Solar panels are a package of interconnected assembly of the solar cells also known as the photovoltaic cells. They are also known as photovoltaic module or photovoltaic panels. The solar panels are used as a component of a larger photovoltaic system to generate and supply electricity in commercial and residential applications. A photovoltaic array is installed containing several solar panels so as to amplify the amount of the power. This installation typically involves an array of solar panels, an inverter, batteries, and a interconnected wing.

The solar panel works by collecting solar radiation from the sun and actively converts that energy to electricity. Solar panels are comprised of several individual solar cells. These solar cells function similarly to large semiconductors and utilize a large-area p-n junction diode. When the solar power  cells are exposed to sunlight, the p-n junction diodes convert the solar energy into usable electrical energy. The energy generated from photons striking the surface of the solar panel allows electrons to be knocked out of their orbits and released, and electric fields in the solar cells pull these free electrons in a directional current, from which metal contacts in the solar cell can generate electricity.

The more solar cells in a solar panel and the higher the quality of the solar cells, the more total electrical output the solar panel can produce. The conversion of sunlight to usable electrical energy has been dubbed the Photovoltaic Effect. The photovoltaic effect arises from the properties of the p-n junction diode; as such there are no moving parts in a solar panel.

The measure of how much solar radiation a given solar panel or surface receives is called Solar Insolation. The greater is the insolation, the more solar energy is converted to electricity by the solar panel. The other factors that affect the output of the solar panels are the weather conditions, shade by the obstructions to direct sunlight, the angle and the position at which  the solar panels is installed. Solar panels functions the best when they are placed in the direct sunlight, away from the obstructions that might cast a shade, and in the areas with regional solar insolation ratings.