|Business case:||Sheeplands Farm, near Wargrave, Berkshire, England|
|Application context:||Floating solar panels on a reservoir|
|Problem definition:||Soiling of solar panels, resulting in reduced energyproduction, damaged panels, and water contamination|
|Pest bird species:||Mainly seagulls and a few ducks|
|Time of year with bird problem:||All year round|
|Time of the day with bird problems:||From sunrise to sunset|
|Number of systems:||1 Agrilaser Autonomic 100|
|Laser projection area:||3 acres (1.2 ha)|
|In use since:||December 2016|
|Bird numbers before Agrilaser Autonomic installation:||100s|
|Bird reduction after Agrilaser Autonomic installation:||75%|
Sheeplands Farm, first site in the UK with Hydrelio© floating solar PV, has finally found a solution for its bird problem
Mark Bennett, owner of Sheeplands Farm, invested in a reliable, cost effective system to use the farm’s 60-million-liter irrigation reservoirs to generate free, green energy to increase their energy independence, without using valuable land space. With expertise from solar solution design firm Ciel et Terre, a floating solar PV platform was installed. Unfortunately, no one could foresee that the platform’s 800 Trina solar panels would become a favorite perching spot for large numbers of seagulls and ducks.
Mr. Bennett tried numerous methods to repel the birds, none of which was efficient or truly successful. Kites were destroyed by strong winds, and habituation became evident as the birds quickly became accustomed to sounds emitted by acoustic devices.
He went on a mission to find an easy, effective, long-term solution to repel birds from the farm’s solar platform. Mr. Bennett’s overall goal was to increase electricity production to power farm operations while also reducing the solar cell payback period by sending more energy to the grid. In addition to enhancing the efficiency of the solar panels, he sought to limit water contamination, trim platform maintenance costs, and prolong the useful life of the panels.
After several online searches, Mr. Bennett discovered the Agrilaser Autonomic. He viewed product videos on YouTube, and was impressed by testimonials from Bird Control Group clients. He was convinced that he had hit upon the answer to his problem, and contacted Alexis Gaveau, CEO of Ciel et Terre. Together they agreed to purchase an Agrilaser Autonomic to take advantage of the capabilities of this innovative solution.
The principal of repelling birds with a laser beam was inspired by nature. Birds perceive an approaching laser beam as a physical danger, and their survival instinct causes them to fly away to seek safety. The fully automatic Agriaser Autonomic provides continuous bird repelling action after a one-time configuration. The continuous presence of a moving laser beam keeps an area free of birds 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Agrilaser Autonomic system provides effective bird repellence over long distances and vast areas, on average over approximately 500 acres or two square kilometers, which makes it ideal for use in the renewable energy sector. It is a clean and silent solution that is completely harmless to birds, and it retains its repelling effect over time. Results from actual use show no habituation has occurred in areas in which systems have been operational for more than three years.