If you’re in the market for solar panels, you’ve likely heard of Q CELLS. Q CELLS are a brand of solar panels that are frequently recommended in Australia, but what do you need to know about Q CELLS solar panels?
Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels are higher-end and cost-effective PV solar panels that originated in Germany. These solar panels are more efficient than other solar panels on the market, with a generous warranty, making them a wise investment for Australian homes and businesses.
Many sources report Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels are some of the best solar panels in Australia. However, it’s important to look at the specifications and see for yourself if Q CELLS are the right brand for your needs.
If you’re looking for more information on whether a Q CELLS solar panel is the right brand for your home, look no further. We have compiled this blog to provide you with all the information you’ll need about Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels.
Table of Contents
What Are Q CELLS Solar Panels?
Q CELLS manufactures monocrystalline silicon photovoltaic (PV) solar panels sold in Australia alongside PV systems for residential, commercial, and industrial use. These solar panels are one of the top brands globally, known for their efficiency, build quality and lifespan.
Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels are known to exceed the 20% average efficiency in the solar panel industry. This means that their solar panels can convert more than 20% of the Sun’s energy into usable solar energy. Depending on the specific solar panel you purchase, you can also get up to 25 years of warranty on your Q CELLS solar panels.
- Q.antum Duo Z Solar Panels – Q.antum Duo Z Solar Panels are Hanwha Q CELLS’ flagship offering, which combines their Q.antum Cell Technology with a DUO cell separation method. These solar panels use round connecting wires in a zero-gap cell interconnection method that ensures higher power generation for everyday use.
Additionally, this technology also increases the reliability of the solar modules due to the presence of Q CELLS Yield Security — an amalgamation of several features such as Anti PID, Anti LID/ LeTID, Hot-Spot Protect and TraQ.
Q CELLS’ primary solar panel lines, the Q.BOOST and Q.PEAK series, are both manufactured with the Q.antum Duo Z technology. Q.BOOST is the lower cost or “budget-friendly” option meant for those who want reliable performance without breaking the bank, while the Q.PEAK series offers the Q CELLS’ best performing solar panel range.
- AC Solar Panels – Q CELLS AC Solar Modules are not currently available in Australia and are primarily sold in France and the Netherlands. They are equipped with Enphase microinverter technology, which removes the need to create a DC connection between the solar modules and the central inverter.
Who Makes Q CELLS Solar Panels?
Q CELLS Solar Panels are manufactured by Hanwha SolarOne, producing the solar cells under contract.
Q CELLS was initially established in 1999 in Thalheim, Germany. The first working polycrystalline solar cell was produced on 23 July 2001 and would, at the time, become one of the world’s largest solar cell manufacturers, helping create Germany’s “Solar Valley”.
On 12 August 2012, the Hanwha Group, a large South Korean business conglomerate, acquired Q CELLS. 2 years prior, in 2010, Hanwha purchased a 49.99% stake in Chinese manufacturer Solarfun and renamed it Hanwha SolarOne, the current manufacturer for Q CELLS.
Where Are Q CELLS Solar Panels Manufactured?
Q CELLS Solar Panels were manufactured in Germany until 2015. However, Hanwha eventually moved the manufacturing to the SolarOne facilities in China, Malaysia, and South Korea. The newest manufacturing facility was opened in the United States in 2019.
Most of the manufacturing, specifically monocrystalline solar panels, was moved to the Malaysian facility in 2015, while the Q.Peak premium line of solar panels is produced in the South Korean facility. However, it is essential to note that Hanwha Q CELLS’ Research and Development (R&D) facilities in Germany are still being used today.
How Do Q CELLS Solar Panels Work?
The principle that makes Q CELLS Solar Panels work remains the same as other modern-day solar panels, albeit with improvements in reliability and efficiency.
Solar energy is produced via the direct conversion of sunlight into electricity. When sunlight hits a solar cell, the electromagnetic radiation initiates a physical response that generates a Direct Current (DC). A solar panel is made up of 60 solar cells, which are all connected electrically.
