Specifically, the USE2 PV cables connecting the modules of an array are exposed, and I know that rodents generally like to chew cable insulation. Has this been an issue with PV cables, and if so what do people do about preventing it?

One could put the wires between modules in conduit, but the junction boxes on the back of my panels do not have knockouts. Furthermore, to cut knockouts would violate module warrantees, and the MC4 connectors are 1" thick (need >1" ID conduit to fit through). One could also surround the entire array with a hardware cloth apron.

What do people out there do about this problem, if it is indeed a problem

Thanks.

Comments

  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection

    Not just rodent protection

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/3483714/Milford-Track-hut-gets-solar-panels

    Those parrots are known to rip off windshield wipers and the rubber molding around windshields !

    Seriously, I did consider once modifying a standard conduit box to fit over the factory box on the back of the panel by cutting out the back to fit over the profile of the factory box and securing it with a urethane adhesive and a mechanical fastener. It would probably work and would allow a transition to conduit but it would be a lot of extra work.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection

    Automotive plastic wire-loom and keep an eye out for gnawing before it gets dangerous.

    Although I live in the middle of a forest full of squirrels, mice, pack rats ... they've never chewed a wire because they have so much else to gnaw on that tastes better.

    Like the windowsills (no joke).
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 927 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection

    Steel wool, everywhere. Any hole you can stick the end of your finger in needs steel wool stuffed in it. I've had rodents chew the insulation off thermostat wire on my solar domestic hot water system...outside panel thermistor...bare wires in contact resulting in constant running pump. Clean out, fill the ends of the big O pipe with steel wool. Spray a little Fluid Film on it to prevent rusting.

    Ralph
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection

    conduit is a possibility as few of then can gnaw through it, but i don't want to see your warranty violated. i have not heard of too many problems in my area on this, but it is a possibility with squirrels besides the mice and rats. it must appeal to them for some reason and maybe some experimentation on disguising that appeal is in order. not sure how though.:confused:
  • john pjohn p Solar Expert Posts: 814 ✭✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection

    We have the same problem in Philippines of rats eating the insulation of cables even bigger ones like#4 , its very hard to stop them. they eat security camera cables wire and all. must be damm tasty . the worst problem when they eat the insulation of the big cables is the acid? in their mouths very quickly corrodes the copper cable away (it goes green ) so the cable has to be either replaced or cut and joined .
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,036 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Rodent protection
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Steel wool, everywhere. ....... Spray a little Fluid Film on it to prevent rusting.

    Ralph


    I use brass wool (from marine supply stores) because it does not rust or burn. Ever see steel wool burn? It's even included in fire starting kits. When the rats with the steel teeth get chewing, the smallest spark lites up the wad of steel wool.
    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

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  • Neil O.Neil O. Registered Users Posts: 2
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    Re: Rodent protection

    Steel wool, everywhere. Any hole you can stick the end of your finger in needs steel wool stuffed in it. I've had rodents chew the insulation off thermostat wire on my solar domestic hot water system...outside panel thermistor...bare wires in contact resulting in constant running pump. Clean out, fill the ends of the big O pipe with steel wool. Spray a little Fluid Film on it to prevent rusting.

    Ralph

    http://buyxcluder.com/?gclid=CI7klcrhzMQCFefm7AodmTAArg
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 927 ✭✭✭✭
    Thanks for the link Neil. I have a mice or chipmunk infiltration on a screen porch knee wall. Needs a rip out, clean out and keep out job once things warm up. The mouse pee is staining the nice cedar siding, the smell is sure to follow in the heat of the summer.

    ralph
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