A green roof solar boost – and a boost for nature too

Do green roofs provide a solar boost? New research in Kansas certainly suggest they do. Whilst a boost to energy is important, the biosolar approach should also boost nature. New research in London does just that.

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Solar boost to a green roof in Cambridge
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Green roof solar boost research

A solar panel is most efficient when the ambient temperature is around 25°C. With every degree increase after that, the output decreases steadily. The Kansas researchers investigated what type of roof surface extracted  heat out of the panels when the temperature rises above 25°C. Of course the more heat extracted leads to greater efficiency.  When compared to conventional black and also cool reflective white roofs, green roofs were found to more efficient.

Panels installed over the green roof performed best, generating an average of 1.4 percent more energy as compared with those over the white and black roofs. The researchers also found that the current thinking on white roofs is not necessary true. Black roofs performed better than white roofs in the study, Heat reflected by white roofs reduced the solar panel efficiency.

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London Olympic’s Solar Green Roof designed for biodiversity – S.Connop

A boost for nature too

Writing in Eniday, Jim McClelland  provides a timely boost to the biosolar approach. The article notes that whilst energy at roof level can be achieved, delivering biodiversity gains is an important output too. It is important to note that this does come down to good design. Many of the projects mentioned have been designed by the Green Infrastructure Consultancy.  The Olympic Park Biosolar roof, monitored over a number of years by UEL,  fulfilling the legacy of the games. All of the priority biodiversity species are thriving on the roof.

Designing a good biosolar green roof requires expert input and the use of the right kind of system. In the UK only a few companies can supply the appropriate technology. These include Optigreen and Bauder who have long supported our work. Furthermore installation requires an experienced contractor such as Bridgman & Bridgman.


The only way is up for biodiversity and solar energy

In conclusion with increased solar efficiency and greater biodiversity, biosolar roofs are the future. Yet good design, technology and installation are key.

Check out our green roof and solar gallery whilst you are here.