On the other hand, a larger PV solar system is composed of multiple solar panels. All electrical currents produced by the solar panels are sent to an inverter via a cable, where it is converted to Alternating Current (AC) for use by electrical equipment.
Q CELLS Solar Panels in Australia
Q CELLS’ two lines of solar panels available in Australia are Q.BOOST and Q.PEAK series. Q.BOOST is the lower cost or “budget-friendly” option for those who want reliable performance without breaking the bank, while the Q.PEAK series offers the Q CELLS’ best performing solar panel range.
Q.BOOST Q CELLS solar panels offer an affordable solar panel solution from Q CELLS. This range of solar panels is cheaper, allowing more households to access renewable energy in their homes.
The range of Q.BOOST Q CELLS solar panels includes:
Q.PEAK is Q CELLS’ high-end solar panel series. The Q.PEAK range of solar panels are higher kw models that can absorb and convert more sunlight into energy at a more efficient rate. Although these solar panels are more expensive, the trade-off is increased energy generation.
The Q.PEAK range of solar panels includes:
- Q.PEAK DUO ML-G10.a+
- Q.PEAK DUO ML-G10+
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK ML-G10+
- Q.PEAK DUO XL-G9.2
- Q.PEAK DUO XL-G10.2
- Q.PEAK DUO XL-G11.2
- Q.PEAK DUO XL-G11.3
How Efficient Are Q CELLS Solar Panels?
The efficiency of Q CELLS’ current lineup of solar panels ranges from 20.9% to 21.6%, which is above the industry norm of 15% to 20%. This makes Q CELLS solar panels some of the most efficient on the Australian market.
What do these numbers represent, and what do they tell you as a customer? To put things into perspective, most solar panel manufacturers offer panels with efficiency ratings between 15%-20%.
Q CELLS’ solar panels start at 20% efficiency for their Q.PEAK DUO-G5, and the Q.PEAK DUO XL-G9 offer 20.9% efficiency, placing Q CELLS among solar industry leaders such as LG and SunPower.
Solar panel efficiency ratings also depend on the temperature coefficient and temperature tolerance factors.
- Temperature Coefficient – This describes the percentage of power output lost by a panel due to a temperature increase exceeding 25 degrees Celsius. This shows how heat affects the power of a solar module and how much power is reduced when the ambient temperature exceeds normal operating levels. Q CELLS solar panels usually have a temperature coefficient of -0.39 to -0.34, offering higher performance than most competitors.
- Temperature Tolerance – Shown as a temperature range, this indicates the expected average operating temperature. The modules are capable of non-stop operation if the temperature does not exceed this range.
Lastly, their solar panels have temperature coefficients of 0.35%, comparably lower than their competitors. This lower number increases Q CELLS solar panels’ efficiency and performance.
Are Q CELLS Solar Panels Tier 1?
Q CELLS is considered a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). Their solar panels are ranked near the top of the solar panel market for their performance, efficiency, and warranty structure.
Q CELLS placed 6th among GlobalData’s solar PV module shipment ranking in 2019, reporting a 33% growth in shipments from 2018.
How Long Do Q CELLS Solar Panels Last?
Q CELLS solar panels are expected to last at least 12 to 25 years, depending on the model and type of solar PV system. This timeframe can be shortened or extended depending on maintenance and usage.
This reliability is vouched by PV Evolution Labs (PVEL), the leading independent lab for the PV (Photovoltaic) industry, and DNV GL, the world’s largest resource of independent energy experts and certification bodies.
As shown in PVEL and DNV GL’s PV Module Reliability Scorecard, Q CELLS posted a passing mark from 2016 to 2020. This benchmark is the result of DNV GL’s PV Module Product Qualification Program (PWP), which allows PV module manufacturers to demonstrate and prove the durability and reliability of their products to the global market.
What Warranties Do Q CELLS Solar Panels Have?
