Q Cells (often called QCells) is a pioneer in the solar industry. The history of this company began in the 1990s when no one took renewable energy seriously. A group of engineers risked it all while deciding to tie their lives to the solar industry – and the risk paid off.
Over the years, Q Cells has been featured in countless solar panel shortlists and ratings, including Forbes, and they are still one of the most prominent companies out there, constantly releasing solar panels and batteries for household and commercial usage.
We’ve compiled a comprehensive educational guide on Q Cells to help you learn more about the company and, as a result, choose the right solar panel at a reasonable price.
Without any further ado, let’s dig into it.
Q Cells History
The history of Q CELLS dates back to 1999, the peak of non-renewable power generation, where most people used oil and soil to generate energy.
However, a group of German-based solar industry pioneers wasn’t afraid of that, deciding to develop solar cells for business and domestic use. After two decades, solar energy generates 4.5% of the total electric energy, being the third largest renewable electricity technology after source hydropower and wind.
The company’s first polycrystalline solar cell production line started in 2001. In 2005, Q Cells went public on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, displaying strength and plans to expand globally.
During the late 00s, they introduced new solar cell technologies, including Q.ANTUM and Q.PEAK, solidifying their position as the solar industry leader.
The dawn of renewable energy in the early 2010s raised competition dramatically, leading to Q Cells’ bankruptcy in 2011 and its subsequent acquisition by Hanwha Group in August 2012. The company was renamed Hanwha Q Cells, but the acquisition turned out a success. The engineers got money to continue creating bold innovations without fearing bankruptcy.
Under Hanwha’s leadership, Q Cells expanded its global manufacturing footprint to four continents, introducing groundbreaking solar cell technologies that set industry benchmarks for efficiency and performance.
Today, Q Cells is a global solar powerhouse with facilities in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Oceania. Their panels are used in residential, commercial, and utility-scale projects worldwide.
Currently, Q Cells has production facilities across four continents: North America, Asia, Europe, and Oceania, with headquarters in Thalheim, Germany. De jure, all their solar hardware is engineered in Thalheim, so they have all legal rights to mark their goods as “Engineered in Germany.”
Q Cells has a single manufacturing facility in Dalton, Georgia, the United States, which produces Q.PEAK DUO panels for North American consumers.
In their Melbourne facility in Australia, they assemble Q.PEAK DUO panels.
Q Cells has two manufacturing facilities in South Korea, Eumseong and Jincheon, producing a wide range of solar panels, including Q.PEAK DUO and Q.PEAK DUO BLK. Likewise, they have a factory in China’s Qidong, producing monocrystalline solar cells and modules.
Q Cell Products
As of early 2024, Q Cells offers panels, sub-constructions, energy storage, and charging stations, including the hardware and software needed to launch a network of solar stations for home usage, multiple households, and small businesses. You can even order a solar plant network if you need to provide renewable energy for multiple locations across the country simultaneously.
However, Q Cells doesn’t have an in-house assembly team but collaborates with third-party installers, including Solar Power Systems, ensuring assemblers know their region’s climate to provide the best possible service.
Q.ANTUM Solar Panels
In 2011, Q.Antum technology set the world efficiency record for polycrystalline solar cells at 19.5%, which looks solid even today, when Q.Antum efficiency is up to 21,6%.
The high efficiency of solar cells makes Q Cell solar panels one of the most favorable options on the market. The reflective layer in Q.ANTUM cells traps and utilizes light that would otherwise escape the cell, minimizing energy losses and maximizing power output. Multi-busbar technology reduces resistance and improves electron capturing.
Instead of a single wide busbar, they provide multiple narrower options to reduce the distance between connection points. This approach lowers resistance and alleviates congestion, allowing electrons to move more freely within the cell and increase the power output by 2% compared to traditional panels.
Half-cell technology divides traditional cells into multiple parts. It reduces the distance between the connection points, which in turn reduces the current flowing through the cell. That way, a Q Cell achieves a 3% increase in power output compared to traditional full-cell designs.
Q.ANTUM technology enhances the cells’ performance in low-light terms, like sunset and cloudy days. These cells can maintain high efficiency during hot and cold temperatures, down to -15°C (5°F). You can use them in southern states like California or Florida and in northern states like Washington or Illinois.
Q Cells panels achieve efficient space usage, providing the same amount of electricity through fewer modules.
Solar Panels For Home Usage
Home panels fit those who want to generate clean electricity and reduce grid reliance. The company’s most common home panels are the G9 and G10 series with 12 busbars. It helps them achieve a 21.4% efficiency.
