Nobody knows, of course. We can only make educated guesses regarding what problems with future soiling, productivity, longevity, warranty or maintenance will be encountered on rooftop systems built in the last 5-7 years or those to be built over the next two decades.
One issue that is causing concern across the industry is the high incidence of damage and nuisance caused by the intrusion of pests who find the shelter of rooftop solar arrays to be so very inviting. I’m referring of course to pigeons and squirrels nesting, breeding, feeding and chewing underneath rooftop solar panels.
For example, there is a clear disease risk when Pigeons are nesting under your solar panels. Serious health concerns arise from disease organisms that grow in nutrient-rich pigeon guano, feathers and other pigeon-related debris, especially after a few nesting seasons have passed. We recently serviced a system in Northern California that was less than 18 months old, which had 25-30 pigeons nesting under the system. The birds had eventually filled the gutters with droppings, there were dead birds scattered around and this infestation had ultimately transformed the homeowner’s new, sleek, (and leased) renewable energy system into filthy, disease ridden mess. It was cleaned up, washed and had barriers installed around the perimeter so the flock had to find another place to nest.
Squirrels are especially drawn to the protected space underneath solar panels. They are also compelled by nature to chew constantly to keep their continuous tooth growth in check. So even without a nest being established under your solar panels, squirrels will chew on the electrical insulation and wiring. A system with micro-inverters will look like an endless buffet to a squirrel. Not only can they damage your damage your system and electrical connections but can also create a fire hazard if they short-circuit the wiring.
Few homeowners really want to spread poison around their home or take the effort to trap and kill critters that invade the attractive shelter that solar arrays may provide. Although I spoke with a gentleman from New Jersey who said he trapped and killed over 60 squirrels who attempted to nest under his new system. I doubt this is an option many solar owners would embrace.
There is an aesthetic, cost-effective and permanent solution to this problem. SolaTrim has developed an all-weather, easily installed, peel & stick aluminum panel barrier that is designed to keep unwanted elements from intruding under rooftop solar arrays. With a tested, space-age adhesive, SolaTrim is an ideal barrier that can and will eliminate the rooftop solar pest problem for the life of the system.
Beautify Your System. Protect Your Investment.