Protect your Edmonton solar panel investment from damage and failure with high quality critterguard from SolarNinjas
Critter Guard can add a soft shadow aesthetic that adds beauty to a solar panel installation and conceals space underneath from view for a more clean finish while also keeping out pigeons and squirrels that damage your investment. The space underneath a solar array is protected from predators, is warm, has airflow and is sheltered from bad weather. Pigeons have discovered this paradise and have become incredibly good at finding solar homes and setting up shop with serious biological health hazards & property enjoyment issues for humans as well as physical risk to the function of your solar panel installation.
Risks posed by critters in your Edmonton solar panel installation:
Biohazard: Droppings pollute your home, decks, gutters, downspouts, yard, pets, kids. Pigeons can generate gallon paint can sized loads of droppings under your array per year PER BIRD.
Heat failure: Solar cells in each panel, micro-inverters & DC Optimizers overheat and fail when nests and dropping buildup prevent proper cooling and airflow. These repairs are expensive.
Performance loss: As buildup impacts heat reduction, solar cells and electronics suffer performance loss that can reach 1/3 of efficiency.
Wiring & Physical damage: Chewing, pecking, corrosion at connection points from waste, damage to solar panel backing. All time consuming and expensive repairs after years of infestation.
Attraction of pests to your property & loss of enjoyment: More pigeons means more noise, droppings everywhere, smell and more. Rodents attracted by their presence cause other damage.
The cost of installing critter guard varies widely based on how large the Edmonton solar installation is, how many shapes and corners, how difficult to access (steep, etc) and can run into several thousand dollars in cases where difficult systems require cleanup and significant pigeon removal with installation of the guard product. It is advised that you consider critterguard at the time of your solar installation if you are in an area where pigeons live to save cost. It may be an unwelcome additional cost at that time while already facing a large capital expense, but the peace of mind is well worth is as the industry continues to learn how bad these pests can be over several years of buildup. A little over $1,000 is a good starting point for installing critter guard on the smallest, simplest systems and it does not need to be installed by solar trained electricians but the technicians who install the solar arrays are generally the most careful and invested in your project and can be trusted to do the best job overall. There are several product types available with different quality and cost choices.
Work with a Edmonton based contractor who can talk to you about the levels of risk and need in plain language and help you determine your needs, not just a sales outfit looking for an add-on ticket item.
In Alberta this is a newer (as of 2020/2021) industry concern which is growing as the solar industry grows. In other areas with more solar pest control companies are beginning to specialize in the pigeon removal and companies are expanding to provide installation services for these critter guard products. See this UK reference here, where they’ve learned some of the lessons we are currently learning and this California Solar Cleaning company which is an example of a service that develops in areas with massive solar industry activity.