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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Combining Solar and Green Roofs

Is it possible to make green roofs better? Sure, add solar panels! Although many think that green roofs and solar panels are incompatible, they aren't!

Although the benefits of green roofs are legendary, particularly the reduction of HVAC costs, and improved storm water control, air quality improvements, and reducing urban heat islands, adding solar just makes it that much better. Water Barrels and Storage

As I was researching the topic, I found some good information from Calfinder. A residential solar installer, Calfinder writes that green roofs improve the efficiency of solar panels, as they reduce the surrounding heat. "The green roof cools ambient temperatures around the solar panels, allowing the solar panels to stay cooler and function better." $20 Off AeroGardens

Calfinder also links to greenroofs.com, and the project pictured above, in Germany. An elementary school combined solar with a beautiful sedum roof. From the article:

Two hundred solar panels with an output of 23 kW(p) and a large extensive green roof now grace the top roof of this large school for primary and secondary grades in Unterensingen. The panels power enough electricity for the entire school.

The practice of combining green roofs and solar is a winning idea! Not only do both perform their functions improving the environment, but their synergy creates more efficient and longer lasting solar panels. Now, if the techonolgy for wind turbines improves for those of us in low-wind areas, that would be a triple play! Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food

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