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What is Solar PV?

Solar panel electricity systems, also known as Solar Photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and lighting.

A Solar PV system will consist of solar panels, an inverter and a generation meter.


The solar panels contain groups of photovoltaic cells. These PV cells are made from layers of semi-conducting material, usually silicon. When light shines on the cell it creates an electric field across the layers: the stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. This electricity then flows through a cable and is collected at a central point (often located in your loft).

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What Happens Next?

Here the electricity is converted by the inverter from DC to the safer AC current so that it can be used in your home and is then carried through to the generation meter. From here it will be directed to the National Grid or into your household electricity system, depending on your electricity demand at the time.

The electricity you generate works using your existing circuits to power household appliances and lighting in exactly the same way as your normal electrical supply.

The power of a Solar PV system is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That’s the rate at which it generates energy at peak in full direct sunlight during the summer. If your solar panels are in shadow for parts of the day, it will still generate some electricity, but at a lower rate.


Want to know more about how Solar PV systems work? Speak to one of our team who can tell you how they can save you money. Call us on 01834 888 330.