Solar PV - How it Works

What is Solar PV?

Solar photovoltaic electricity systems, more commonly known as Solar PV, make use of solar cells to convert light energy from the sun into electricity. This electricity can then be used to run household appliances and lighting, for example.

Solar PV systems are interconnected solar cells packaged together and covered with toughened safety glass for protection to form a solid panel or tile. These can then be attached to your roof or any other suitable location.

The generation of electricity occurs inside the solar cell and is completely safe.

The solar PV system does not need direct sunlight to work and will still generate electricity on cloudy and overcast days.

Did you know?

  • Solar electricity is the same as your regular mains supply but because it is generated from the sun it is free, clean, silent and an inexhaustible supply.
  • The Solar PV panels require little cleaning and are maintenance free.
  • Solar PV cells are not affected by the cold. In fact, like all electronic devices they operate even more effectively in cooler temperatures.

How Does it Work?

  • Daylight falls on the PV panels that are mounted on the roof.
  • The panels generate electricity as DC current that is converted to AC by an inverter mounted in the loft space, garage or a store cupboard in the house
  • The inverter is connected to the distribution or fuse-board in the house.
  • The electricity generated is used to power appliances in the house. If excess electricity is generated it is sold to the grid.

On average each 1 KW of PV installed on your house should provide around 800 KWh (units) of electricity per year. You will get paid for every kWh of electricity your system produces regardless of whether you use it in your home or export it to the national grid.

The following video from Mitsubishi explains exactly how daylight is converted into useful electricity:

Solar installation completedTesting solar panels before fittingSolar panel hangerAligning PV panels for fittingSolar Panels fitted to a domestic roof in Wakefield
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