Solar Energy Basics

Solar energy is converted into electrical energy via photovoltaic energy systems. Photovoltaic energy systems are “clean” – they don’t emit greenhouse gases or burn fossil fuels, and they do not cause air pollution. Photovoltaic systems are quite simple and operate without moving parts which is one of the reasons that solar energy systems have a long life span – around 25-30 years.

Photovoltaic cells are the building block of any solar energy system. These are often made from crystalline silicon cells which are either single or multi cells. Single-crystalline silicon cells are more efficient than multi-crystalline cells, however they are more expensive.

Photovoltaic cells are teamed with other system parts such as inverters, batteries and meters to enable a system to connect to the electricity grid. In many cases, excess electricity can be sold back to the grid.

So, when the sun is shining, your solar cells generate DC electricity which is converted by the inverter into 240V AC electricity which can be used by your household. If your system produces more power than is needed by your home, the surplus can be fed back into the power grid which can often mean a credit on your electricity bill.

When your solar system is not producing power, then you take your power from the grid as normal.

Every household has different needs, and correct installation is critical to avoid damage to your roof and to make sure the system is angled / positioned correctly so that you maximise your panels’ exposure to the sunlight.


Ozcan, Onur, and Filiz Ersoz. “Project and cost-based evaluation of solar energy performance in three different geographical regions of Turkey: Investment analysis application.” Engineering Science and Technology, an International Journal 22, no. 4 (2019): 1098-1106.