Solar electric systems use photovoltaic (PV) solar panels to convert the sun’s rays into electricity. The word “photovoltaic” comes from the Greek “photo”, which means light, and the word “volt”, which is a unit of electrical force.
When sunlight strikes the PV panel, the panel starts to produce electricity. The electricity travels through specially installed wires to a piece of equipment called an inverter. The inverter then feeds the electrical energy into your main circuit breaker panel, where it is distributed to the rest of the house.
In a grid-tied system, any electricity that is not immediately needed by the house is pushed onto the electrical grid. You receive a credit from the utility company for this excess energy. See also How does net metering work?