Q Cells also offers solar panels for homes, including:
- Q.Peak DUO G5: up to 335W
- Q.Peak DUO G6: up to 355W
- Q.Peak DUO G7: up to 335W
- Q.Peak DUO G8: up to 360W
Commercial Solar Panels
Q Cells provide solar panels for businesses to improve their sustainability, with the company’s most popular commercial panels being the Q.Peak DUO XL series with half-cut cells incorporating multi-busbars in the larger 132-cell and 156-cell formats.
The larger Q Cell panels boost efficiency up to 21.7% and are available in power ratings up to 490W in the G10 range, while the extra-extra-large G11 series reaches an impressive 590W.
If it’s too powerful for you, there are many other panels:
- Q.Peak DUO L-G8: Up to 430W
- Q.Peak DUO XL-G9.2 – up to 465W
- Q.Peak DUO XL-G9.2 – up to 465W
Q Cell Energy Storage System
Q Cell ESS fits any exterior, designed to provide a reliable and efficient solution for managing energy consumption, reducing electricity costs, and enhancing power independence.
The Q Cells battery storage system offers a modular design with flexible capacity expansion. Thus, you can build the storage that perfectly suits your case without overspending on unnecessary batteries. It has floor and wall mounting, so you can choose the preferable option.
With a base capacity of 6.8 kWh, the Q Cell battery system can expand to 20.5 kWh in increments of 3.4 kWh, ensuring that users can adapt it to changing energy demands.
Here are the advantages of the Q Cell Energy Storage System:
- High efficiency. The Q.HOME CORE provides 97.7% efficiency of the solar system to the grid, 96.8% efficiency transmission efficiency from the solar system to the battery, and 90.7% efficiency in electricity transmission from the battery to the grid.
- Smart energy management. The Q Cells home battery has an integrated energy management system that can help you optimize energy consumption. It displays all the essential data, including real-time energy flow, detailed analysis, and various charts like consumption, generation feed-in, and battery charging.
- Parallel stacking. This technique increases power output while shading resilience. If one panel gets shaded, the other panels can continue to generate electricity. Parallel tracking minimizes the overall impact on power output. The same thing applies to the batteries: if one of them breaks, the other continues to work.
- Top-notch chemistry solutions. Q Cells’ energy storage system utilizes high-performance Samsung SDI Lithium NMC prismatic cells. They can provide a life of 6000 cycles, equivalent to 15 years of reliable operation.
- DC/AC coupled batteries. The QCell battery is a versatile solution that ensures seamless compatibility with various configurations.
- Wide range of operation temperatures. The Q.HOME batteries can work within the temperature range of -15 °C (5°F) to +50 °C (122°F). Keep it within the range of -10 °C (14°F) to +45 °C (113°F) to ensure panel longevity.
- Remote control. You can track the system’s performance through web and mobile apps, managing energy consumption and receiving real-time notifications.
- Comprehensive warranties: QCells provides comprehensive warranties on the products, including a 15-year product and performance warranty. Q.HOME CORE components have a 10-year guarantee.
The QCells battery is a comprehensive, well-designed solution for managing and optimizing energy consumption. Its scalable design, high efficiency, energy management, remote monitoring, and long-time warranties make it attractive for those who want to produce affordable yet clean power. Check this list of the most common Q Cells energy storage systems.
The Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G2
This system was launched in 2018, when very few believed in the commercial success of home solar panels. The system has a hybrid bi-directional inverter, the Q.HOME MANAGER, an energy management control platform, and a battery system.
Users can scale the system due to the modular storage design. Each module is sized at 4.0kWh, and you can scale a system for up to 20kWh wattage. It has a 10-year product and performance warranty.
Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G1
Once they saw the commercial success of the first storage system, Q CELLS decided to launch the system in the USA and Canada, both countries with stricter regulations regarding power production. As a result, Q CELL has created a system that perfectly fits North American countries’ laws.
ESS HYB-G1 is designed on the well-known Solax hybrid inverter platform and incorporates the Triple X modular battery system. It is available from 6.0kW to 8.6kW. The larger version features four MPPTs, which can handle up to 10.3kW of solar-powered energy. You can scale this system up to 18.9kWh.
ESS HYB-G1 includes an integrated backup power function for 100% of the rated inverter output to support critical loads during a power failure and offers remote monitoring using the Q.HOME+ ESS.
