How Does Solar PV Work?

Solar panels, sometimes called solar photovoltaics (PV), use photovoltaic cells to capture energy from the sun. The cells are made up of layers of semi-conducting material, normally silicon. When sunlight shines on a cell, it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity produced. But even on cloudy days, cells still generate some electricity.

The solar panels on your roof will generate direct current (DC) electricity. So that you can use this electricity in your home, an inverter will convert it into alternating current (AC).

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