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Solar Power FAQs

Solar Power FAQs

Making the Move to Solar Easy

Ask Our Southern Arizona Solar Installation Experts

The Solar Store is your one-stop shop for all solar installation solutions. Led by a licensed professional engineer, our energy solutions utilize the most innovative technology and designs you’ll find. With years of experience handling both residential and commercial sites, with projects ranging from pool heating to off-grid photovoltaic systems, you can trust our expertise.

In addition, every project is handled 100% by our team—we do not sub-contract, and we ensure consistent service by employing only the most highly-trained and experienced solar installation experts in the industry.

If you have any questions about how The Solar Store can address your home or business’ needs, call (520) 470-6012 to speak with our team. We are more than happy to answer your questions and provide an estimate for free.

Read below for answers to basic questions regarding The Solar Store and our installation services.

Do you have more questions? Feel free to give us a call or contact us online.

  • Plumbing

    • What are the advantages of tankless water heating over traditional tank heaters?
      Tankless water heaters only heat the water being used, whereas traditional water heaters work to keep water warm that is continuously cooling. A family of four can save 35-40% more energy, but a smaller family will save closer to 50%.
  • Solar

    • How much does a typical solar panel weigh?
      Typical systems weigh 3 ½ to 4 pounds per square foot. Most structures built since 1930 can easily support the weight.
    • What does PV stand for?
      It stands for photovoltaic.
    • Is a module the same as a panel?
      Technically speaking in the solar electric realm, a module is a complete, environmentally-protected unit. A panel is a collection of modules that are mechanically fastened together. For solar thermal, the individual component is called a collector.
    • What is a solar panel made of?
      Silicon and rare metals such as gallium, indium, and selenium. The frames are made of extruded aluminum. The glazing is tempered low iron glass.
    • Are estimates free?
      Estimates are free for grid-tie solar electric and solar thermal systems. There is a nominal charge for estimates for landscape lighting, radiant floor heating, and off-grid solar systems. Typically 50% of the fee is applied toward the final purchase.
    • What is the payback period?
      The payback period depends on the cost of electricity and therefore depends on the utility. Typical simple payback is 10-12 years.
    • How much will a solar hot water system save me on my gas/electric bill?
      A solar hot water system will save $30-35/month for the typical family.
    • How have systems improved since the last solar boom of the seventies?
      Contemporary systems are better engineered and have more safety features. In addition, the equipment has longer warranties.
    • How do the tax credits work?
      They are applied to the final tax bill, so if you owe $5,000 in taxes with a $1,000 tax credit, you only owe $4,000. If your withholding exceeds tax liability, the refund increases by the tax credit amount. The Arizona tax credit is 25% of the system cost with a max credit of $1,000. The federal credit is 30% of the net system cost. Net system cost is the contract amount less any utility incentive.
    • What can I expect from my pool system?
      Based on the size of the solar pool heating system, you can expect your pool to be 10-12 degrees above the average ambient temperature. For example, if the daytime highs have been about 85 degrees and the nighttime lows about 65 degrees, the pool should be about 85-87 degrees.
    • Why isn't AC an option with off-grid solar?
      It is an option—however, many people seem to think otherwise. Call (520) 470-6012 if you have specific concerns about your off-grid site.
    • Why can't you size a system based on the square footage of the home?
      Each family has a different utility use profile; in addition, each home has different types and ages of equipment. The same home will indeed have about the same capability in terms of the total system size, but one home may have used energy-efficient lighting, with a high SEER air conditioner, and not have residents home during the day.
    • Why is shading an issue?
      Even 10% shading can significantly reduce the output of a module. With shading, the output is less and the payment is extended. In addition, some utilities evaluate shading and reduce the incentive accordingly.