How does Solar PV work?

Solar PV panels work using a combination of solar cells made from layers of semi-conducting material, typically silicon. When sunlight shines on the panels it creates an electric field across the layers. The stronger the sunshine, the more electricity is produced. Groups of cells are mounted together in panels or modules that can be mounted on your roof, on A-Frames on flat roofs or on the ground.


The power of a Solar PV cell is measured in kilowatts peak (kWp). That is the rate at which it generates energy at the panels peak performance in full direct sunlight in the height of summer. Solar PV cells come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most Solar PV systems are made up of panels that fit on top of an existing roof, but you can also fit smaller solar tiles with a more costly route. These are usually less effective as they do not collect as much solar energy!

To benefit from peak performance, Solar PV panels are usually advisable to install in a southerly direction.