Location: Bozeman, Montana
Owner: Karen and Jan Foust
Installer: Liquid Solar Systems
Month Completed: March 2014
Capacity: 35,000 BTU peak output
Equipment Used: Sun Earth solar hot water panels, 60 gallon solar tank
Total Project Cost: $5,900
Financing Tools Used: Federal and State of Montana tax credits
Karen and Jan Foust of Bozeman have always had an interest in solar energy. Their water heater runs off propane, and the thought of using free energy from the sun to reduce their propane use always appealed to them. With Bozeman having more than 200 sunny days per year, a hot water system just makes sense.
"Solar is a gift from God. As much as we can use it, it’s free!”
In 2014, the Foust Family got in touch with Todd Hoitsma, owner of Liquid Solar Systems of Bozeman. After considering their needs, Todd recommended a 35,000 BTU solar hot water collector coupled with a 60 gallon solar storage tank. This system would provide about 10,000 gallons of hot water per year, which would be expected to meet about 70% of the Fousts’ annual hot water needs.

The total cost of the system was $5,900, but Todd explained that the state Alternative Energy Tax Credit as well as a federal tax credit would take a significant chunk out of that price. Karen says, “We don’t make a lot of money, and [the tax credits] was one of the things that sold us.”

The installation was completed in March 2014, and years later, the Fousts are pleased with their solar water heating system. Karen enjoys checking the temperature of the solar-heated water – on a recent chilly February morning, the sensors were reporting a temperature of 115 degrees in the solar storage tank. As Karen puts it, “Solar is a gift from God. As much as we can use it, it’s free!”

Project Summary:
Location: Bozeman MT
Application: Solar water heating - Residential
Solar Collectors: Sun Earth EC40
System Format: Solar pre-heated water
Storage Capacity: 60 gallons
Rated Power Output: 40.9ft2 / 10.76 * 0.7 = 2.66kW 
Yearly Energy Output (kWh): 2.66*4.04*.44*365 = 1726 kwh 
Bozeman Project

Contact Information: 
SunEarth www.sunearthinc.com
Liquid Solar Systems www.liquidsolarsystems.com

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