How do solar panels actually work?

Are you thinking about going solar? Have you noticed solar panels on your neighbour’s house, or heard about solar from friends and family and wondered how solar panels generate electricity?

Unlike wind turbines, solar panels appear to have no moving parts so how do they convert sunlight into usable energy?

To help explain how a solar panel, containing silicon and conductive metals, and sunlight all combine to generate electricity the animated info graphic below is a simple way to show how solar power is actually generated.

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How solar panels work

Image Source: From our friends at

We hope you find this animated graphic helpful in explaining how solar panels work, and next time you see these dark and glassy solar panels in your travels (or on your own home) you’ll be well informed to share how solar panels generate electricity from sunlight.