Solar panels Solar panels are made up of photovoltaic (PV) cells, which convert sunlight into direct current (DC) electricity. Inverter An inverter converts the DC electricity generated by solar panels into the alternating current (AC) electricity used in most homes. Monitoring system A monitoring system sends information about your solar installation, including the amount of energy it generates, to your solar provider, to maintain optimal system performance. Utility grid Your solar system is still connected to a local utility grid to provide power after sundown. Connection to the grid also allows your solar system to return to the grid any excess clean energy your system generates during the day. A utility meter measures your power consumption and solar output.