A domestic solar power system can make a significant contribution toward your energy costs for powering for your home, but how does it work?

The solar panels on your roof are where it all starts and are produced by well-known companies like Sharp and BP.


The Science bit:

Photovoltaic; meaning power from light

When sunlight hits the special materials on the panels surface it knocks free electrons, which in the simplest terms escape via the cable attaching the panel to you home. This flow of electrons is the same as from a battery and is a DC (direct current) electric current.

When your Solar Panels are installed they are accompanied by an INVERTER which converts the current to AC (Alternating Current) which is used by your home. This is then made to match the same voltage as your normal domestic supply and fed into your home via a circuit breaker or fuse box.

Then what happens to it?

So now your house is running on SOLAR POWER! But what if you’re not in? Or don’t have much switched on? Well the excess electricity is fed into the same cables that you get your normal electricity from, and a clever meter keeps track of everything and works out how much energy you made, how much you used, how much extra you needed during the night etc. and how much you fed back into the grid.

The electricity you get from solar panels is no different from the normal supply and you notice no difference, you don’t have black outs as things switch back and forth, lights won’t go dim when a cloud passes by, in fact once installed you will be blissfully unaware that they are there, apart from the pleasant feeling of knowing your reducing your carbon footprint and saving money!