Q Cells Solar Panels Review
Q Cells is one of the world’s largest PV solar manufacturers. Known for its ultra-high-performance panels, the company is based in South Korea, but its innovation offices are in Germany.
It started in 1999 producing silicon cells, but it was only until 2010 that they started producing solar panels. In 2012, the company was acquired by Hanwa Group which merged Q cells with Hanwa SolarOne, one of their subsidiaries, to form the Q cells solar we have today.
As of 2019, the company shipped around 8.3GW of solar modules worldwide.
When it comes to new solar technologies, no company outpaces Q Cells. The company has invested heavily in R&D with around 4 state-of-the-art Research and development centers.
This allows them to continuously improve their products, ensuring that customers only get the best.
Their 12-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty, combined with an efficiency of up to 19.5%, also means a reduced payback period.
Q Cells also offers a wide range of solar panels, giving homeowners the freedom to choose the best panel series for their property.
Q Cells uses their own technology, Q. ANTUM solar cell technology, in all their solar panels. This technology is based on the PERC technology (Passivated Emitter Rear Cell) and is only improved by a special Nano coating.
The coating works like a regular mirror, reflecting the otherwise unused sun rays to the cell, increasing its sunlight absorption.
The panel also comes with laser-fired contacts that enhance the cell’s electrical properties, increasing its efficiency incredibly.
Newer models of the Q Cell Peak series are also using busbar technology and the half-cut cell technology to reduce internal power losses and increase output.
Other technologies integrated into the solar panels include the anti-LID (Light-induced degradation) technology, anti-PID (potential Induced degradation) technology, Hot Spot Protect, and the Tra.Q™ technology, which is used for panel tracking.
Are Q CELLS solar panels perfect for rooftop solar?
Yes! Their high efficiency and power output mean that you won’t need numerous solar panels, and their all-black aesthetics complement your roof well.
Q Cells has also ensured that their solar panels are well suited for Australian climate conditions. The Q. Maxx series panels are not only low in cost, but they’re also salt and corrosion resistant, making them suitable even for homes in coastal areas.
Since its introduction to the Desert Knowledge Australian Solar Center in 2012, its performance has been fantastic.
Range of Q CELLS panels reviewed
|Q. Power||Q. Power – G5|
|Q. Peak||Q. Peak DUO G5 Series
Q. Peak DUO G6 Series
Q. Peak DUO G7 Series
Q. Peak DUO G8 Series
Q. Peak DUO G9 Series
|Q. Maxx||Q. Maxx 320 - 335
Q. Maxx G2 345 - 360
Q. Power Series
Known to be the most cost-effective Q Cell solar panel, the Q. Power is a fantastic option for homeowners. The most popular panel model in the series is the G. Power – G5, which won 2014’s ‘Best Polycrystalline Solar Module.’
Size: 1650 x 991 x 35mm
Cell type: Polycrystalline
Cell number: 60 cells
Q Cell’s Q. Power series is the best of their polycrystalline solar modules. The panels embrace the evolving polycrystalline technology as well as the 6-busbar technology, which significantly improves its power yield.
The cells use anti-LID&PID technology to reduce Light-induced and potentially-induced degradation, which might affect your system performance.
The blend of these technologies improves the panel’s reliability and efficiency.
The Q. Power series solar panels maintain a 97.0% nominal power output during the first year. After 10 years, this output efficiency declines to about 91.6%, then at least 83.0% of its rated power output by the 25th year.
The degradation rates for these series stand at 0.6% annually, slow enough to ensure faster ROI on your investment.
Q Cells assures you that this product is a reliable investment by offering a 12-year product warranty – which is two years longer than the standard 10-year warranties.
There’s also a 25 years linear performance warranty that is now becoming the industry standard.
In ideal conditions, the maximum output of this Q. Power series panels is around 280W with an efficiency of up to 17.4%. The panel’s heat tolerance is also good (-0.40%°C), and its performance in extreme weather conditions is impressive. The panels can withstand (5400/4000 pascals) snow and wind load.
Panels needed for 6.6kW solar system
Compared to other Q Cell series panels, the Q. Power series isn’t the most efficient. Therefore, you’ll need more panels up your roof to meet your energy demands.
For a 6,600W solar system, you’ll need around 24 solar panels. As such, this series is best for homeowners who have a large roof space or ground land for the installation.
G. Power – G5
Q. Peak Series
Q. Peak Series is Q Cell’s most versatile and popular solar panels in the market today. The series features a line of award-winning solar panels from the Q. Peak DUO G5+ to Q Peak G9. Panels in this series are known for their high module efficiency.
Size: 1840 x 1030 x 32mm
Cell type: Monocrystalline Q. ANTUM Half cells
Cell number: 60 cells
Q Cell’s Q. Peal series features the company’s state-of-the-art Q. ANTUM DUO technology, which is designed to increase the solar panel efficiency in small surface areas.
The series combines the half-cut cell technology and the busbar technology, to lower the BOS costs and drastically improve the solar module’s efficiency in all weather conditions.
Q Cells also uses anti-LID technology, which saves you up to 20% in power losses from power-induced degradation. To help you get all the information about the panels, Q. Peak solar panels also come with the Tra.Q™ Technology, which helps in tracking.
