Effect of solar photovoltaics (PV) on green roof vegetation and performance

Green roofs contribute to numerous social, economic, and environmental benefits and as components of green infrastructure planning are becoming increasingly commonplace. Less is known though about how green roofs perform when integrated with other sustainable designs, such as photovoltaic (PV) panels that share the roof space, which could experience higher energy efficiency through increased cooling by the green roof vegetation. Vegetation cools green roofs through a process called evapotranspiration, a component of photosynthesis, which increases with exposure to sunlight. Since PV arrays shade vegetation, efficiency of PV through cooling might change with different plant types and arrangements. In this study we will examine the impact of shading by PV panels on the evapotranspirative cooling potential of green roof vegetation. The work will be conducted at the Green Roof Innovation Testing (GRIT) lab, At the heart of downtown Toronto, the lab is the first and only green roof integrated PV research site in Canada.

Scott MacIvor
Superviseur universitaire: 
Dr. Liat Margolis
Project Year: