Solar PV Explained
PV technology is the term used to describe the key bits of hardware that convert sunlight into usable power. By harnessing the Sun’s renewable energy, homeowners and businesses across the country are managing to save big on energy bills, whilst doing their bit for the environment.
How Solar PV Works
The photovoltaic panels that you’ll see on many houses across the nation work by harnessing sunlight. Each panel will have a series of cells that generate usable electricity through the flow of photons from the Sun.
Each cell will have a positively and negatively charged semiconductor that catches the sunlight. This action causes electrons to bounce free from the tighlty-packed solar cell, which creates a flow of electricity called DC (direct current).
Whilst most home appliances can’t use this directly, you can easily convert this electricity into AC, which is what we all use day to day. To do this, solar PV systems will use an inverter, which inverts the energy into AC (alternating current), where it can be used more easily.
- Sunlight charges the solar cell
- This causes atomic movement which can be harnessed into electricity in DC form
- You convert this into AC, for use by appliances
But What About British Weather?
A PV system doesn’t rely on hugely bright sunlight in order to operate, meaning even in the UK, its cost-effective to install solar. In fact, when there’s cloud cover, you can sometimes even generate higher energy yields, because of the reflection, compared to clear blue skies.
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