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Rooftop Solar Lasers: Innovative Technology that Keeps Birds Away from Rooftop Solar Arrays

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Pest birds in the United States are one of the major reasons for the decreased efficiency of rooftop solar PV modules. These birds can cause problems like:

  1. Increase the maintenance cost of the rooftop solar array.
  2. Decrease the efficiency of solar panels by 10 % to 20% and in some cases, up to 50% decrease has been noticed.
  3. Bird poop can cause the effect of shading which eventually affects the energy production of rooftop solar panels.
  4. Can cause permanent damage to solar panels by creating hot spots.
  5. Soaring birds can drop debris which can shatter the solar PV modules.
  6. An excessive amount of bird poop can block the roof drains which eventually leads to roof leakage.
  7. Bird pecking can also cause cracks in solar PV modules.

What were the methods to avoid bird problems in the past?

In the past, methods like propane cannons, spinning shiny discs, ultrasonic or audible sound systems, and iridescent streamers were used to keep the pest bird condition under control. However, these all methods are cheap and easy to apply but at the same time were quite ineffective to curtail the looming bird nesting problem.

Then came the era of gull wire grid systems.  These systems create an artificial roof over your rooftop solar array using poles, hardware, stainless steel cables, or monofilaments. These systems were designed, by keeping the theory under the microscope, that soaring birds like to avoid spaces that are under some things. Later on, this method also lost its touch.

What is the new and more effective technology to tackle the bird problem?

Laser technology has proven its effectiveness time and again. It has been used to scare birds from crop fields to food production facilities. Recently, its miracle to keep the birds away has been put to test by applying this new technique to rooftop solar PV modules. And guess what? It works marvelously!

This laser technology works like a security camera which is placed above the affected area. A custom-programmed unit, which uses green laser lights, patrols the rooftop solar area. Birds see this approaching green light as a solid object, which causes them to fly away toward safety. You can also customize the timer on a laser device. This will help you to improve the effectiveness of laser technology. According to an estimation, the bird population has declined by 90 percent using this laser technology.

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