Q Cell Solar Panels
4 - Minute Read
There’s no shortage of solar panel choices, but Qcells solar panels are among the most highly regarded brands. Let’s take a look at the company’s history, longevity and technology.
A Quick History Of Qcells
In 1999, Q CELLS AG was established in Germany. Though it ranked among the leaders in worldwide solar power manufacturing, the company found it hard to compete against competition funded by the Chinese government. Combined with global economic challenges, Q CELLS AG filed for insolvency.
The Q CELLS brand was resurrected when South Korea-based Hanwha Group, a well-established chemical company, bought its assets in 2012. Hanwha Group went through several name changes, including a change to the name Hanwha Q CELLS, before moving the solar operation forward as Qcells.
Today, the company makes both residential and commercial solar panels.
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Where Are Qcells Solar Panels Made?
Where solar panels are made can make a difference. While many countries produce quality solar panels, sourcing closer to home can reduce the carbon footprint of your solar panel system.
Qcells has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, South Korea and the United States. The company is investing heavily in the U.S. market. Its operations in Georgia will surpass three gigawatts (gW) of production capacity by sometime in 2023 when an additional factory opens. The current factory employs more than 750 people, and the new factory is set to hire an additional 470 workers.
Are Qcells Solar Panels Good?
Longevity is often a good sign that a company makes quality products. Solar panel shoppers should be assured by Qcells and its track record of making high-performance products. The information below may help you decide whether Qcells is a trustworthy company.
Qcells Adopts Emerging Technology
The Qcells product line reflects a push to make efficient solar panels with the latest solar cell technology. Since 2012, the company has made passivated emitter and rear contact (PERC) solar cells its focus.
A More Efficient Panel
This type of technology, which Qcells calls Q.ANTUM DUO, uses an additional conductive layer to capture photons that might otherwise be reflected. This can provide a 12% boost in module efficiency compared to non-PERC monocrystalline and polycrystalline solar modules. Current products like the Q.PEAK DUO line are built on this technology.
Protection From Known PERC Issues
Qcells products also address a few known weaknesses of PERC technology – potential induced degradation (PID) and light-induced degradation (LID). Qcells claims its treatment can reduce the impact of PID and LID.
Half Cells For Improved Performance
Qcells uses a half-cut design that essentially splits the solar panel in two, wiring each separately (this explains the DUO part of the name). Qcells claims this “split panel” approach makes its panels more durable while also allowing the PERC layer to harness more solar radiation.
Qcells Offers A Solid Warranty
Qcells solar modules have a 12-year product warranty against defects related to faulty materials or workmanship, which also covers the anti-PID technology. The company also has a 25-year performance warranty, which protects against decreases in power output. A 2% drop in output is considered acceptable in the first year, as is a drop-off of 5% or less during the remaining years of the warranty period. The minimum nominal power rating should be 86% after 25 years.
Certain lines, such as the G9+ and G10+ solar panels, may have an upgraded 25-year product warranty. Overall, Qcells offers warranties that are well within the range that’s typical of solar companies.
Qcells Is A Tier 1 Manufacturer
Solar industry experts consider Qcells a Tier 1 solar manufacturer. Several publications and websites list solar panel manufacturers in tiers, and many have different criteria.
Solar Analytica, a solar energy database, cautions that scoring at a certain tier isn’t a guarantee of quality or longevity. Originally, BloombergNEF used the tiered system to reflect which companies would be attractive to financial institutions.
Whether a solar manufacturer is a Tier 1 company shouldn’t be the sole criteria for any decision. Think of it as an additional positive data point.
Does Qcells Offer Battery Backup Hardware?
If you’re thinking of including a backup battery for your solar installation project, Qcells is also offering energy storage and hybrid solar inverters. The company’s ESS HYB-G1 line is made for the U.S. market only.
The ESS HYB-G1 line uses lithium cells and is available in three capacities ranging from 4.5 kilowatt-hours (kWh) to 18.9 kWh. To put the range into perspective, a typical home in the U.S. uses 29 kWh of electricity per day.
What Do Customers Say About Qcells?
Using the latest technology is great – but do customers like the product and its performance in the real world?
Reviewers frequently stated that they love how reliable the panels are and appreciate the efficiency of the panels, often producing reliable energy with a smaller system than expected.
FAQs: What To Know About Qcells Solar Equipment
Here are a few questions homeowners often have about Qcells solar equipment.
Are Qcells solar panels more expensive than other brands?
Since Qcells is a global company, prices will vary by location. That said, multiple reviews say Qcells provides a solid value. The company only offers a premium PERC cell product, so it won’t be as cheap as lower-grade conventional polycrystalline solar panels. But it will produce more energy in the same amount of space.
What solar companies install Qcells PV panels?
Qcells has a large network of partner installers. The brand is also the go-to choice for Palmetto, which installs solar systems in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
Is Qcells a sustainable brand?
According to CSRHub, Qcells earned a 99% when evaluating environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices. CSRHub rates corporate ESG performance to encourage improvements in corporate sustainability. The site evaluates data from nearly a thousand sources to generate a rating.
The Bottom Line: Qcells Is A Solid, Reliable Brand
It’s difficult to definitively say who makes the best solar panels. Still, if you’re considering a solar installation company that offers Qcells solar panels, you can be confident that you’re getting reputable, high-quality equipment.