Q.Cells solar panel review
About Q.Cells solar panels
Q.Cells engineer all of their panels in Thalheim, Germany (pictured below) and manufacture the Duo panels in their 100% automated plant in South Korea and their Maxx panels in a slightly less modern plant in China. They also have a new hybrid inverter that comes with a battery called Q.Home.
We're not saying that just because Q.Cells is Germany engineering it's necessarily better, but the judges at the biggest solar expo in the world (Intersolar in Munich) awarded them best panel in 2018 (Q.Peak Duo half cell mono) and the year before, 2017(for an innovative extra sturdy frame).
Various installations of different Q.Cells panels have been installed at the Desert Solar test centre in Alice Springs for many years and they have performed well above average, and this echos our own rooftop tests where they came out on top or nearly in every single comparison test.
In September 2019, Q.Cells Australia announced a 25 year defect warranty on their new Duo G5+ panels. They also introduced the Q.Maxx panel. When you compare the datasheets of the 330W DUO G5+ and the 330W Q.Maxx its hard to see that there is any difference apart from the Maxx is made in their Chinese factory and has a 12 year warranty against the South Korean made Duo G5+ with a 25 year warranty.
The price difference between these two models is fairly large too. $53 a panel more for the DUO+ which may not sound much, but multiply for the twenty you need on your roof and that's more than $1,000.
All Q.Cells panels are built like German tanks and have the highest level of resistance to corrossion (Level 6 salt mist/ammonia ).
Q.Home hybrid inverter
At time of writing in mid December 2019, the Q.Home was still in final pre-launch tests on the East Coast of Australia and as yet, pricing is not available, but what we do know is that it is a 5kW single phase hybrid that comes with a 4kWh battery pack and that you can add on 2 further 4kWh batteries as required. It also has a polyphase smart meter so you can connect it to single phase homes only in WA but on the East Coast, on three phase homes as well.
It comes with a full 10 year parts and labour warranty for both the inverter and the batteries.
It is not an off-grid inverter but it can be used in off-grid mode (backup) for a while, and doesn't require the grid to be present to start or maintain operation. It is made in South Korea.
The other thing that we really like about Q.Cells is their 18 strong (and growing) office in Sydney. Pick up the phone and call 02 9016 3033 and you can ask them anything. As we wrote in our Canadian Solar review, manufacturers like these that have 'skin in the game' by investing in Australia are a strong safeguard on your long term warranty.