Whitefish Solar Home
October 2 - October 3
Our 16.8 KW grid tied array consists of 42 – 400 watt SunPower panels with Enphase IQ7A microinverters. In the words of our installer (Northstone Solar), our roof is an “architectural” roof as opposed to a “solar” roof resulting in less than ideal areas for solar panel installation. Therefore, we chose to install east, south and west facing panels to take advantage of as much of the year-round non-shaded roof space as possible.
Our motivation for the installation was to reduce our electric bill, inspire others in our community to consider solar and we felt it was the right thing to do for the environment.
When our home was built in 2013 and we put a great deal of attention into making it energy efficient. Foam insulation was used throughout the home. The entire exterior was covered with R-10 foam board insulation under the siding to minimize thermal bridging through the structural wall components. The roof has 12” – 14” of foam insulation resulting in a true R-60 roof. Heating and cooling is provided by a ground source geothermal system. The hot water heater utilizes an electric heat pump and is tied into the geothermal system through a desuperheater to take advantage of waste heat. LED lighting is used throughout the home.
The solar installation was commissioned in early October of 2020. Despite the winter snow coverage associated with living in northwestern Montana, to date the system is on track to meet more than 50% of or electricity needs. We have not had an electric bill for the last 4 months and the excess electricity we are generating will be “banked” for use this coming winter.
We are purchasing an electric vehicle and the solar array should provide a 100% of the needed electricity to charge the car.