How Solar Works

Photovoltaic Solar Panels: A Proven Technology

What It Is. Photovoltaic (PV) solar panels convert sunlight to electricity. The most common types of PV solar panels are made of crystalline silicon solar cells. The electricity produced runs through an inverter that converts the current into electricity that can power anything from a toaster to a TV to an electric car.

What to Expect. Photovoltaic solar power is an established technology, and with no moving parts, photovoltaic solar panels offer reliable, long-term energy production. The best residential solar panels offer efficiencies of up to 18% to 19%, producing the most possible electricity per square foot. Typically, residential solar panels are roof-mounted, although ground-mounted PV systems can be installed where more land is available. Photovoltaic solar panels generally require very little maintenance, and in areas that offer net metering, excess electricity can be sent to the local grid so that you earn money from your solar investment.