Q Cells Solar Panels: An Independent Review by Solar Choice

Q CELLS solar panels

Note: Solar Choice is not a solar installer and has no financial or other incentives to promote any product brand over another.

Overview of Hanwha Q Cells – Company History

Q-CELLS was founded in Germany in 1999 and has been producing solar silicon cells since 2001 and eventually mannufacturing solar panels in 2010. The company originally listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange in 2005. In 2011, after a number of acquisitions and joint ventures, Q-CELLs posted significant losses and ultimatley filed for insolvency in 2012. Hanwha Group acquired the assets from the insolvent Q-CELLS and launched the brand Hanwha Q Cells late in 2012. Hanwha Group merged Hanwha Q Cells with another subsidiary,  Hanwha SolarOne, in 2014 and the merged company was listed on the NASDAQ between 2014 and 2019 and is now a private subsidiary of the Hanwha Group.

Hanwha Q Cells only uses solar cells of its own production to control the quality and meet their high standards, which is different from other manufacturers. Although panels were originally produced in Germany, manufacturing facilities have shifted to Malaysia, China, and South Korea. In 2021, Q Cells shipped 12.4 GW of the total volume of production.

Q Cells has served the Australian market since 2009 with its head office based in North Sydney and warehouses around the country, providing products and warranty support. In 2022, Q Cells modules reached about 10.3% market share in the residential and commercial rooftop segment of Australia.


Key Indicators

Q CELLS Solar Panels
Bloomberg Tier 1 Ranking Yes
PV Evolution Labs Top Performer Yes (5/6)
Office location in Australia Yes

What is a Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panel?

Bloomberg’s infamous tier 1 ranking is NOT a measure of Solar Panel quality in any way. It is simply an indication of the bankability of the manufacturer based on publicly released information on the financial health of the company. This should give you an idea if the company is a large, well-known manufacturer.

Q Cells Solar Panels are in the Bloomberg Tier 1.

See full list of Bloomberg Tier 1 Solar Panels


What is PV Evolution Labs Top Performer?

PV Evolution Labs with support from DNV GL independently test solar panel reliability. The tests are voluntary, with solar panel manufacturers paying to participate in the testing. This testing process is internationally renowned and is an accurate reflection of the solar panel’s performance.

Q Cells Solar Panels are currently ranked in the PV Evolution Labs Top Performers across 5 of the 6 annual tests.

See full list of PV Evolution Labs Top Performing Solar Panels


Why is office location in Australia Important?

Most solar panel manufacturers entering the Australian market first set up their distribution channels and worry about customer service later. This has led to many unhappy customers who are left trying to contact Chinese head offices to claim on their 10-year product warranty.

Relying on your solar installer is not always an option as since 2011 we’ve seen over 700 residential solar installers (including the large ones) go out of business well within the lifetime of the systems they are installing. 

Q Cells currently has an office located in North Sydney, NSW.


How Much Do Q Cells Solar Panels Cost?

Based on Solar Choice’s database we have provided the below-average costs as an indicative guide. These prices include:

  • Full turnkey Solar System with Q Cells Solar Panels
  • Installation from a pre-vetted reputable installer from Solar Choice’s network
  • The STC rebate and GST
System Size Average Fully Installed Cost
10kW $12,047
8KW $9,532
6kW $6,968

 Important Note: Prices will vary depending on location, inverter brand and which installer is used


Compare quotes from up to 7 installers in your area now.


Q Cells Solar Panels – Points of Difference

There are many solar panels out there, what makes Q Cells solar panels stand out?

Multiple Manufacturing Sites

Q Cells owns four manufacturing sites globally making their solar panels and batteries (South Korea, China, United States and Malaysia). As a result, there is less risk of country specific market dynamics affecting their prices – as was observed in 2021 with the Chinese Energy Crisis affecting 90% of the solar panel market. Partly due to this diversification away from Chinese manufacturing, Q Cells solar panels have a high market share in the US (estimated at 24.1% in 2022).

Long history company and trusted products

Q Cells was founded in 1999 in Germany and has steadily grown their presence in the market over the last 20 years. Having been awarded certifications through most independent testing authorities including PV Evolution Labs and Bloomberg Tier 1, their panels have been trusted by large investment firms on many large-scale solar farm projects.


Q Cells’s Warranty for Australian Customers

Q Cells was provided an industry-standard 12-year product warranty and 25-year performance warranty. But on the new series G9+ and G10+ panels, the product warranty has been upgraded to 25 years, which equals the industry leaders in the market.

For the Q.Maxx and Q.Maxx-G2 panels, the summary of warranty terms and conditions:

12 years limited product Warranty: ‘For material defects or processing defects, Hot-Spot Protect and Anti PID Technology.’

25 years limited linear performance warranty: ‘At least 98 % of the nominal power within the first year. Thereafter, the decrease of the power output will not exceed 0.54 % p. a. Minimal nominal rated power after 25 years at least 85 %.’

For the Q.PEAK DUO-G9+ and Q.PEAK DUO-G10+ panels, the summary of warranty terms and conditions:

25 years limited product Warranty: ‘For material defects or processing defects, Hot-Spot Protect and Anti PID Technology.’

25 years limited linear performance warranty: ‘At least 98 % of the nominal power within the first year. Thereafter, the decrease of the power output will not exceed 0.54 % p. a. Minimal nominal rated power after 25 years at least 85 %.’


