Solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity. Sunlight can be converted directly into electricity using photovoltaics (PV). The collecting units for this are referred to as solar panels, photovoltaic panels or PV panels.
Solar energy panels work by collecting protons from the sun, which displace neutrons, and create a flow of electrons or electricity. An inverter converts the power generated by the solar energy panels from DC current to AC current, making it usable in homes as a direct electricity supply.
There are many manufactures of solar panels and there are varying types of PV panels as well. The two most commonly used are framed panels and thin film panels. Today, the framed panels are more efficient for the same amount of space, but thin film can be a preferred solution for some applications.
There are different ways of rating solar panels, too. Some panels are rated by flash testing. That means the panel is rated at the peak performance.
Other panels have a plus / minus rating and could be less by whatever the percentage stated may be. That can be disappointing.
Plus rated panels at least give you what is stated and usually more. That is because they are rated at their lowest point. Usually this is a better value to the consumer.