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Old 09-05-2022, 09:12   #31
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

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Originally Posted by Phil_Fr17 View Post
Maybe try using 'windmills', specially designed against birds? Depending on the area covered, you will use 2 or 3 to get good SP coverage. And of course, having an inclination of about 10į for cleaning when it rains.
This kind of device
That is what I was planning. But made from SS spring wire. Very thin so no shading. They are available here for about $50.
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Old 09-05-2022, 09:14   #32
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

It must be a regional issue. We have 800W flat on the back and we have never seen a bird on it. We sail the Caribbean and Bahamas. The rains also do a good job keeping the pan clean. We wipe them off every month or so when we are cleaning the decks.
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Old 09-05-2022, 12:32   #33
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

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Originally Posted by Uncle G View Post

What do you reckon? I'd be grateful for details of your experience with nuisance and fouling of solar panels.

Thanks.
In 11 years of having stern mounted solar panels I have only had to clean the bird poop of a few times. Even if I had to do semi regularly the panels at still in the best location overall.
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Old 09-05-2022, 12:52   #34
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

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It. Never. Ends. Just accept it, or eat the bastards. That's all birds are good for IMO.
Unfortunately here in UK, gulls are protected species (cannot for the life of me think why) and are a huge pest problem because of it. That aside, I have heard from those that have been unfortunate enough to have to eat a gull, that they are disgusting with a very fishy taste!
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Old 09-05-2022, 13:18   #35
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

We send 7 species of Canada Geese south every winter to attack the US. Fine neighbours we turned out to be.
Iíve witnessed boaters shoot nesting birds in covered slips.
Our biggest issue would be dock spiders. They are all over my neighbours boats cause I use Captain Phab Spider ban. They crawl up ropes power lines and leave tiny black corpses which stain the glass. My wife is allergic to their bites and Iím not allowed to show the photos. The folks we share our dock with have no spiders either.
Iíve also watched 2 bears tear the canvas off a small power cruiser to get left overs.
Maybe put up a miniature of the V2 balloon defence and move them to another spot
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Old 09-05-2022, 14:23   #36
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

We have had 625 watts of solar over the davits on our cat since 2005. Sailed Florida, Bahamas, and Caribbean and have never had to wash panels because of birds. Every few months I will notice a small dropping, but rain usually takes care of it before I get around to it.

Our bow pulpits on the other hand are covered with pelican droppings on a regular basis when we're at the dock in Florida.
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Old 09-05-2022, 17:28   #37
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

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Food for thought. Thanks.

The photo below shows why I have doubts. The panels on the roof have only been there three years or so, and they slope, but they are completely cacked in guano for a good portion of the array. Admittedly it is on a fish-market roof...
The slope I see is not even 10degrees, too less to avoid birds, you need 30 ++ degrees.
Anyway, your slope should be about the latitude (in average), i.e., in North Florida 30 degrees, and I have no birds on my panels.
To avoid them soiling the rest of our boat, I put up spikes on my spreaders. This was an improvement by a factor of 9. In the cockpit of my catamaran, I have an inflatable snake, which also helps. You never can totally avoid it, but this way I got rid of 95% of the problem.
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:31   #38
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

How about running some fishing line from the edge of the solar panel up to the backstay several times to create a bird fouling invisible barrier.

I'm just arm chair spit balling here, but let me know if it works, I will sell kits for $50.
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:36   #39
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

Gulls are fairly easy to keep away - you need to run rope or thick fishing line - Gulls have really good eyesight but wire keeps them off the boat sometimes I just tie the Halyards to the rigging. - keeps the pests away.
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Old 10-05-2022, 14:40   #40
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

Actually you said you are in Cornwall pay a visit to the pubs in Newquay - is it the Fort as you head from the harbour to Fistral beach there you can see the wire in action. In the beer garden.
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Old 11-05-2022, 02:29   #41
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

I'm at Torpoint S.E. Cornwall. I have 256w of solar and a wind generator charging 6 x 110 Ah of lead acid. No problem with bird muck in years. If you do get a particularly large "dump" then wash it off asap: the small stuff gets dealt with by the rain.
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Old 11-05-2022, 04:34   #42
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

How about some very light gauge transparent nylon netting mounted on a frame on top to fit the panels? Light interference will me minimal, if any. They have to be easy to remove to clean the panels, which you will have to do regularly no matter what. But birds will not land if they can't get a foothold on the panel surface.
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Old 11-05-2022, 09:14   #43
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

Adding to my #12 post, any solution to keeping birds off the solar panels has to not interfere with the sun's rays getting to the panels as well as the strong winds not blowing the solution away and possibly causing damage to something else on the boat.

How about just an easier way to deal with the mess they make; a stern mounted powerful hose fresh water supply to clean them off? From my experience, it will have to be high pressure.

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Old 13-05-2022, 08:40   #44
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

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Every year I come up with a new plan. Each has failed but I am determined.

This is the plan for this year https://www.amazon.com/Havahart-5277...ustomerReviews
It works well for deer, although I've never experienced any of them on my solar panels.
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Old 13-09-2022, 09:10   #45
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Re: Fouling of solar panels

The sea brings animals, curious and shitters by nature. I don't see that a bit of excrement is a problem in the face of the wonderful scenery represented by a ship in the sea. A little soap or a rubber snake are enough, you also have to clean them weekly so they don't lose efficiency. Windmills by themselves are very inefficient in providing power. I have been reading a lot of information to install them on land and with a meter and a half in diameter at maximum power they will provide 1500watt in the best of cases and at ten meters high. The rest that is published out there is really a lie.
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