As of early 2024, it’s one of the most popular Q CELL solar batteries, offered in all regions. The Q.SAVE is Q CELLS’ third-generation home battery with powerful hardware and a sleek metallic design.
You can use Q.SAVE alongside the Q.VOLT inverter, with both forming the Q.HOME CORE that is designed for high voltage systems and can be scaled to 6.8kWh. Up to three higher-capacity Q.SAVE batteries can be connected to provide up to 20.5kWh storage.
The Q.VOLT hybrid inverter is rated 5kW and has a more comprehensive MPPT operating voltage range, allowing it to take up to 8kW of solar input. The new inverter also features instantaneous backup with 0.1 second changeover time, making it a UPS system.
The Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3
Source: Q Cells
Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3 is the latest Q CELLS ESS launched in May 2021, available in single and three-phase options. It combines a hybrid inverter and the third generation of the Q.SAVE-G3 battery.
Q.HOME+ ESS HYB-G3 supports 150% oversizing with solar panels and is available in battery capacities of 3.1 kWh, 6.1 kWh, 9.2 kWh, and 12.3 kWh. Its modular design allows for easy scaling. It has a 10-year performance warranty.
Q Cells Energy Management Solutions
Q Cells provides two energy management applications:
- Q.HOME CORE ESS application suits household usage and small businesses
- The Geli application fits businesses looking for eco-friendly power production.
Let’s examine each application in detail.
Q.HOME ESS is a great energy management application for homeowners or small businesses with a single solar station. You can set personalized energy preferences, like charging and discharging times, and track that a solar plant utilizes solar energy most efficiently, as you can modify settings in a user-friendly app.
This transparency empowers you to make informed decisions about energy usage, including consumption analytics. You can also set push notifications for important events like grid outages, battery status updates, and maintenance alerts.
GELI ESYST and GELI GENI
These apps are a perfect fit for middle and big businesses, suiting those who run multiple solar stations in different locations. Among other features, GELI applications include bill optimization and revenue potential forecasts.
Sync your devices from the IoT (Internet of Things) with the GELI platform to get extensive data analytics to improve energy efficiency. It will reduce the company’s power costs, making it even more profitable. Both GELI apps have desktop and mobile versions so that you can manage the system anywhere. Performance and Reliability of Q Cells
This company has proven its excellence over time, with its panels consistently ranked among the top achievers. PVEL, a leading independent solar module testing provider, named Q Cells the top performer in their “PV Module Reliability Scorecard Report.”
Here are some advantages of Q Cells:
- Advanced Production
- Rigorous quality control
- Constant innovations
- Extensive testing
Q Cells has established itself as a trusted provider of reliable solar panels, delivering long-lasting performance, even under demanding conditions.
How to Install Q Cells Solar Panels
The best way to ensure that Q-Cell Solar Panels are installed on your roof perfectly is to allow professionals to do their job. Q Cells collaborates with third-party assemblers like Solar Power Systems to ensure their panels will be installed correctly and work properly over the years. On the other hand, mounting the solar panels on your own will lose the warranty.
If you install solar panels with Solar Power Systems, you don’t need to consider the technicalities like HOA approval or registering your solar panels with the Federal Network Agency – we take care of that.
Here’s what you need to do to install solar panels with Solar Power Systems:
- Contact Solar Power Systems and tell us what you want to install.
- Schedule our visit so our technicians can take the measurements.
- Fill out the papers and buy solar panels. In some cases, you may even get a tax credit. Our accountants can consult you about it.
- Wait 2-5 days until our assemblers mount your solar panels and the energy storage system.
On average, Q Cells solar panel systems cost will range from $15,000 to $20,500. Once you complete the 30% federal tax credit, your cost for solar panels will be approximately $13,000-$14,000.
Here are the exploitation expenditures you should be ready for:
- Repairs that are not covered by your warranty
- Panels replacement for panels after your warranty expires
- Professional cleaning service for solar panels
- Trimming services to optimize sun exposure
So Is Investing in Solar Worth It?
The easiest way to find the most comprehensive manufacturers is to look at who pioneered this industry. Q Cells has mastered their skills to perfection over the years, and they are still on top of the game, known for their high efficiency of up to 22%.
Last but not least, to ensure ensure your panels work properly, use approved installers like Solar Power Systems. They will fit the warranty terms, get the HOA approval, and become registered with the Federal Network Agency. Most importantly, you don’t need to worry about it, as the installers will take care of it.
Still have questions? Contact us or leave a comment down below!