Solar Photovoltaic (PV) panels absorb energy from the sun and convert it directly to electrical energy. The amount of electricity produced depends on the area of panels, the intensity of light and the efficiency of the panels. The most common installation involves mounting the panels on a south facing roof in order to maximize the level of sunlight falling over them. Although direct sunlight will produce the greatest amount of electricity, it is not essential and solar panels will usually provide some electricity even on cloudy days.
In a typical solar cell, silicon absorbs sunlight and produces a flow of electrons (electricity) across it. The cells are then linked together to form a solar panel and the panels can be further linked into modules, giving a wide range of possible voltage output. The electricity produced is Direct Current (DC) which will be converted to Alternating Current (AC) for most applications.