Solar panels contain solar cells, which have semiconductors that convert light into electrical energy. Direct current (DC) electricity is produced and routed to an inverter.
An inverter converts the electricity into alternating current (AC), which is used in consumer appliances, lighting, and heating and cooling systems.
Meters measure the amount of electrical energy produced by the panel and monitor performance of the system.
Electricity produced goes through the utility grid. Those who use the power pay the solar producer for the energy.