Q CELLS solar panels have two types of warranties — product warranty and performance warranty. Q CELLS solar panels have a 12 to 25-year product warranty depending on the model chosen.
- Product Warranty – Their standard lineup is given a 12-year product warranty, while products containing a ‘+’ (plus) sign are given a 25-year product warranty.
- Performance Warranty – All Q CELLS products have a warranty that guarantees at least 98% of the nominal power in the first year. They also guarantee maximum power degradation of 0.5% per year and at least 86% of nominal power up to 25 years after the initial installation and operation.
Learn more about Q CELLS solar panel warranties on the Hanwha Q CELLS website.
How Much Do Q CELLS Solar Panels Cost in Australia?
In 2022, Q CELLS solar panels cost an average of $1.05 to $1.12 per watt overall sized systems or $0.89 to $1.07 per watt for a 10kW system. These are the out-of-pocket cost for fully installed solar PV systems with an inverter after federal and state rebates.
The price of Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels varies depending on the size of the system, type of inverter and installer.
As an approximate range, the average cost of Q CELLS solar panels is:
- 3kW system: $3,000 to $6,000
- 6.6kW system: $4,000 to $8,000
- 10 kW system: $9,000 to $15,000
These price ranges include complete installation and solar inverter, as well as deductions for state and federal government solar rebates.
The latest solar panel pricing data from Solarquotes provides some up-to-date statistics on the cost of Q CELLS solar panels in Australia.
Q CELLS Solar Panel Prices in Australia, Fully Installed, April 2022
|Size||Average Price Per Watt||Average Price|
|All Systems||$1.02 to $1.12||$6,950 to $8,505|
|10KW||$0.86 to $1.1||$8,646 to $11,013|
These prices are the out-of-pocket cost after rebates, including complete installation across a range of solar panel and inverter models. Prices will always differ depending on the installer and choice of inverter.
PV systems are unique to the client’s needs, so the most accurate pricing will always be a custom quote. However, Hanwha Q CELLS’ average pricing and efficient performance make it one of the best value choices in the PV market for residences.
Are Q CELLS Solar Panels Worth It?
Yes. Q CELLS are class Tier 1 according to BNEF and have consistently proven their products’ reliability and durability for five years straight in PVEL and DNV GL’s PV Module Reliability Scorecard.
Their products are priced very competitively for the residential market and come with industry-leading warranties for both the product and its performance for up to 25 years.
Pros of Q CELLS Solar Panels
Q CELLS solar panels are an industry leader worldwide and for good reason. Q CELLS solar panels have many advantages, including:
- Listed as a top-performing solar panel for five years straight in PVEL and DNV GL’s PV Module Reliability Scorecard (via DNV GL’s PV Module Product Qualification Program (PWP)
- Classified as a Tier 1 Solar Company by Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF)
- Has an Australian head office in Sydney
- Offers separate warranties for the product and its performance
- Q CELLS was the first to pass the stringent TÜV Rheinland Quality Controlled PV certification in early 2020
Cons of Q CELLS Solar Panels
Drawbacks that should be considered before buying Q CELLS solar panels include:
- Despite offering an excellent price to quality ratio for residential applications, it is still considered a premium product. This means they are great value but not the cheapest solar panels on the market.
- Despite the company’s current financial stability, it has had a shaky history considering it filed for bankruptcy in 2011 before being acquired by a South Korean conglomerate in 2012. However, this has never impacted quality or product warranties for Q CELLS products.
Q CELLS Solar Panel Reviews
We have collected a range of Q CELLS solar panel reviews, so in addition to a professional review of Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels, you can also grasp a firm understanding of what other consumers think about them.
