My wife and I have moved up our timetable for moving and starting our homestead significantly, and tomorrow we are looking at a property that, among other things, already has solar set up. This place is not an existing homestead, just a country house on a little over 3 acres (I was wishing for more like 10, but this seems to be more attainable) I like the place, but as I'm looking at the photos and thinking about possible permaculture farmstead setups, I'm concerned about the solar panels. There is a battery of them to the side of the house in three rows, low to the ground. Would these things pose a potential hazard for the organisms on the homestead? Would it be detrimental to put beehives too near them, for example? Would they be a problem if animals got too near them? Want to make sure I'm not runnign myself into a potential hazard for my critters if I buy.
I lived near solar electric panels for some 20 years at the school I worked at. The panels don't get hot. Animals and people have to be trusted to avoid hard objects with sharp corners. What hazard are you thinking of?
Works at a residential alternative high school in the Himalayas SECMOL.org . "Back home" is Cape Cod, E Coast USA.
posted 1 month ago
Rebecca Norman wrote:I lived near solar electric panels for some 20 years at the school I worked at. The panels don't get hot. Animals and people have to be trusted to avoid hard objects with sharp corners. What hazard are you thinking of?
None in particular. I seem to recall several years ago reading an article about massive bird die-offs in areas around solar farms, but I don't recall details and I don't think it was confirmed that it was directly caused by the panels, although it seemed to be strongly suggested. I guess that, and my general lack of knowledge about the specific workings of solar energy systems, made me want to be cautious. Since 3.3 acres is so much less than I ahd really hoped to have, I am looking to utilize every square foot to the maximum and I want to find the most effective and safe way to utilize even the area taken up by the panels. Just wanted to be sure I wouldn't be putting my bees or anything at risk by locating hives, beds, or pens next to them.
The big hazard I see, is animals using them as a scratching post.
Any farm animal that is tall enough will scratch on the sharp corner.
They can and will happily rip them off the mount and then walk all over the remains.
Bottom line; the panels must be fenced off from the herd.
While I don't have farm animals I do have solar panels in an array whose low end is 3 to 4 feet off the ground. I have never seen any issues with wildlife being harmed by them. In fact a family of robins regularly builds a nest in a little spot on top of a combiner box just under one of the panels. It makes for a nice little sheltered spot for them. One winter I also noticed that there had been a large wasp/hornet nest built under the panels. It was no longer active but was built to quite a healthy size!
I would avoid using them for rainwater collection for animals, people, or gardens; there is some not so nice stuff in there... Beyond that animals are more likely to harm solar panels than the other way around IMO.
'Theoretically this level of creeping Orwellian dynamics should ramp up our awareness, but what happens instead is that each alert becomes less and less effective because we're incredibly stupid.' - Jerry Holkins
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