Solar photovoltaic cells convert sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run the appliances in your home or business. They only need daylight and still generate some electricity on cloudy days.
Known commonly as solar panels, or just PV in the industry, they are the large flat, black glass panels that go on roofs to convert sunlight into electricity. PV cells come in a variety of shapes and colours, from roof and wall mounting panels to grey “solar tiles” that can look like roof slates. There are even panels available with the solar cells spaced apart to allow some sunshine through for conservatory roofing, for example.
The technology behind them is improving at an impressive rate allowing them to become more and more efficient and effective at generating electricity regardless of what you might think about the UK weather! They are also covered by permitted development, which, broadly speaking, means you can install them on a roof without having to seek planning permission (exceptions apply – such as installation on listed buildings).