Combining solar panels with green roofs can bring some amazing benefits. These ‘Biosolar’ roofs bring together the energy-generating capability of solar PV arrays and the water-storing, habitat creating benefits of green roof systems.
What are the benefits of biosolar roofs?
- Cooler temperatures: Ironically, on long, hot, summer days, solar PV panels can actually become less efficient; temperature plays an important part in their efficiency. Some reports suggest heat can reduce output efficiency by as much as 10-25% in certain cases. Research has shown that compared to flat un-vegetated gravel roofs, green roofs can be up to 21ºc cooler (Kaiser 1981), clearly providing some benefits for PV arrays.
- Opportunities for wildlife: Additionally, as the solar PV panels create shading on the roof surface, new habitats are created allowing a large range of species to be on the roof, bringing ecological benefits. Three different micro-habitats can be created; the first one ideal for growing sedum, the second is a more moist area, as the PV panels shed water onto the green roof when it rains, and the third is the dry shade where the panels cover the green roof. Each of these areas can be used to attract an abundance of wildlife that would not otherwise be a part of the city or region.
- No damage to the roof: There are additional technical advantages to Biosolar roofs; due to the integrated nature of the two systems, the green roof system can be used as ballast for the PV panels, meaning that they can be fixed to the roof without any risk of penetrating waterproof membranes or the structure of the roof itself.
How to maintain a biosolar roof?
Installation of green roofs increases the lifetime of roof surfaces protecting them from UV and other environmental damage. As the green roof is a living system it is a lot easier to maintain without disrupting energy generation when the roof system requires maintenance, simply replanting, or sowing seeds around the panels.
Biosolar roofs provide an opportunity to maximise roof spaces to generate electricity, increase the lifetime of the roof, and with thoughtful planting, provide a habitat for urban flora and fauna essential for future healthy cities.
Guest blog post from Hosta Consulting. Image credit: Dusty Gedge.
How can we help your business?
As the UK’s market leader in renewable energy solutions, we are in the best position to help your business realise the potential for electric vehicle charging infrastructure on your site. We also offer supplementary technologies, which would work in harmony with an electric vehicle charging facility, such as, site electrical upgrades, battery storage and solar PV, perhaps all combined into a private Smart Grid. These technologies would allow your business to harness the power of renewable energy and provide enough power needed to fast charge a wide range of electric cars.
Ultimately, it is down to us to make the change towards sustainability in order to create a greener future. Now is a good time to assess your net zero aspirations and talk to us about how we can help achieve them. Our team of renewable energy experts are available to provide Net Zero consultancy and renewable (Solar, EV, battery) quotations alongside installation operations and maintenance support to asset owners.