Green Roofs Improve Solar Panel Efficiency
Studies vary in the efficiency boosts reported, from 3% to 16%. This is in addition to green roofs’ known effect of cooling indoor air, which reduces annual energy use by 6%, according to a recent French study.
New designs for solar arrays allow water to drain evenly across the roof, and research suggests that the biodiversity created by including shade-tolerant plants below the panels can improve a green roof’s overall performance. A recent British study in Building and Environment found that broad-leafed plants such as lamb’s ear, which can thrive in partial shade, outperformed the traditional sedum in cooling the substrate and surrounding air.
Published November 29, 2012