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Greenery improves solar output

Could a green roof make solar panels work more efficiently? Scientists are now saying that surrounding the panels with green plants can increase their output by up to one-fifth.

In a recent project commissioned by Sydney Council, researchers from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) compared the output of solar panel arrays on two neighbouring buildings at Barangaroo. On one building, the panels were surrounded with low-growing plants and foliage, while on the other, the roof surface between the panels was left bare.

After eight months of observation, the researchers found that the ‘green’ roof improved performance by as much as 20% at peak times and by 3.6% over the entire experiment.

In terms of money saved, that’s around $2,595 worth of extra renewable energy generated. What’s more, the environmental impact is equivalent to 110 trees planted, without accounting for the additional photosynthetic activity of the plant foliage on the green roof.

Research leader Dr Peter Irga said that the research also proved a couple of other theories – that photovoltaic solar panels work better if they do not get too hot, and that green roofs are better insulators.

The study is available for viewing on the UTS’ OPUS website. Image: ABC News

About Adam Nobel

CEO | Principal
M. Bus, Grad Dip Adv, B.Int Bus, LREA


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Adam is the founder and Principal of Hugo Alexander Property Group. With a previous career in advertising, 22 years experience in property investment, and 16 years in Brisbane real estate, he knows the market inside out to ensure his clients grow their wealth faster.

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