Solar cells are joined together to make panels which are mounted on the roof of the property; the ideal position being facing South (but East and West configurations also work very well) with a 30-degree sloping roof and no shading from trees, other buildings or even parts of the same building, such as chimneys or extensions.

The graphics show the train of events from the light hitting the panels through to the outcomes. The panels are not totally dependent on direct light or heat from the sun as they will operate quite efficiently using iridescent light.

The panels convert the sunlight into electricity which is fed through to an inverter.

In most homes, the inverter is normally installed in the loft/attic, but if this is not possible because of space restrictions, it can be fitted elsewhere in the property. The job of the inverter is to change the electricity from DC current to AC current which is the type that can then be used by the various appliances within the property.

The electricity from the inverter first goes into a meter which is usually installed close to your current electricity meter and it keeps a count of each unit of electricity produced by your Solar PV system.

Once counted by the generation meter, the electricity is then fed into your normal meter from which your appliances can now draw the power they require.

When the power requirement of the house is higher than that being produced by the Solar PV system (such as at night), then you would be reliant on the normal power source of the National Grid. Now that the prices of battery backup systems  have become more generally affordable, you will be able to further reduce that reliance by installing such a backup system.

On the other hand, when the solar system is producing more electricity than is currently being used in the property; for example when you are away in the daytime or on holiday, the excess is exported to the National Grid; or as suggested above, be diverted into a battery backup system which will give you electricity at night when the sunlight is not present.

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