Biosolar Green Roofs
Combining solar panels with green roofs can bring some amazing benefits. These Biosolar green roofs bring together the energy-generating capability of a solar PV array (electricity producing solar panels) and the water retaining, habitat generating benefits of a green roof system; a win-win situation.
Research has also shown that on extremely hot summer days solar panels can actually become less efficient. The temperature of the panel itself plays an important part in its performance efficiency and some reports suggest that extreme heat (and the panels can become very hot) can actually reduce their output by as much as 10-25%. Research has shown that compared to flat “un-greened” roofs, green roofs can be up to 21ºc cooler, clearly providing additional performance benefits for solar PV arrays.
But as with all things correct planning and installation is crucial:
“It is very important however to design and install biosolar roofs correctly. If too much emphasis is put on the solar panel element of the installation and the green roof seen only as decoration the positives of combining the two can easily turn into negatives. One example would be where panels are placed too close together and entirely the wrong sort of plants take over.” The Renewable Energy Hub
The Urban Greening Company can advise you correctly, design your Biosolar green roof and install it for you. Contact us for more information or to discuss your project.
You might also be interested in the case study: BIO-SOLAR ROOF TO BENEFIT SOCIAL HOUSING
Benefits of Biosolar Green Roofs
Besides the obvious benefits of freely generated electricity, the solar and green roof combination adds a number of additional eco opportunities.
Solar PV panels create shading on the roof surface where new habitats are created allowing a large range of species to thrive on what would otherwise be a very exposed area on the roof.
Rain run-off from the panels creates damper areas to the front and drier areas at the back. This creates a ‘habitat mosaic’ which allows a wider variety of vegetation to flourish and, in turn, attract a wider range of species such as butterflies, bees, beetles and others.
Green roof substrate can ballast or provide an anchor for the solar base, eliminating penetrations of the roof membrane through waterproofing.
Biosolar roofs provide an opportunity to exploit unused roof space to generate free electricity, increase the lifetime of the roof, and with thoughtful planting, provide a vital habitat for urban flora and fauna essential for future healthy population centres.