The Vexo range of products are ideal for protecting solar panels from nesting birds, of great benefit to property owners and a business opportunity for pest managers.
Consistent growth in demand for solar panel protection is offering pest managers new and thriving business opportunities.
According to the Australian Government, Australia has the highest uptake of solar globally, with more than 21% of homes with rooftop solar PV. As at April 30, 2020, more than 2.4 million rooftop solar power systems have been installed across Australia.1
This demand has also seen an increased call for solar panel protection. Homeowners who’ve invested several thousands of dollars into solar are unsurprisingly keen to protect their investment from the potential risk of damage from pest birds.
Solar panels installed on pitched roofs provide a comfortable nesting zone for birds away from the elements especially in winter, with panels providing warmth and shelter to pigeons as well as rodents. When birds nest under panels, both their nesting material and movement can lead to inverter electrical wiring damage which can pose an electrical or fire hazard. Birds also tend to roost around the panels during the day, covering them with droppings which in turn reduces panel efficiency significantly.
Although some modern systems are fitted with newer individual micro inverters, most domestic solar systems in Australia are fitted with a central inverter system. These conventional solar panels are connected in series before they are fed into a central inverter. This means if one panel is shaded or covered with bird droppings potentially reducing output by 40%, the output of the whole system is reduced by 40%, even if other panels are unaffected.
To protect solar systems from nesting pigeons, the principle is to simply exclude all points of entry. There are various products on the market that can achieve this, including wire mesh coated with PVC that borders the perimeter of the panel. The mesh is secured using fastening rods that clip onto the L bracket of the underside frame and tightened with a fastening disc.
But not all products offer the same guarantees when it comes to durability. Both the mesh and fasteners should be able to withstand UV exposure without damage; the product should be easy to install, and fasteners shouldn’t come loose when nesting pigeons try to push against the mesh, which can occur with metal fastening rods/discs as they do not have locking teeth.
Vexo solar panel kits are made with stainless steel mesh coated with PVC, and according to Vexo, offer greater durability compared to other products. Its profiled fasteners are easy and secure to install and are made from UV resistant nylon.
As we head into winter, now is the perfect time for pest managers to broaden their services into solar panel protection and take advantage of this growing demand. Vexo products are available through Agserv.
1 Australian Government Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources, April 30, 2020. Solar PV and Batteries.