How does Solar PV work?

Solar PV systems work by converting solar radiation into electricity.  PV cells, used to make up a PV panel or module, consist of one or two layers of semi-conducting material and are usually made from silicon.  When sun light shines on the cells, an electric field is created and electricity begins to flow.  The stronger the light (not the heat), the more electricity is generated.

The solar energy collected flows in a certain direction and produces direct current (DC) electricity.  To utilise this electricity in your home, this must be converted using an inverter into alternating current (AC).  From the inverter, the electricity flows through a meter to your consumer unit which then powers your home’s electrical system and appliances.  Any surplus energy can be exported and sold to the National Grid.