Solar power is the conversion of energy from sunlight into electricity, directly using photovoltaics (PV). PV systems use solar panels, either on rooftops or in ground-mounted solar farms, converting sunlight directly into electric power.
As the cost of solar electricity has fallen, the number of grid-connected solar PV systems has grown into the millions and utility-scale PV power stations with hundreds of megawatts are being built. Solar PV is rapidly becoming an inexpensive, low-carbon technology to harness renewable energy from the Sun.
The International Energy Agency projected in 2014 that under its "high renewables" scenario, by 2050, solar PV and concentrated solar power would contribute about 16 and 11 percent, respectively, of the worldwide electricity consumption, and solar would be the world's largest source of electricity. In 2017, solar power provided 1.7% of total worldwide electricity production, growing at 35% per annum. As of 2018, the unsubsidised levelised cost of electricity for utility scale solar power is around $43/MWh.
The array of a PV power system, produces direct current (DC) power which fluctuates with the sunlight's intensity. For practical use this usually requires conversion to certain desired voltages or alternating current (AC), through the use of inverters. Multiple solar cells are connected inside modules. Modules are wired together to form arrays, then tied to an inverter, which produces power at the desired voltage, and for AC, the desired frequency/phase.
Many residential PV systems are connected to the grid wherever available, especially in developed countries with large markets. In these grid-connected PV systems, use of energy storage is optional. In certain applications such as satellites, lighthouses, or in developing countries, batteries or additional power generators are often added as back-ups. Such stand-alone power systems permit operations at night and at other times of limited sunlight.
(source from wikipedia)
Solar cell module