A solar cell converts light directly into electricity using the “Photovoltaic Effect”. There is no fuel, steam or thermodynamics involved. When light hits a solar cell, it instantly produces electricity. Solar cells today do not store electricity. In other words, when the light is taken away from the cell, it stops producing electricity. It is very common to store the electricity from a solar cell in a battery.
You can store electricity generated from a solar panel in a battery such as a typical car battery or you could use a Deep Cycle battery for more storage capacity. If you are using a large solar panel to charge your battery, it would be wise to purchase a charge controller to regulate the current flow.
Once the battery is charged you can connect an inverter to the terminals (Connect the negative terminal first). An inverter will convert the batteries DC current to use able AC current which you can use to power AC appliances.
AC and DC voltage waveforms. Alternating Current (AC) is the type of electricity found in the outlet in your home. DC Direct Current is what you would find in the outlet of your car. DC electricity is also the type of electricity stored in batteries. Generators at big power plants use rotating alternators to produce AC electricity while the dynamo found in your bycicle (still a rotating machine) produces DC. Solar Cells produce DC electricity.