What is a Solar Panel?

What is a solar panel?

A solar panel is a device that is made up of solar cells, which work to convert solar energy into usable electricity.

A solar power system consists of multiple solar panels, also known as photovoltaic (PV) panels, and an inverter. In Australia, these panels are usually fitted on the roof, and can be used for various applications including the production of electricity for residential and commercial uses.

How does a solar panel work?

A solar panel collects energy from the sunlight and converts it into electricity by generating direct current. The direct current (DC) is then sent through the inverter, which converts it into alternating current (AC) so that it can be used in homes or commercial buildings.

Solar panels are generally installed facing a northerly, easterly or westerly direction, tilted at an angle that maximises the amount of sunlight each panel can receive. In Australia, it is recommended for solar panels to face north at a tilt angle of 15 to 30 degrees for the best output performance.

Houses with grid-connected solar systems will use up the generated solar electricity first before switching to electricity from the main grid if more is required. On the other hand, if there is an excess of electricity generated, it is sent back to the grid.

A grid-connected solar system cannot store excess power generated unless you install storage batteries.

The capacity of a solar system is measured based on the number of Watts it can produce per hour in ideal conditions, such as a sunny day with a cloudless sky. However, it is rare for a system to achieve this measurement in full, due to dust particles, clouds and other conditions that affect the amount of light captured.

The benefits of using solar panels

Demand for solar panels has been increasing through the years, thanks to improved technology and general awareness. There are many benefits to using solar power, including:

Lower electricity bills

As you can are able to generate your own electricity through your solar panels, you won’t have to pay as much to the electricity company anymore. Although, how much you actually save will depend on the size of your solar system as well as your power usage.

Energy independence

Having solar panels reduces your reliance on electricity providers, and so increases your control over your own electricity needs and expenses. Remote homes and buildings that are not connected to electricity grids will also benefit greatly from using solar systems.

Renewable and reliable energy source

One of the best benefits of solar panels is that it uses a renewable source of energy. Unlike coal or gas, we will never run out of sunlight. Also, as long as the sun is up in the sky, your solar panels will generate electricity, making it a reliable power source.

Good for the environment

Because the electricity is generated from sunlight instead of burning fossil fuels, solar systems do not leave behind greenhouse gases and water pollution.

Low maintenance

As there are no moving parts, solar panels generally do not need a lot of maintenance. All that is required is occasional cleaning and a regular check by licensed contractors to ensure the panels run at maximum efficiency. And perhaps an inverter replacement after about 5 to 10 years.


Should you need more assistance or information on residential solar systems and commercial solar systems , please do not hesitate to contact Total Solar Solutions. As a Clean Energy Council approved solar retailer and an authorised installation partner for LG, we install only the best LG solar panels, with 25-year parts and labour warranty, as well as a 25-year performance guarantee above 89.6%.

Get a free quote today through our website, or call 03 9729 0894.