Within the first year, Q. Peak solar panels generate at least 98% of its rated power output. By the 10th year, the power output reduces to around 93.1% of the nominal power output. With a maximum of 0.54% degradation rate, you’re guaranteed of about 85% of the rated power output by the 25th year.
To show their faith and confidence in their product, Q Cells offers a 12-year product warranty on all their Q. Peak panels and a 25-year performance warranty.
If that’s not enough, the company has also extended its product warranty on the newer models, i.e., Q. Peak DUO G5+ and Q. Peak DUO G6+, to 25 years.
This is one of the best product warranty guarantees offered by any Tier 1 company.
In the best conditions, the Q. Peak series solar panels can generate up to 390W with an efficiency of up to 20.8%. The solar panels can support up to 5400/4000 wind/snow load, and it’s certified as ammonia, salt, and mist resistant.
Panels needed for 5kW solar system
Q. MAXX Series
Q Cell’s Q. MAXX series is quite similar to Q. Peak G5+ and G6+. Their efficiency is almost similar, and their designs aren’t too far apart. This series features the Q. MAXX 320 – 325 and the Q. MAXX – G2 354-360 solar panels.
Size: 1740 x 1030 x 32mm
Cell type: Monocrystalline
Cell number: 60 cells
Weight: 19.9 kg
Q. MAXX uses cutting-edge cell separation, Q. ANTUM technology, and innovative wiring solutions to provide the best power output and efficiency. The series also embraces the busbar technology by doubling the number of busbars to 12.
The Q. ANTUM tech used helps lower the BOS costs and increases the yield per square meter for each panel. It also helps the panel boost its performance in low-light conditions and cloudy days.
Q. MAXX solar panels also make use of anti-PID technology, anti-LID technology, Tra.Q™ for tracing, and hotspot protection.
Q cells assure you of a 98% nominal power output in the first year, and a 0.54% annual degradation afterward. By the first 10 years, the power output of the panels stands at 93.1%. After 25 years, you can expect at least an 85% power output of its initial ratings.
The slow degradation rate (0.54%) on the Q. MAXX solar panels is much better than the (0.7%) on the conventional solar panels. This means that you can stretch your panel’s lifetime way past the 25-year mark.
Unlike the Q. Peak extended warranty guarantee, Q. MAXX still maintains a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty. This shows that Q Cells backs their product well.
The maximum power output of the Q. MAXX series panels is 360W, with an efficiency of 20.1% in the best conditions. The panels are also quite versatile and can accommodate harsh weather conditions thanks to their high-quality alloy frames and wind and snow loads of 5400/2400 pascals.
Panels needed for 3kW solar system
To install the Q. MAXX solar panels on a 3,000 or 3kW solar system, you’ll need about 8 solar panels. This makes these panels a very good choice for residential homes and buildings with small roof spaces.
Q. MAXX Series
Q. MAXX G2 354 – 360
Yes. With the company dominating around 12% of the Australian market, it only makes sense that they should have an office in the country. Their Australian head office is situated in Sydney, New South Wales, but their warehouses are distributed all over the country.
They’ve maintained this office for almost ten years, and it comes complete with engineers and technicians who help with any product and warranty issues.
Why an Australian office is important
Since Q Cells is one of the biggest players in Australia’s solar market, homeowners want to ensure that they can depend on the company to fulfill their warranty claims.
An office makes it easier to contact the company and have your issues resolved quickly. This is better than getting stuck trying to call the company’s headquarters in South Korea.
Q CELLS solar panel specification/ datasheet
|Q. Power||Q. Peak||Q. Maxx|
|Cell Number||60 cells||60 cells||60 cells|
|Cell Type||Polycrystalline||Monocrystalline Q. ANTUM half cells||Monocrystalline|
|Annual Power Degradation||0.6%||0.54%||0.54%|
|Dimensions||1650 x 991 x 35mm||1840 x 1030 x 32mm||1740 x 1030 x 32mm|
|Product Warranty||12 years||25 years||12 years|
|Performance Warranty||25 years||25 years||25 years|
|Operational Temperature Range||-40°C to 85°C||-40°C to 85°C||-40°C to 85°C|
|Made in||South Korea||South Korea||China|
Yes! Q Cells is globally recognized by Bloomberg as a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer. After merging with the Hanwa Group, the company now has an annual sales revenue of more than $150 billion. This proves that they’re financially stable.
Nevertheless, the ‘Tier 1’ status only describes a company’s financial state and not the quality of their product. It should, therefore, not be a huge factor to consider when choosing a solar panel.
Hanwha Q Cells Co., Ltd. With production factories and R&D centers in several countries, the company provides numerous job opportunities.
Seoul, South Korea. Although production started in Germany, Q Cells shifted it to South Korea and has also opened manufacturing plants in China and Malaysia.
25 years. Q Cells prides itself on new and innovative solar panel designs that improve their durability. They offer a 25-year performance warranty for all their products, highlighting their prowess in manufacturing.
Yes! Thanks to their strict focus on research, development, and rigorous in-house testing, the Q Cell solar panels come with fairly high linear power guarantees and a small degradation rate (0.54%).
Author: Ben McInerney is a renewable energy enthusiast with the goal of helping more Australians understand solar systems to make the best choice before they purchase. Having an accredited solar installer in the family helps give Ben access to the correct information, which allows him to break it down and make it easily understandable to the average homeowner.