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Old 30-08-2011, 17:06   #1
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Unhappy Solar Panels and Birds

Given the loss of output from even small shadows, birds (and especially their deposits!) on and around solar panels can be a real nuisance...as we are discovering, much to our chagrin...

Any suggestions from our fellow cruisers?

We note what seems to be an excellent solution in a motion activated sprinkler system, but sadly that will only work for vessels on either a jetty or a marina where there is constant access to a high pressure hose.

We're currently using a wind-activated vane (will get the name if anyone's interested) but it's only mildy effective...and certainly not adequate to keep the panels clear.

We see various attempts at bird-deterrence on other vessels, including netting, but wouldn't netting also reduce the solar panel output?

On another ('What products would you wish for...?') thread we nodded in amusement (and shared frustration!) at the suggestion of diapers/nappies for seagulls! Argh!!
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:08   #2
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Re: solar panels & birds

If they are landing on the panels, then maybe find a way to do an X pattern of mono-filament line above them. If they are flying by and dropping bombs, then good luck to ya.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:17   #3
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Re: solar panels & birds

monofilament worked great on my neighbors boat when he bitched about the damgulls wreckinghisstuff.....flapping tarp material works great also. scares em.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:24   #4
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Re: solar panels & birds

Hey I have had good results from a flat monofillament line sold as birdscare humming line. When stretched between two vertical supports any breeze creates a humm, the birds just hate and go elsewhere.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:27   #5
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Re: solar panels & birds

Thanks ReMetau [Don & Diana eh? We're Don & Diane!] & zeehag.

Tried the monofilament line 'trick' against some India Minor birds on a house...and then watched as, when they realised the lines were passive, the birds ended up sitting between the lines and jumping over and around them...and, of course, happily s---ing everywhere as always...mmmm...will seagulls be dumber?

The flapping tarp would surely result in shadows over the panels...?
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:32   #6
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Re: solar panels & birds

I have a windgenerator near the panels,seen a few feathers,birds stay away.
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:32   #7
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Re: solar panels & birds

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birdscare humming line
Thanks Bob...sounds interesting!

Can the line be fixed and then removed and then re-fixed/used again?
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:35   #8
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Re: solar panels & birds

try placing the lines about 2-3 inches over the panels, not only in X shape but in lines across, both ways. wont block the sun and will keep damnbirds off. do not make it so they can use it for balance.....seagulls have different kinds of feet than house birds. seagulls have webbed feets...house birds have spindly lil toesies feets and can grab onto smaller lines.
find a spot on your boat to place a lil tarp that can flap a bit.... under the panels ....
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:37   #9
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Re: solar panels & birds

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Thanks Bob...sounds interesting!

Can the line be fixed and then removed and then re-fixed/used again?
Sure can, I just use plastic hooks suitable to the point that I want to hook on to and remove when I use the boat. Unfortunately the line doesn't last forever with all the vibrating but is fairly cheap, AND no birdshit..
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Old 30-08-2011, 17:38   #10
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Re: solar panels & birds

my cat keeps birdees off my boat, bu ti have had excellent good fortune with monofilament.
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Old 28-09-2011, 04:06   #11
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Re: solar panels & birds

Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Bob View Post
Hey I have had good results from a flat monofillament line sold as birdscare humming line. When stretched between two vertical supports any breeze creates a humm, the birds just hate and go elsewhere.
Good idea thank you
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Old 28-09-2011, 05:07   #12
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Re: solar panels & birds

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Originally Posted by ReMetau View Post
If they are landing on the panels, then maybe find a way to do an X pattern of mono-filament line above them. If they are flying by and dropping bombs, then good luck to ya.

I put mono ~ 2-3" above my spreaders; helped a lot, perhaps 75% Still suffer from bombing and sitting on the main, but much less.
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