How do solar panels work?

Solar panels are renewable technology, because they utilise a natural energy source that won’t run out – the sun. Panels capture the sunlight, turning it into usable electricity for the home.

Solar PV systems (not thermal) turn sunlight into electricity. There’s a thin layer of semi-conducting material on the solar panels, and when this is exposed to sunlight it energises.

Electrons flow through the material, usually silicon, creating a DC current. This DC current is transferred to an inverter where it turns into AC - meaning it can then be used in your home.


  • Solar panels installed on your roof generate electricity from the sun, even on cloudy days

  • The inverter fixed to the system converts the DC power into AC

  • When you’ve used all the electricity generated from your system, grid energy will automatically feed into your supply