Rodent protection

1 Posts
Apr 2, 2010 11:48 am
Rodent protection

Can anyone help with ideas for protecting a rooftop PV array from squirrels or other rodents chewing up PV wiring? Is this a problem?

Specifically, the USE2 PV cables connecting the modules of an array are exposed, and I know that rodents generally like to chew cable insulation. Has this been an issue with PV cables, and if so what do people do about preventing it?

One could put the wires between modules in conduit, but the junction boxes on the back of my panels do not have knockouts. Furthermore, to cut knockouts would violate module warrantees, and the MC4 connectors are 1" thick (need >1" ID conduit to fit through). One could also surround the entire array with a hardware cloth apron.

What do people out there do about this problem, if it is indeed a problem

351 Posts
Apr 2, 2010 02:00 pm
Re: Rodent protection

I haven't had the problem with PV. If I did, I would try using spiral wrap.
I've had good luck with it in other "chewing" applications. I would use a larger size than the above,probably 1/2 to 1 inch. I selected the above page for the photo.
You could also try split tubing.  But with either one, make sure it is a UV resistent type. The indoor stuff won't last very long outdooors.

184 Posts
Apr 2, 2010 07:40 pm
Re: Rodent protection

I haven't had any trouble with squirrels eating my wiring (yet), but I've struggled with them in my garden for years.  I tried all sorts of things.  Finally, I bought a have-a-heart (live trap), and started relocating them to the other side of town.  It works, and it's humane.  You have to keep at it though.  Shortly after you move one out, another one moves in.  Once they find that you have something tasty, they keep coming back for more.  Not an ideal solution I know, but better than replacing expensive wiring.

And another thing...  Just be glad that you don't live where I'm living now.  We have rats the size of possums, and they eat the wiring on our cars.

« Last Edit: Apr 2, 2010 08:51 pm by John Dalhaus »

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