How do solar panels work?
How do solar panels work?
30th May 2019

Solar panels are among the greenest forms of energy generation for both domestic and commercial properties, so it’s no surprise that they’re becoming continually popular amongst both the private and commercial sectors. But while the advantages of this technology are generally very well known, not everyone is quite so clear on exactly how they work. This week, we’ve put together this simple guide to the science behind them, and the advantages they can bring to you or your company.

Creating a direct current

The key components to solar panels are called photovoltaic cells. Each panel contains a number of such cells, which are all sandwiched between two layers of semi-conducting material, typically silicon. When the photons present in sunlight hit these layers it creates positive and negative charges in the different layers, and this results in an electric field filled with electrons, which can be used as a direct current of electricity. This process as a whole is known as the photoelectric effect, and it’s this that allows something as simple and readily available as sunlight to generate electricity that can power our homes and businesses.

Converting the current

Once electrons have been generated using the photoelectric event, they then have to be converted into a form that can be easily harvested and utilised. This is done by means of an inverter which converts the direct current to an alternating current. This alternating current can then be used in the home or commercial building to which the solar panel is attached or channelled into the National Grid.

The advantages of solar panels for domestic customers

We can all see the damaging effects that climate change is having upon our planet year after year, much of which is man-made. That’s why we all need to do all we can to reduce our personal carbon footprint, and our actions today can make a big difference to the world our children and grandchildren will grow up in. Generating electricity via solar panels is a much greener electricity solution, and it can also lead to substantial savings in your electricity bill when compared to electricity sourced solely from the National Grid.

The advantages of solar panels for business customers

Businesses of all sizes and in all sectors can enjoy the same benefits as domestic customers, but this can be especially important as energy bills are one of the major overheads that a modern business faces, and in today’s competitive market, all savings are important. It also brings advantages in terms of energy security, as you won’t have to rely on electricity from an external source, and commercial solar can be a major step towards achieving your Corporate Social Responsibility targets.

lego hits 100% renewable energy 3 years ahead of schedule feature image

Solar panels and other green energy solutions from Low Carbon Energy can cost less than you think and can eventually lead to cost savings, as well as creating greener home or business premises. That’s good news for your bills, good news for the reputation of your company, and good news for our planet. At Low Carbon Energy, we have a wealth of experience at designing and installing solar panel systems for properties of all kinds and all sizes, and we’re proud to be a Carbon Trust Partner. Why not give us a call today on 01282 421 489 to see how we can help you?

electric icon
Energy Technology

Inspiring change today

Call us on 01282 421 489

Enquire Online


  • MCS Approved Installer
  • Chas Accredited Contractor
  • Positive Footprints
  • Solar Energy UK Member
  • Chamber Low Carbon
  • Renewable Energy Consumer Code