How Do Solar Panels Generate Electricity?

Solar power is one of the cleanest ways to generate energy by converting the sun’s rays into electricity. This is achieved using a Photovoltaic (PV) solar panel. PV panels contain thousands of silicon cells which are excited by photons in the sun’s rays to create a potential difference, otherwise known as a voltage. A DC (Direct Current) can be generated from the panels which is then converted into an AC (Alternating Current) suitable for powering appliances in your home.

What is a Solar System?

A solar system is a complete power generating installation that converts solar energy into useful electricity which can power your lights and household appliances. A system typically includes:

Photovoltaic (PV) Solar Panels – convert sunlight into a current.

Regulators or Charge Controllers – Control the size of current generated from solar panels to protect your appliances

Batteries – store charge so that electricity can be accessed at all times.

Inverters – are installed in larger systems to convert voltage from 12V to 240V to power larger appliances

What is a Solar Kit?

Solar kits are small scale, portable solar power devices. They can typically provide power for light bulbs and phone charging but not for larger appliances which provide a 240V output.

Are There Different Types of Solar Panels?
Monocrystaline Panel:

These are dark black in colour and can easily be identified as the corner of each rectangular cell is missing, forming a white diamond pattern. Monocrystaline panels are the most efficient solar panels and are very high quality yet this makes them the most expensive.


Polycrystaline Panel:

These are characteristically dark blue in colour and can be identified by their ‘grid’ appearance. Polycrystaline panels are the most affordable type of solar panel and are therefore widespread throughout Uganda.

Amorphus Panels:

These panels can be easily identified by multiple thin, straight lines separating the cells. Amorphus panels work best in areas with low insolation so are best suited to colder climates and not appropriate for installation in Uganda.

How do I know what size solar system to install?

We will construct your unique solar system to match your power requirements. Using our unique in house formula, we will be able to calculate the correct size system to meet your needs. Please contact us to find out more.

How are solar systems maintained?

We recommend that your solar system is serviced once per year to ensure all components are in good condition and working to their full capability. This will include cleaning your solar panels and carrying out a series of maintenance checks. For more information, please see our services page.

Solar Energy for Africa is a Ugandan based energy company supplying and servicing high quality systems in Uganda and throughout the East African Region.