First Advisor

Olyssa Starry

Date of Award

Fall 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Civil Engineering and University Honors


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Green roofs (Gardening) -- Oregon, Soil moisture, Photovoltaic cells, Heat flux, Microclimatology




This paper investigates a combined PV eco roof system and analyzes the soil moisture levels in front of the panels and directly underneath the PV Cells on an experimental ecoroof platform in Portland, Oregon. The purpose of the study was to examine how PV Cells create differences in the moisture level of the soil on the ecoroof. Four moisture sensors were set in different quadrants in four experimental testbeds, and the moisture level data was recorded from October 18th, 2018 to September 10th, 2019. The study found that in with heavy rainfall, the front of the testbed displayed more moisture, possibly because of the rain shading effect of the panels. In the dry periods, the moisture level behind the panels was higher, possibly because of the shading of the PV cells allowed for the retention of water through slowed evaporation. Combined system green roofs and PV cells deserve more research. Future work should be repeated in multiple locations with different irrigation systems and plants to determine if these findings are applicable on a larger scale.


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