What do solar panels do? An in-depth guide to solar renewable energy!

06th July 2023

What do solar panels do?


Solar panels are increasing in popularity every year in the UK.  But many people are still asking what do solar panels do? How do they generate electricity? Solar Panel systems have revolutionised the way we generate electricity by taking advantage of one of the biggest natural alternative energy solutions, the sun! In this blog post, we will go into details as to how solar panels work, alongside the benefits they bring to households and businesses across the UK.


Understanding Solar Panels:

Solar panels, also known as solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, consist of multiple interconnected solar cells made from semiconductor materials, typically silicon. When sunlight strikes these cells, they generate a flow of electricity known as direct current (DC).


Converting DC to AC:

The electricity generated by solar panels is in the form of DC, which needs to be converted into alternating current (AC) for everyday use in homes and businesses. This conversion is achieved using an inverter, a device that transforms the DC electricity into AC electricity compatible with the electrical grid.


Generating Clean Energy:

Solar panels produce electricity using a clean and renewable source of energy: sunlight. By utilizing this abundant resource, solar power helps reduce the dependency on fossil fuels, mitigating climate change and air pollution.


Feeding Excess Energy into the Grid:

During periods of high solar energy production, such as sunny days or when solar panels generate more electricity than a building requires, the surplus power can be sent back into the electrical grid. This process is known as net metering or feed-in tariff, and it allows solar panel owners to earn credits or payments for the excess electricity they generate.


Reducing Electricity Bills:

Installing solar panels on rooftops can significantly reduce electricity bills for homeowners and businesses. By generating their own electricity, they can offset a portion of their energy consumption, resulting in long-term savings. The UK government's Feed-in Tariff (FIT) scheme and the Smart Export Guarantee (SEG) further incentivized solar panel installations by providing financial benefits for the energy generated and exported to the grid.


Supporting the Environment:

Solar energy is a vital component of the UK's efforts to combat climate change and reduce carbon emissions. By generating electricity from a renewable source, solar panels contribute to the decarbonization of the energy sector, helping the UK transition to a greener and more sustainable future.


Overcoming Cloudy Weather Challenges:

Although the UK is known for its cloudy weather, solar panels can still generate electricity even in less sunny conditions. While solar panels perform optimally in direct sunlight, they can still produce electricity on cloudy days, albeit at a slightly reduced efficiency. Additionally, advancements in solar technology and improved system design are continually enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of solar panels in regions with less sunlight.



Solar panels play a crucial role in harnessing the sun's energy and generating clean electricity in the UK. With their ability to reduce electricity bills, support the environment, and create sustainable jobs, solar panels are driving the transition to a more renewable and low-carbon future. As technology continues to advance and solar power becomes increasingly accessible, the potential for solar energy in the UK is limitless, offering a brighter and greener tomorrow.

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