Photovoltaic (PV) systems convert solar radiation into electricity. They are not to be confused with solar thermal panels which use the sun’s energy to heat water (or air) for water and space heating. A dedicated low-voltage inverter converts the direct current into 230 V alternating current.
Solar PV is generally used as a complementary means of supplying electricity. This means you still need to be connected to the mains grid (or have another means of supply). It can however help you make significant savings on your bills because the energy you generate is free.
Currently, the Better Energy Homes scheme is available for homeowners to apply for a grant aid towards a solar thermal system.