Solar Panel Feel the Power Solar panel electricity systems, also known as solar photovoltaics (PV), capture the sun's energy using photovoltaic cells. These cells do not need direct sunlight to work – they can still generate some electricity on a cloudy day. The cells convert the sunlight into electricity, which can be used to run household appliances and for lighting. Solar cells work together to supply electricity for various uses. A PV cell, also known as a self-generating barrier layer cell, is a PV detector that converts radiant flux straight into electrical current.