How Solar PV works

Solar PV panels convert sunlight into electricity. The PV panels are wired to an inverter which converts the generated electricity from Direct Current (DC) into usable Alternating Current (AC) for use in your home. The Solar PV system is connected to the electrics in your house and onto to the National Grid. This means that any surplus electricity produced by the system that is not needed in your home can be exported back to the grid. Similarly when the system is not providing enough power for your home, you can import the amount you need back from the grid.

PV WaferPV Cells

 

How does a Solar PV cell generate electricity?Energy Generation

At the heart of the system are photovoltaic cells which are made from very thin wafers of silicon. The cells are linked together, encased in glass and a metal frame and installed on your roof. Without getting too technical, the PV Cells do the clever bit & absorb sunlight - Photons and converts them into electricity - Electrons.

How do clouds affect generation?

Solar PV operates on light from the sun, rather than heat. This means that whenever there is light available, the system will be generating electricity; even if the day seems cool and overcast. Although the system will produce electricity all year round, its output will fluctuate seasonally, with the most electricity being produced in the bright summer months when there is a greater amount of direct sunlight available.

For more information read our page on Solar PV Shading.