There are three main types of solar panels for home and business applications. Each type is a trade-off in energy efficiency and manufacturing costs. Solar panels are semiconductors that collect sunlight and convert it into electricity. This is called the photovoltaic effect. The amount of power a solar panel can generate depends on how much sunlight it receives, how efficiently it can convert the sunlight into electricity, and how big the solar panel is.
A larger solar panel will create more power. Wiring several solar panels together is the way to get the 120 volts required to run most household appliances, and more appliances need more amps to run. Volts times amps equals watts, or power. A typical high-end solar panel produces around 180 watts in bright sunlight. Tax credits may be available to consumers that install solar panels (http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=tax_credits.tx_index#s4).