Solar panels silently convert light into electricity. They have no moving parts, require little maintenance and are designed to last for many years. Solar panels use the “photovoltaic effect”, discovered by Edmund Becquerel in 1839, to produce electricity directly from sunlight. Solar panels work best in direct sunshine, but they also work well even on cloudy days.
Solar panels can supply a substantial proportion of the electricity needs of a typical household. They are often mounted on the roof or on the ground and connected to the local electric utility, either supplying all the power directly to the home or pumping the excess back to the utility. Apart from reducing your utility electricity bill, homeowners can often sell any surplus electricity directly back to the utility at an rate.
Solar panels are also used for commercial applications ranging from large-scale power plants to small family-run businesses. The applications are endless, but each has the same idea in mind: harnessing the power of the sun to make clean, affordable electricity.