Q Cells Solar Panel Technologies

All the panels they currently sell in Australia are salt mist corrosion-resistant and suitable for installation in any location.
Currently, Q Cells offers a variety of panels in Australia, the most popular panels are from premium Q.Peak and Q.Maxx monocrystalline range, which can provide the best efficiency especially for those homeowners with limited roof space.

Q.MAXX series

The Q.MAXX  is Q Cells lower cost option which provides 120 half-cut cell solar panels up to 360W with a 12 year product warranty. This series uses the next generation Mono PERC half-cut solar cells with 12 busbars per cell, which increases the efficiency up to 20.1%. Additionally these black panels offer an aesthetically pleasing for homes with visible roof-space. The solar panels degrade at 0.54% after the first year which beats most of their peers (normally 0.7%) and it is guaranteed under their 25 year performance warranty.

Q.PEAK series

The latest Q.PEAK DUO is a step up in technical specifications from the Q.MAXX and also offers an industry leading 25 year performance warranty. They also utilise the Q Cells branded technology, Q.ANTUM DUO, which is aimed at increasing the power output of each cell through in-house developed innovations. Ultimately this technology delivers a high efficiency rating of up to 20.2% and a low degradation rate of 0.54% a year after the first year. For residentail use, the panel’s power range from 335W to 415W. For commercial use, the power is up to 580W.

Tested in Australian Conditions

Not only does Q Cells carry out rigorous testing in the lab, but also in the field. Q Cells is one of the only manufacturers to perform cyclone testing in Australia. Q Cells modules have been installed at The Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre (DKASC) since 2012, a facility for solar modules operating in the arid weather conditions of Alice Springs, and display the performance onto the internet for demonstration.

Q Cells Efficiency

Solar panel efficiency is the ability of cells to convert solar energy into electricity. The higher the panel’s efficiency, the more power output generated by the solar panel. So a higher panel efficiency will be one of the main features to rate the quality. The efficiency of Q Cells modules will be depending on different types for each country. The available product line in Australia has the efficiency vary from  17.1% to 20.1%. Most of the popular panels have the efficiency of around 19% upwards, which reach to the level of the front line in the industry.


Comparison of Q Cells Solar Panel Specifications (common modules)

Q Cells Q.MAXX 330W


Q Cells Q.PEAK DUO-G5+ 330W


Q Cells Q.PEAK DUO-G6+ 350W


Cell Number 120 Half-cut Cells 120 Half-cut Cells 120 Half-cut Cells
Cell Type Monocrystalline Monocrystalline Monocrystalline
Power Output 330 330 350
Max Power Voltage 34.14V 33.98V 34.07V
Panel Efficiency 19.6% 19.6% 19.5%
Annual Power Degradation 0.54% 0.54% 0.54%
Dimensions 1685 × 1000 × 32 mm (1.68 m²) 1685 × 1000 × 32 mm (1.68 m²) 1740 × 1030 × 32 mm (1.79 m²)
Weight 18.7kg 18.7kg 19.9kg
Warranty 12 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 China South Korea South Korea

Q Cells Solar Panels Pros and Cons


  • Listed as a top performing solar panel by PV Evolution Labs
  • Tier 1 Solar Company by Bloomberg New Energy
  • Have an Australian Head-Office in Sydney


  • If you are looking for a more price competitive solution, Q Cells will not be for you. High on the premium list
  • Q Cells went bankrupt in 2012 before being brought out by a large South Korean business conglomerate called The Hanwah Group


So, Should I Buy Q Cells Solar Panels?

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 financial 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.


Example of a Q Cells Commercial Solar Project – Yalumba Winery, Barossa Valley

In 2016, 1.4 MWp Q Cells modules installed in the Yalumba Winery project, the largest commercial solar PV system installed at an Australian winery in South Australia, producing around 2000MWh output annually. It is expected to reduce the energy bill for the wine business by 20% each year.

Q CELLS Solar panels


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Reviews from Australians who have installed Q-Cells Panels

Rated 5.00 from 20 reviews
31st January 2023
QLD - 4179
6kW system

so far so good and the dark panel blends in well.

17th January 2023
VIC - 3782
8kW system

18th December 2022
10kW system

Great product. Works in low light conditions ,we are usually fully charged around 10am, 16 KW. Great warranty

15th December 2022
VIC - 3995
6kW system

13th December 2022
NSW - 2324
5kW system

Did some research and found these were one of the best brands in the market, they do perform well even in very cloudy conditions

18th November 2022
8kW system

8th November 2022
WA - 6019
5kW system

So far very efficient.

8th November 2022
SA - 5072
10-15kW system

So far they are working well. It is early days though

1st September 2022
5kW system

30th August 2022
6kW system

30th July 2022
QLD - 4511
10-15kW system

See above.

22nd July 2022
6kW system


28th June 2022
Mrs Rijntje
SA - 5162
6kW system

What my son researched is what we got

21st March 2022
6kW system

whilst yet to have an account, it appears the panels are operating correctly and efficiently

7th March 2022
5kW system

Appears to be a quality product and installed requested

26th February 2022
NSW - 2535
7kW system

Too early to say

24th November 2021
6kW system

Working well.

22nd September 2021
Daniel 3
TAS - 7018
7kW system

13th July 2021
VIC - 3155
10-15kW system

panels have been working flawelessly for over 18 months

25th March 2021
VIC - 3984
6kW system