Solar Power Diagram

Solar Power Diagram

This solar power diagram can be split into three sections:

  • Charging: the solar power charging the batteries (current flow shown in red)
  • Low voltage power supply: for small appliances (current flow shown in green)
  • High voltage mains power supply: providing mains voltage AC current, powering larger appliances (current flow shown in blue)

What each component does

Here is a brief description of what each component does in our diagram:

Solar Panel

The solar panel (shown at the top left of our diagram) captures sunlight and converts it into an electrical current. This current flows through to the solar controller.

Solar Controller

The solar controller (shown in black on our diagram) looks after the batteries, preventing them from being damaged. It does this by ensuring that the battery cannot be over charged by the solar panel, and ensuring the battery cannot be over discharged by the low voltage power supply to small appliances.


The battery (shown in brown in our solar power diagram) stores the power generated by the solar panel until it is required. The vast majority of small solar electric systems run at 12 volts.

Low voltage appliances

The most efficient way of using the energy created by the solar electricity system is to use it at low voltage - typically (although not always) 12 volts. Domestic quality lighting is typically run at 12 volts, and adapters exist to run laptop computers and many portable televisions.

There are also specific solar powered appliances such as fridges, microwave ovens, coffee makers, kettles, DVD players, radios, televisions and the alike that are designed to run directly from 12 volt systems.

Mains Inverter

Where mains voltage is required, a mains voltage inverter (shown in white on our solar power diagram) is required to convert the electrical current from 12 volt direct current (DC) to mains voltage alternating current (AC).

This allows mains voltage appliances to be run from a solar electric system.

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Solar Electricity Handbook

Solar Book

The Solar Electricity Handbook is a simple, practical guide to using electric solar panels and designing and installing photovoltaic PV systems.

The Solar Electricity Handbook assumes no previous knowledge of solar power systems, it explains how panels work, how they can be used and explains the steps you need to take to successfully design and install a electric photovoltaic system from scratch.

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