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.
Solar panels work by absorbing sunlight with photovoltaic cells which generate direct current (DC) energy.