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Solar Panels Perform Better On Green Roofs

There have been both TV programs and a number of studies detailing how green roofs can cope very well with rainwater and also provide excellent insulation in the home with energy consumption being reduced significantly.

A study in Canada revealed that a 6 inch green roof could reduce, by up to 75%, the energy used in summer. Another study found that green roofs could cool the air inside the home during the summer by as much as 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit that has the benefit of reducing energy demand by 6% per annum.

So, you may ask, what has this got to do with solar panels?

Well, it just so happens that green roofs can also benefit solar panels. Solar cells will perform at a superior level and produce a greater amount of electricity by converting more sunlight under cooler conditions. Due to solar radiation, heat is generated which is why extra cooling needs to be provided for solar panels that perform at a very high level. When placed on the top of a conventional roof structure that is made up of either gravel or a bare waterproof membrane solar panelling generates even more heat.

However, if you combine a green roof with solar panels, a reduced ambient air temperature can develop due to the plants inducing evaporative cooling that will increase the solar cell’s output.

Research was undertaken in Berlin showing that cells that were positioned over a green roof had an output 6% greater when this was compared with cells located on top of a bitumen roof. Bronx Design and Construction Academy, located in New York, carried out a study revealing that the output of solar panels located on green roofs was boosted by 3%. Furthermore, an even better performance can be achieved by placing solar panels over vegetation in your garden.

So, in summary a combination of solar panelling and a green roof increases energy output and conserves energy.

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