What is Solar?

Solar-electricity, or photovoltaics (PV) converts sunlight directly into electricity. You may be more familiar with PV cells as solar cells that power watches and calculators. But PV can do much more. It can provide electricity for residential and commercial buildings, including power for lights and air conditioning. PV can also be a convenient source of power for pumping water, electrifying fences, or aerating ponds in remote applications.

As an energy-conscious consumer, you want to do all you can to use energy efficiently and add more clean, renewable energy to your life. This section contains information and analysis tools to help you evaluate your options and make an informed decision. If you've already decided to install solar electric panels (also called photovoltaic or PV panels) on your roof, you've given it careful thought and considered all the benefits of using a reliable, abundant, and environmentally smart source of energy — the sun. If you haven't decided yet, we hope the information in these pages will help you make a decision about purchasing PV panels for your home or business.

How does it work?
Here you can view entertaining and educational presentations about how solar energy is produced.

How can I learn more?
To learn more about the fundamentals of photovoltaics, please visit our PV Basics section for a more in depth look. And, if you are interested in educational materials for the classroom, please visit our educational section for students and educators.

How do I get and use it?
If you're interested in putting renewable energy to work in your home or office and want to know more about solar and other renewable technologies, see So You Want to Put PV on Your Roof!