PV roof temperature study

Project Overview

This project investigates the benefit of a light, reflective roof surface on the output of a photovoltaic (PV) panel. PV panels typically reduce output by 0.5% per degree over 25. Dark roof surfaces often exceed 80 degrees

Project Definition


The project is purely field testing, where a PV setup is installed on two half scale buildings, identical in every way except for the roof colour. The PV system is set up as a DC circuit , where the panels are directly connected to a load, with circuit breakers and monitoring devices.


The load is a simple bank of 12v 50w halogen globes, mounted 2x2 is series / parallel to account for the 24v / 10 amp max output of the panels.


Although the combination of a light roof improving PV efficiency is generally acknowledged as effective, there are few studies, and even fewer Australian studies that demonstrate this in the field. Most studies are tested in a laboratory. 

Project Goals


The major outcome of this study is to demonstrate to industry the significance of roof colour on PV performance. This will achieve two things: 1)demonstrate the additional benefits of white roofs not usually tested and 2) demonstrate the significance of roof temperature on PV output.

Project Schedule


At this time the PV DC circuit is installed on the scale buildings, and the monitoring equipment is ordered. It is intended that in the next two weeks the monitoring will be active.

05/04/13 panels were swapped over, and checked for orientation, both within 1 degree of north, white roof on slight greater incline - 26 degrees vs 25 for black roof

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