> Frequently Asked Questions

How much screen is needed per kilowatt?

Physical dimensions, rather than system output, is the best way to measure your needs. The geometric shape of the system layout, and if the array is split into separate pieces, are the true determinants. This, of course, varies greatly from installation to installation. Therefore, we recommended that you calculate a precise number before ordering, as we've seen a single roll be sufficient for an 8+ kW system and yet not enough for a 4 kW. To get this figure, simply calculate a lineal foot measure of the entire system perimeter.

 

How many clips will I need?

Ordering one box of clips per single roll of screen will almost always suffice. On average, 50 to 75 are needed per 100 lineal feet, but no two systems are the same. We sell the two products separately, and not as a kit, to allow you to order precisely what you need.

 

Long straight runs require fewer clips, while corners require more. The type of racking used can make a difference as well, most often requiring fewer, other times requiring more. An experienced installer, looking at the schematic, can count almost exactly the number of clips needed on a particular system. 

 

Why is the screen 8 inches high?

This height works on all but the most extremely elevated systems. If you find that this is too tall, we recommend folding the screen to the height needed. Folding adds rigidity to the screen — a good thing. Folding also saves a lot of time and reduces the risk of module damage if trimming after installation.

 

Why do you only sell black?

It’s all about aesthetics. We want your systems to look good. And a product such as this looks best if not seen at all. Black, even when paired with silver colored modules, is the least visible screen. It blends into the shadows beneath the modules. It blends in with the roofing material as well, which is usually dark.

 

Beyond how it looks, the alternative (galvanized screen alone) has no protective coating and is therefore less durable. The PVC coating gives added corrosion resistance for extremely harsh locations such as seaside installations.


Does the system work with any module?

The system works with framed modules from almost any manufacturer. What is needed is a frame with a lip around the entire bottom edge, where it rests on the racking. There are a few modules which do not have this lip, such as some from Kyocera. These modules do, however, have mounting holes upon which the hook can catch. Frameless, or all glass modules, are not appropriate for this system.

 

Will it really keep them out?

Our experience shows that the sooner the system is protected the better. If there is a pre-existing population, it may be difficult to get vermin to move on. If other nesting spots exist they may choose to stay. Our system does keep them out from beneath the modules as intended. Most animals will not expend a lot of energy to find habitat. Once deterrent is in place, they will move on to more accessible areas.

 

Why do pigeons like solar roofs?

Pigeons seem to like the shade and, more importantly, it protects them from exposure to predators. Composition shingles are the perfect texture to keep nest building material in place and the stand-off posts make a perfect anchor. In areas with little other protection, solar modules make a great home while the rooftop ridges are perfect perches.

 

Why do squirrels chew the PV wires?

All rodent’s teeth grow continuously, therefore they must chew, chew, chew, to keep them the proper length. We believe that certain materials or textures are irresistible. Residential PV puts a bunch of chewy stuff in the shade, up high where squirrels like to go. You might as well have given them a written invitation!

 

We hear stories about soy-based wire insulation or tasty oils in it as well. We’ve never seen any evidence of this and see this idea as speculation and anthropomorphizing. 

 

How prevalent is the problem?

As the industry and our company continues to grow, we should get a precise picture of where the problem does and doesn’t exist. We expect that it is widespread, but in pockets. Newer developments, with fewer trees, next to older ones with active wild animal populations, are most likely the worst off. Of course, the more solar a state or region gets, the more likely that a pest problem will develop.