Combine Both an Eco-Roof with a Solar Panel Roof

Chemistry and biology professors, Carl Wamser and Todd Rosenstial from Portland State’s Science Campus have been testing the combination of both solar panels and eco-roofing to see if they can double the impact. On top of the roof of the campus are herbs such as thyme and sage as well as solar panels.

What better way to combine these two eco-friendly roofing movements than on top of the enormous building. Green roofs (roofs with plants, grass and flowers on them) affect the water runoff from storms. Instead of directing it back into the rivers and streams, it is held and evaporates when the temperature rises. This helps cool down the urban environment and puts oxygen back into the atmosphere. It can also be a place of habitat for birds and small animals.

Solar panels being used on rooftops generate power from sunlight. By having both of these energy saving systems on the roof you are effectively doubling your eco-friendliness.

The professors were given a $300,000 grant to start the testing of the solar panel and green roof combination. As solar panels generate more power in cooler temperatures, the roof temperature is kept cooler due to the water retained by the roof garden. The cooler environment has increased the efficiency of the solar panels and the return on investment will be higher.

The data that is being found or projected to be found over the next 36 months could directly affect the eco-friendly roof choices for those homes, businesses and community buildings who have either solar panels or green roofs (and vice versa). The professors will continue to monitor results, checking just how much impact the green roof has on maintaining or reducing the roof temperature, how it affects the urban temperature and how they can continue to run the solar panels at maximum efficiency.

Are individual solar panel roofs and green roofs a thing of the past? Should they be combined to have a greater effect? At the moment, it looks that way.


Roofing Quote

Get a free quote from a roof contractor in your neighborhood in seconds! We never share your information and only seek to put you in touch with the best local roofer in your area.