Solar panels typically consist of a layer of silicon cells, a metal frame, a glass casing, and wiring which allow current to flow from the silicon cells. Silicon is a non-metal with conductive properties that enables the absorption and conversion of sunlight into electricity. When light interacts with a silicon cell, it causes movement within the electrons which initiates a flow of electric current.
This process is known as the “photovoltaic effect” and it describes the general functionality of solar panel technology.
When sunlight hits your solar panels, they convert that energy in DC electricity. Your inverter then converts that energy into usable AC electricity which goes to the appliances and devices in your home for you to use. Any excess energy that isn’t used is sent back to the power grid.
Check out our handy infographic for a simple break down.