- “Q CELLS solar panels may not offer industry-leading efficiency or performance, but their price to quality ratio makes them a great value for many homeowners who are considering solar. Overall, there are plenty of compelling reasons to consider Q CELLS panels for your home solar installation.” – EnergySage
- “While the company is not known for producing the most efficient panels, they are generally very reliable and have scored consistently well in the independent testing from PVEL. Q CELLS also supplies several home energy storage systems built on a unique modular design…” – Clean Energy Reviews
- “Homeowners who have gotten quotes from solar installers can rest assured that Q CELLS solar panels are a high-quality choice backed by a good warranty at a reasonable cost. While not the absolute best when it comes to performance or warranty, they meet the standard set by other Tier 1 solar manufacturers and come in at about the industry average for cost. The Q CELLS brand is well-known and will surely last for many years to come, so you can count on them to stand by that warranty if you ever need service.” – SolarReviews
- “The Q CELLS 15 – 25 year product warranty is better than 10 years many panels currently sold in Australia have. While the performance warranty is less important, it is above average. In my opinion they are high quality reliable panels and I have no problem recommending them.” – SolarQuotes AU
- “The Q.PEAK series offers good value for solar buyers looking for a 25-year product warranty but don’t want to pay the premium for the top of the line solutions (like SunPower or LG). In our opinion at Solar Choice, Q CELLS offer a good middle range between your standard tier 1 cost-effective brand and the expensive premium options. Despite a chequered history, the Q CELLS brand appears to be in financially stable territory with the backing of Bloomberg’s tier 1 rating, so there’s a good chance that you will be able to receive all the value of the 25-year product warranty, even if your solar installer closes up shop.” – SolarChoice AU
- “Q CELLS offers the most efficient panels in the market. The panels are affordable and durable, with performance warranties of up to 25 years. The company has been in the industry for decades, so you can be assured that they will honour their warranty. If you are looking to install solar power, Q CELLS solar panels are an excellent choice for you.” – GoSolarQuotes AU
- “To give you a quick summary, Q CELLS solar panels are long lasting, provide a high return on investment and come with some industry leading product warranties which set them apart from a lot of panels on the market.” – LightningSolar AU
Where Can I Get Q CELLS Solar Panels in Western Australia?
You can get Hanwha Q CELLS solar panels fully installed with JFK Electrical Solar & Air, one of Mandurah and Perth’s leading solar energy experts.
They are an approved solar retailer by the Clean Energy Council and provide zero-obligation solar panel installation quotes.
Learn more about solar panel installation with JFK Electrical, Solar and Air.
Does Tesla Use Q CELLS Solar Panels?
Although Tesla used to use Q CELLS solar panel technology, they have since changed to using their own brand of solar panels as of late 2021. Previously, Tesla-branded solar panels were sourced from Q CELLS for almost all residential installation projects.
Tesla Energy, the clean energy subsidiary of Tesla, was formerly SolarCity before Elon Musk’s acquisition. SolarCity has always sold third party solar panels for its PV systems — a practice that has carried over to Tesla Energy until the recent switch to Tesla-produced solar panels.
Are Hanwha Q CELLS Monocrystalline Solar Panels?
Yes. Q CELLS’ latest solar panel advancement is based on 156 monocrystalline Q.antum half cells with an IP68 rated enclosure. These solar panels are certified under the TÜV Rheinland Quality Controlled PV (QCPV) Program, ensuring quality performance.
What Size Are Q CELLS Solar Panels?
Q CELLS solar panels range from 335W to 415W for residential panels and 430W to 580W for commercial panels. These panels offer different rated efficiencies and warranties but offer the same degree of reliability and durability.
This article is published in good faith and for general informational purposes only. JFK Electrical does not make any warranties about the ongoing completeness and reliability of this information. Always seek personalised advice on solar energy to ensure any recommendations suit your property and scenario.
John Lyons, the owner of JFK Electrical Solar & Air, started his career in the electrical industry in 1997. With years of experience gained in the industry across multiple continents, he relocated to Australia and decided to specialise in solar and air conditioning. After deciding he wanted to be closer to his family, John began his own local electrical business in Mandurah, using his extensive knowledge and training in the industry. At JFK, John’s number one goal is to provide tailored solutions to his customers. And thanks to his experience and commitment to his customers, JFK Electrical is now one of the most trusted local businesses in Mandurah for solar and electrical services.