How do solar panels work?

Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells.

How does PV work?

Able to generate electricity, even on a cloudy day, photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into energy that can be used to power household appliances and lighting.

Made from layers of semi-conducting material such as silicon, PV cells create an electric field across the layers when light shines on them.

What are the benefits of PV?

Once installed, PVs will:

  • Cut your electricity bill
  • Enable you to earn money for the electricity you generate through the government’s Feed-In Tariffs (FITs) scheme
  • Enable you to sell electricity back to the grid if you generate more electricity than you need
  • Reduce your carbon footprint
  • Require little maintenance

To heat your hot water using sunlight, a solar heating system can also be installed.

For more information about PV visit the Energy Saving Trust website.

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