Steep Roof Means Great Winter Production

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Small nuances can make all of the difference when trying to maximize production from your solar panels. With winter sun angles providing high production out of a PV array, a well-angled, south facing roof can make a difference when dealing with snowstorms.

"In short, the roof is steep", says Mike Sudik, owner of Big Sky Solar who installed the 2.6kW rooftop array on the Sembach-Tralongo Residence in December of 2016. The snow slides right off.

"This is our first season with the system, but we've noticed it stays clear most of the time," says Mark Sembach.

Mark, who travels often for work, mentioned having a low-maintenance system like this is ideal for him. While he's gone, the panels simply keep producing energy. "We monitor production about once per week at this point," says Mark. The Enphase Inverters that Big Sky Solar installed allow the system owner and the installer to monitor each individual panel's production online and via smart phones.

Screen shot of the online panel monitoring software, accessible online and on smart phones

"This allows us to be on high-alert if one of the panels isn't working properly," says Sudik. He is able to pro-actively reach out to his customers to address performance issues and keep the panels in good working order.

Mark mentioned several reason for installing the array, including environmental benefits. Working in environmental remediation, he is very aware of his own environmental impacts. The panels allow him to keep his person impacts more under control. He's also excited about the increased property value that the array will provide and, of course, the lower monthly energy bills.

Quick Stats

  • Capacity (kW): 2.6
  • Owner: Mark Sembach and Joe Tralongo
  • Location: Missoula, MT
  • Incentives: In addition to the Federal and State incentives, the system was partially financed through the Missoula Federal Credit Union.
  • Installer: Big Sky Solar
  • Equipment Used: 10 x 260kW panels w/ Enphase Inverters