How do solar panels work?
Solar panels work by converting the energy from sunlight into electricity, which can be used to power your home in the same way as the national grid.
As solar panels use the light from the sun (rather than heat), if it’s light enough to see then it’s light enough to generate power - so the brighter the day, the more energy your panels will be able to create. Since the UK gets over 8 hours of sunlight a day all year round, and we don’t often experience the extreme temperatures that can affect the performance of solar panels, our climate is well suited to solar power.
There are two main types of solar panel: photovoltaic (PV) panels, which generate electricity, and thermal panels, which generate heat for hot water and central heating systems.
When your solar panels generate more electricity than you use, the excess energy can be fed back into the national grid. On the flipside, when you’re using more energy than your solar panels can supply (such as overnight), you can take extra energy in from the grid, paying for it as you would through your usual energy supplier.