What is Solar PV Power?

Joe Brennan
May 22, 2024

Are you tired of high energy bills and looking for a sustainable alternative? Solar PV power could be the solution you're seeking. In this blog post, we'll discuss Solar Photovoltaic (PV) technology, explaining how it works, the different types of systems available, and the benefits it can bring to your home or business. 

From understanding the basic components to exploring the installation process and evaluating the cost-effectiveness, we've got you covered with all the necessary information. 

So, let's get into the details and discover how solar PV power can light up your life, sustainably and economically. 

What is Solar PV Power and Why Do We Need It?

Solar PV, or photovoltaic, power is a way to make electricity using sunlight, which is a clean and great source of energy. Solar panels, which you might have seen on rooftops, use this technology to capture sunlight and turn it into electricity. This process is completely clean, meaning it doesn't produce any harmful pollutants or gases that can damage the environment.

Environmental Benefits

So, why do we need solar PV power? The main reason is to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas, which are not only limited but also harm the environment when burned. 

By using solar PV power, we can cut down on our carbon footprint—that is, the total amount of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases that we release into the atmosphere. This is really important for keeping our air clean and protecting our planet for future generations.

Economic Advantages of Solar Energy

Moreover, solar PV power can help us save money on electricity bills. Once the initial setup is done, the cost to generate electricity from the sun is practically free, which can significantly lower monthly energy costs. 

Plus, as energy prices from traditional sources continue to rise, solar power remains a cost-effective and sustainable choice. This makes solar PV an excellent investment for both your financial future and the health of our environment.

How Does Solar PV Power Get Generated?

Solar panels are incredible devices that convert sunlight into electricity, and the process is both simple and interesting.

Converting Sunlight into Electrical Power

It takes place within the solar cells, which are the essential components of solar panels. These cells are made of special materials that react to sunlight. 

When sunlight shines on these materials, they generate electricity. This electricity is then directed through the panel's wires and used to power homes, businesses, and various electronic devices.

The Critical Role of Silicon

Most solar cells are constructed from silicon, a common element derived from sand. Silicon is highly effective at capturing sunlight and converting it into electrical energy. When processed and formed into a solar cell, silicon becomes particularly efficient at this conversion. 

Its ability to transform sunlight into electricity efficiently is a major reason why silicon is the predominant material used in solar panels.

This straightforward but powerful technology taps into the sun's energy, converting natural sunlight into clean, usable electrical power without generating any pollution or waste. This is what we refer to as solar PV power.

How Does Solar PV Power Work in Our Homes and Businesses?

Solar PV systems efficiently convert sunlight into usable electricity, powering homes and businesses with renewable energy. Here’s how these systems function and the essential components involved.

Solar Panels: Converting Sunlight to Electricity

Solar panels are typically installed on rooftops and consist of numerous small units called solar cells. These cells are made from materials capable of capturing sunlight and converting it into electrical energy. When sunlight strikes these cells, it generates an electric field that produces electricity.

Inverters: Making Solar Energy Usable

The electricity created by solar panels is in the form of direct current (DC). However, most homes and appliances operate on alternating current (AC). Inverters play a significant role by converting DC into AC, making the solar-generated electricity suitable for everyday use.

Mounting Systems: Ensuring Stability and Efficiency

Mounting systems secure the solar panels either on roofs or on the ground, ensuring they are optimally positioned to capture sunlight. These systems are crucial for maximising energy production and maintaining safety and effectiveness under various weather conditions.

Electrical Components: Safe Connection and Distribution

Additional electrical components, including wiring, fuses, and switches, are integral to a solar PV system. They connect the solar panels to the home’s electrical network and the wider power grid, ensuring electricity flows efficiently and safely. These components also protect the system from overloads and facilitate easy maintenance.

Together, these elements enable solar PV systems to utilise the power of the sun, transforming it into clean, sustainable, and cost-effective electricity for residential and commercial use.

What Are the Different Types of Solar PV Power Systems?

Solar PV power systems are designed to meet various energy needs and preferences. Here's an overview of the three main types:

Grid-Tied Systems

These systems are connected to the local electricity grid (as shown in image) and are most suitable for residential and commercial settings. They enable the use of solar-generated electricity while maintaining a connection to the grid. This setup allows for energy to be drawn from the grid when solar production is insufficient and for excess solar electricity to be sent back to the grid, often earning credits on utility bills.

Off-Grid Systems

These systems are ideal for locations that are remote or where grid connection is not feasible. Off-grid solar PV systems are entirely self-sufficient, relying on batteries to store the electricity generated by the solar panels, ensuring that power is available at all times, regardless of sunlight conditions.

Hybrid Systems

Combining features of both grid-tied and off-grid systems, hybrid systems are connected to the grid but also include battery storage. This setup provides a reliable power supply even during grid outages, as it can switch between solar, battery, and grid power depending on availability and needs.

Each type serves different requirements, depending on your location and energy needs.


We've explored the transformative power of solar PV systems and how they convert sunlight into usable electricity through a clean and efficient process. From the environmental benefits that help reduce our carbon footprint to the economic advantages that decrease energy costs, solar PV power stands out as a sustainable solution. 

Whether it's grid-tied, off-grid, or hybrid systems, there's a configuration that can meet any need, enhancing energy independence and sustainability.

Ready to reduce your energy bills and make a positive impact on the environment? Consider switching to solar PV power today and light up your life with a renewable energy solution. Contact Going Solar now to find out how you can get started on a brighter, greener future.

Planning a switch to solar energy?

Contact Going Solar now and Get Free Advice & Quote Within Minutes!
Get A Free Quote

Frequently Asked Questions

What is solar PV technology and how does it work?

Solar PV technology involves using photovoltaic materials to convert sunlight directly into electrical energy. This is primarily achieved using solar cells made from semiconductor materials like silicon.

What materials are used to make solar panels?

The most common materials in solar panels are monocrystalline and polycrystalline silicon. Thin-film solar panels made from materials like cadmium telluride or copper indium gallium diselenide are also popular due to their flexibility and lower manufacturing costs.

Can solar panels work without direct sunlight?

Yes, solar panels do not need direct sunlight to generate electricity; they can still function on cloudy days or in shaded areas, though their efficiency decreases.

What are the main types of solar PV systems?

The main types are grid-tied systems, which are connected to the public electricity grid; off-grid systems, which operate independently of the grid; and hybrid systems, which combine features of both.

How does shading affect solar panel performance?

Shading can significantly reduce the power output of solar panels since any shadow on the panels can decrease their overall energy production.

What is the lifespan of solar panels?

Solar panels typically have a long lifespan, generally guaranteed to last between 25 and 30 years before they might need replacing due to gradual efficiency losses.

Contact Going Solar Now!

Get a FREE Consultation & Quote

Fill out the form below to book a free consultation with one of our experts and also receive a no-obligation quote.

Check - Elements Webflow Library - BRIX Templates

Thank you

Please check your inbox to download your Free EBook!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
*FYI, parts of this blog post were drafted by artificial technlogy. But rest assured, it's been thoroughly researched, edited, reviewed and me & my team.
Author Fahad Zahid
Founder @ Going Solar

Joe Brennan, the founder of Going Solar, is dedicated to making solar power mainstream in Ireland and meet SEAI objectives. With a focus on affordability and sustainability, he is bringing renewable energy solutions to homes, reducing costs & environmental impact.