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Adhered PV Panels Keep Roofs Cool: Researchers


Contrary to popular perception, adhesive-mounted solar panel systems on roofs do not increase the roof's temperature, according to research from Fraunhofer Center for Sustainable Energy Systems (CSE), which was presented at the TechConnect World Innovation Conference and Expo. The findings, reported in Solar Power World, additionally indicated that roof temperatures were actually cooler under the adhesive-mounted panels.

Researchers constructed two identical 12- by 8-foot huts with south-facing roofs and installed them at CSE’s outdoor test facility in Albuquerque, N.M. One roof had photovoltaic (PV) panels adhered to it, while the other's shingles remained exposed. During the summer, the peak daily temperature of the shingles below the adhered PV panels were 5-15 degrees C lower than that of the exposed roof's shingles, according to researchers. Also, peak heat flow through the ceiling was almost 50 percent lower in the hut with the PV panels, according to Solar Power World.

Fraunhofer CSE researchers have been collaborating with the U.S. Department of Energy and other partners to figure out ways to make PV panel installations faster and less expensive. One option to meet those goals is adhesive-mounted installations. Researchers have run into the concern that an absence of airflow below the panels would cause degradation of the underlying roofing material through excessive heat buildup. The small test was devised to investigate those concerns.

This Quick Read was submitted by Naomi Millán, senior editor, Building Operating Management


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