Solar panels look like very simple items. They sit on rooftops and just grab sunlight and turn it into electricity. The way that process happens is fascinating for many people. This is just a brief explanation as to how the process works.

The main part of the solar panels is the photovoltaic cell. Many people have been using them for years without even realising it. Most people had a calculator at school that worked without a battery because it had a tiny solar panel that allowed it to be powered by light. The cells have also been used on satellites for decades.

Photovoltaic cells do not need bright sunshine in order to produce electricity. It only needs light, so if you do have solar panels they will still work even if it is cloudy. A solar panel may have several types of the photovoltaic cells in it. These are often made from silicon as this is considered to be an excellent semi-conductor. However, different cells have different levels of efficiency and the cost will also vary.

The cells are gathered together into ‘modules’. These make up the panel. There are usually two thin layers of silicon. The top layer is created with unstable atoms in order to make the electrons fly off when the sunlight hits it. The bottom layer features gaps in the atoms. The sunlight hits the top, the unstable electrons are then brought down to the bottom layer. This movement leads to the creation of a current which is known as direct current. The addition of two metal contacts creates a circuit and electricity is produced.

The direct current has to be converted to AC so the system will also need an inverter box. Once the conversion has happened the electricity can be fed into the system.