Every solar PV system is made up of several components: solar panels (or ‘modules’), an inverter, a meter and your existing consumer unit. Zoom in on the diagram below to see how it’s all connected and understand how solar panels work.

How solar panels work

  1. The sun gives off light, even on cloudy days
  2. PV cells on the panels turn the light into DC electricity
  3. The current flows into an inverter, which converts it to AC electricity ready to use
  4. The current is fed through a meter and then into your home’s consumer unit
  5. Plug in and switch on. Your system will automatically use the free electricity you’ve generated, then switch back to the grid as needed
  6. Any electricity you don’t use is exported to the grid for others to use.