Have you ever looked at a neighbour, or someone else's, solar set up and wondered how it works?

Most likely you’re looking a photovoltaic (PV) panel system, which is used to produce and store solar power. So, the electricity you produce means you need less from the grid, as well as being very good for the environment.

The system

Solar panels

Installers will put solar panels on the side of your roof that gets the most sun, so you can create as much DC power as possible. (NB: DC means direct current and you can’t use this without changing it to AC, or alternating current.)

Inverter

An inverter is used to change DC into the 240V AC electricity that’s used by your appliances. It sends whatever you don’t need back into the ‘grid’. 

Meter

Your meter records what you send back into the grid, not necessarily all the power that you generate and then use yourself.

Grid

Any electricity that is not used is fed into the electricity grid through your electricity meter. When you are consuming more than you produce you draw electricity from the grid.

Solar energy systems are available in a range of sizes; a typical system is 1.5kW.

Thinking of getting solar?

There are few things you should think about before you get started! 

Find out more