The mystery of the problem with the inverters has been solved. And it turned out that the problem wasn’t water damage, but instead our little furry friends Sciurus carolinensis.
Or in other words, pesky squirrels.
The squirrels have been making their homes underneath the panels, and having a good nibble at the wires while they were there. R-ECO finally came to investigate the problem on January 21st and had to replace three solar panels as the damage was too close to the junction box to make repair possible. Two other panels were repaired, as were the damaged field cables.
The total cost to GCEC is £1500 plus VAT.
Obviously we need to ensure this doesn’t happen again, so we are getting quotes for fitting a wire mesh around the panels to stop the squirrels getting under the panels in the future.
Although we had already pruned the trees close to the roof, there are some other trees on land owned by a developer next door which may be providing access to the roof for the squirrels. We are investigating whether these trees could also be pruned.
The bill for this work have implications for the payout we can make to investors this year. We will be contacting members to let them know directly once we have heard from our insurers whether they will bear any of the costs.
Hopefully the problem is now solved. But should you like to see more, below are some more pictures of the damage.