Photovoltaic (otherwise known as PV) technology is the term used to describe the hardware that converts solar energy into usable power, generating energy from sunlight.
At the heart of this technology is PV panels. These panels consist of a series of cells which are usually made of silicon – the second most abundant material on earth. All these cells have two layers of semiconductors: one positively charged, and one negatively charged.
When light shines on the semi-conductor, the electric field across the junction between these two layers causes electricity to flow, generating DC (direct current). Inverters then transform this into a safer AC (alternating current) for use in your home or office.
The greater the intensity of the light, the greater the flow of electricity. But contrary to popular belief, a PV system does not need bright sunlight to operate. It can also generate electricity on cloudy days. Due to the reflection of sunlight, days with slight cloud can even result in higher energy yields than days with a completely cloudless sky.