Protection of Photovoltaic Systems from birds
Tassis Energy is active in the big issue concerning the protection of Photovoltaic Systems from birds.
Almost 50% of the domestic Photovoltaic Systems installed on the roofs of buildings are mounted on tiled roofs.
The way they are installed provides for the creation of a small gap between the PV panels and the tiled roof based on planning regulations. Unlike the birds of Alfred Hitchcock, birds in Greece do not feel the need to ‘attack’ but to take advantage of this ‘artificial roof’ to create nests.
The latest developments in photovoltaic systems investment programs (Net-metering, Special 6kW roofing program, upcoming programs and subsidies) were presented and key questions from the audience were answered.
This peculiar “accommodation” creates various issues in the smooth operation of the photovoltaic system. Also potential hazards for equipment and people operating the system or even moving around the building. Some issues include the following:
1. Excrement on hives
Shadowing and reduction in efficiency
Long time exposure leads to hot-spot effect on cells
Depending on the system, electrical interface and equipment, the performance reduction in extreme scenarios can be as high as 20%. In addition, this pollution creates hot-spots in cells due to continuous shading. To address this, the owner should intensify regular cleaning. The consequence of this is an increase in the use of water – cleaning agents and access hazards.
2. Contamination on tiles
Nests and nest materials at tile flow points
Eggs – dead birds – snakes/mice
Birds usually build nests at tile flow points and in gutters. The result is the blocking of the smooth flow of water. Water no longer leaves gutters easily and in extreme scenarios it “drowns” DC cables and connectors usually 600-700volts. On top of that access for cleaning is difficult since this requires the uninstallation of PV panels.Stagnant water creates hot spots of contamination, exacerbating any roof tile moisture issues. Depending on installation there are electrical isolation issues (Riso faults). In general it is a dangerous situation for the system and people, let alone the birds themselves. There are not a few incidents of cell breakage from pieces of material – bones that tend to carry birds to their nests.
3. Contact with cables – frames
Contact with wiring and cable displacement
Contact with cellular boxes – junction boxes – optimizers
Again depending on the installation and the quality of construction, birds can find fertile ground to “tease” and move the wiring (DC). This can cause anything from simple displacement of wiring at inappropriate bearing points such as gutters to premature wear from pinching with the potential risk of short circuits and sparks if not fire. In addition, birds rest on the frames with possible scratching, often come into contact with junction boxes and/or optimisers (solaredge, tigo, etc.) and there are not a few cases of displacing routing spirals resulting in water accumulation within them.
Owners have resorted to various coping solutions such as beeping devices, poisons, plastic nails, adhesive sprays, etc.These are not in line with environmental protection and an effective and ecological solution is to install a mesh.
Placing a special mesh at every possible bird entry point effectively protects the system and the birds. Usually, however, such an installation requires qualified technical personnel with all the necessary safety equipment and experience – the ability to safely access and perform such a special task.
The technical company TASIS Energy with its successful presence in the field of PV home systems offers solutions in this area as well as in general issues of cleaning and protection of photovoltaic systems.
TASIS Energy has polytechnic engineers qualified and certified according to the European PVTRIN PV installer certification program with nationwide coverage. It provides high quality services and installation – maintenance packages for any type of PV system, 24-hour technical support, experience and expertise.