Solar systems are supposed to have a symbiotic relationship with nature, producing zero-emission energy harnessed from the sun itself. But sometimes animals can get too comfortable underneath panels, inside equipment or near photovoltaic arrays. This shall cause problems that could result in expensive repairs. To avoid these exorbitant-repair calls, install a critter guard. But what is it? Let’s read more about it and thereby protect the solar panels.
A Critter Guard, also known as Squirrel Guard or Pigeon Guard, is made of galvanized steel, which is PVC coated for aesthetics and protection from corrosion. Other materials used are plastic (cheap and will not hold up with time or will be easily destroyed by squirrels) or aluminum. It works as a fence between the solar panel and the surface of the roof. A properly installed critter guard (see Installation – My Squirrel Guard) should prevent pigeons, squirrels, roof rats, raccoons, etc. from nesting under your solar panels. In order to be effective, the guard needs to be installed around the entire perimeter of the panels. A good critter guard system will prevent small birds or animals from getting beneath the panels. Not only this but it allows sufficient air flow also.
While the gap between solar panel and rooftop ordinarily ensures legitimate ventilation, it keeps squirrels, birds, other wildlife away from the underside of the solar panel system.