How do Solar PV Panels work?

How do Solar PV panels work?

PV panels capture the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells.  The cells convert the sunlight into electricity which can then be used to run household appliances and lighting. 

Will the PV panels only work on sunny days?

The cells work during daylight hours. These cells don’t need direct sunlight to work, they can still generate some electricity on cloudy days. However, the sunnier the day, the more power is generated.

Will the PV panel help save me money?

Sunlight is free, therefore, using the power generated by the sunlight will reduce the amount of electricity that you have to use. The panels are generating power when the red light in the generation meter “pulses”.

What do I need to do to make sure that I use the power generated by the panels?

Please find below some useful tips:


  • If you are at home all day  use electrical appliances during this time. For example: washing machine, tumble drier, hoover, dishwasher.
  • Don’t use all your appliances at the same time. Stagger their use, so that each appliance is benefitting from the free power generated. For example: put your washing machine on at 10:00am, leave an hour at lunchtime so you can use your cooker/microwave for your lunch and then put your dishwasher at 2.00pm.
  • Consider cooking your main meal at lunchtime so that your oven  and cooker are working during daylight hours.
  • Keep an eye on the weather and the weather forecast. If the forecast for today is dull and cloudy and tomorrow is for sun, then leave your washing till tomorrow morning and ironing till the afternoon. (On very dull and cloudy days, it is likely that most of the PV power will be used by what is called  the “base”  load, ie: running your fridge, freezer etc.)
  • Plug all rechargeable items during daylight hours eg: mobile phones, electric toothbrushes, drills, laptops.
  • Please ensure that you are careful when storing items in your loft space that you are careful not to knock the power switch for the PV panels off.

We hope that you find these tips helpful.

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