Protect Solar Panels From Monkeys and Other Animals

You can protect solar panels from many animals by installing them on your roof. While grazing animals can get into an area with ground-mounted solar panels, they can’t easily climb your house. Monkeys, on the other hand, can jump and climb wherever they want.

Once monkeys access your solar panels, they can damage the front with their claws. They can also pull the wires out of the back or even chew through them. It’s important to protect all parts of the solar panel from monkeys.

Trying to protect solar panels from monkeys takes more work. You’ll have to consider things like:

  • Protective coverings for the solar panels
  • Angle the solar panels to avoid animals
  • Maximum pressure solar panels can withstand

These factors can keep monkeys off of your solar panels. If nothing else, you can at least invest in a quality insurance policy to help you recoup any damage animals may inflict.

Monkey on a roof near solar panels

How Do You Protect Solar Panels From Monkeys & Animals?

To protect solar panels from monkeys, you can cover them, use a decoy, or angle them. Making sure that the solar panels you install have high-pressure limits will also help protect them from animals.

You don’t only need to consider the front of the panels. It’s important to protect the backs, too, since that’s where the wires connect.

Cover the Solar Panels

Covering solar panels isn’t an attempt to hide them from monkeys, but rather to keep the animals from damaging the panels.

You won’t want to drape something opaque over them, or else they won’t get any sun. Sure, the monkeys won’t be able to see them, but you also won’t get any power.

If you plan to cover your solar panels to protect them from animals, you need to consider how much efficiency you could possibly lose.

Adding a sheet of transparent plastic might not protect the panels from the monkeys’ claws. It will also increase the temperature of the panels, which can decrease efficiency. 

Of course, adding anything to a solar panel can impact how much sunlight it pulls in and how much power it produces.

Instead of adding a layer of plastic or glass, consider adding mesh wire.

Encircle the back of the panel in wire, also, since this is a fragile part of the equipment.

Chicken wire won’t trap heat against your solar panels, but it could protect them from monkeys. Depending on how you position the chicken wire, it could cast shadows on your panels. Because the wire is thin, it shouldn’t decrease your energy production too much, but it might impact it.

Depending on how you position the chicken wire, it might not keep monkeys off of your panels. The wire is relatively flat and harmless, so animals might sit on it anyway. If you try chicken wire and it’s not effective, you could consider installing electric fencing. 

This would be more expensive than chicken wire and will require electricity to be effective, so it might not be the right choice for you. But if the monkeys are damaging your solar panels, you might find it’s worth the investment.

See also: Solar Panel Protection: Essential Tips and Tricks for Prolonging Lifespan

Use a Decoy

It might be possible to scare off monkeys by putting a decoy of a predator near your solar panels. Find a realistic-looking python, leopard, or hawk to position near the panels.

The monkeys will see the statue and get scared away, thinking the predator will attack them.

On the downside, some animals might not get scared of these decoys. Others might realize in time that they’re fake.

You could possibly stretch out the effectiveness by moving them every few days. However, that requires more work on your end and the animal might see you move them.

Angle the Solar Panels

Install the solar panels at an angle so the animals can’t comfortably sit on them. They won’t mess with them if they’re unable to grip onto the surface.

They also won’t be able to jump onto and grab solar panels to climb on them, so you won’t have to worry about that type of damage, either.

Even if you angle your solar panels, you might have trouble with monkeys getting at the back of them.

This is where the wires are, so it’s more vulnerable than the surface, anyway. Since the sun heats the panels, monkeys might not find it very comfortable to relax beneath them.

When you install the panels, consider enclosing the back wires in a pipe.

This will keep them safe from the weather as well as monkeys. Animals won’t be able to chew on the wires or pull them out.

Install Solar Panels With High Pressure Limits

Most solar panels can withstand high pressure, so a relatively small animal sitting on one shouldn’t damage the surface. A bear might be a different story!

They’re able to handle extreme weather like hail, hurricanes, and more. So it’s safe to say that the average solar panel can handle over 100 pounds. Monkeys weigh up to 20 pounds, so they shouldn’t harm the panel based on weight alone.

Can Insurance Reimburse You for Solar Panel Damage?

Insurance companies are now offering policies that protect against monkey animal damage. Just as they cover natural disasters and bad weather, they also cover animals.

Offering this type of policy helps residents feel more confident investing in solar panels.

Solar panels produce a lot of energy and help the environment, but if you worry that monkeys might damage them, you won’t want to spend money on them. Knowing your insurance policy protects you gives you peace of mind.

If your insurance company doesn’t offer protection against harm from animals, check and see if the solar panel manufacturer does. Some banks are loaning money to solar companies to boost consumer access to the panels.

In addition to insurance coverage, consider protecting your solar panels in other ways. Research predators of the types of monkeys in your area and find realistic decoys.

Make sure you install high-quality panels that can not only withstand extreme weather, but also the weight of monkeys. Taking these steps to protect your panels will pay off.


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Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

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