Qcells Solar Review: A Solid Manufacturer Expanding Its Reach #GeekLeap

Solar panels above parking spaces

Photo voltaic panels above parking areas on the QCells photo voltaic panel manufacturing plant in Dalton, Georgia. 

Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg through Getty Photographs

Vitality costs, and the costs of nearly every thing else, are up over the previous couple of years. On the identical time, photo voltaic power retains getting cheaper as know-how improves and authorities incentives give renewable sources of energy a lift.

Add issues about local weather and carbon emissions into the equation and it is pretty much as good a time as ever to assume severely about including a photo voltaic system to your own home or small enterprise. It is an funding that may not solely decrease utility payments but additionally enhance the worth of no matter construction it is put in on.

One firm making waves within the photo voltaic business recently is Qcells, a subsidiary of the massive South Korean conglomerate Hanwha. In early April, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the Qcells manufacturing plant in Georgia whereas selling the Biden administration’s renewable power efforts and Investing in America tour. The dedication between Qcells and the Biden administration made historical past with its plans to assist manufacturing wants for the growth of group photo voltaic initiatives throughout the US. 

A photo voltaic panel buy is a serious buy and a chunk of infrastructure meant to final for many years, making the analysis part a very powerful step on this monetary determination. There is a stunning variety of firms competing for the suitable to place panels in your property, which is nice information for you, nevertheless it additionally means you should make sure you decide one you may be pleased with.

Not like lots of the photo voltaic panel installers CNET has reviewed, Qcells’ major enterprise is in manufacturing the panels and different tools that goes into photo voltaic programs. However the firm has partnered with a community of distributors to supply full photo voltaic installations to your residence.

This implies you may get a trusted product in a handy, all-in-one package deal backed by stable warranties, however you may must do some additional analysis on the licensed distributor/installers in your space that Qcells might be handing you off to.

As a result of Qcells operates with a unique enterprise mannequin than many installers, we will not price them on lots of the standards we use to price photo voltaic firms. For that reason, we’ll provide you with an outline, however will not rating the corporate. 

In case you resolve to purchase panels via Qcells you may get high quality panels. They’re extensively put in by different firms and are available close to the highest for guarantee and effectivity. Qcells additionally guarantees 25-year workmanship warranties on installations, regardless of counting on different firms to put in their panels, an organization consultant instructed CNET. That is 15 years longer than a few of its opponents.

Keep in mind, CNET doesn’t take a look at photo voltaic panels instantly and doesn’t undergo the method of working with an organization to design, order, allow and set up a system. We depend on comparisons of the tools, warranties and providers on supply from photo voltaic firms

Throughout your photo voltaic procuring expertise, it’s important to get quotes from as many installers working in your space as you may. It would take a while, however needless to say it is a system designed to final a quarter-century or longer, completely mounted to your constructing. It is form of a giant deal.

Luckily, you have discovered an excellent place to begin. 

What do I get from Qcells?

Qcells works with a community of distributors and installers all through the nation. This implies buy, lease, financing and energy buy settlement choices will fluctuate relying in your location and particular circumstances. These particulars are fully as much as every particular person distributor.

What tools does Qcells supply?

There may be way more certainty across the tools that you will get if you order via Qcells. The corporate’s distributors supply Qcells panels together with the Q.Peak Duo Collection with wattages starting from 385 to 595 per panel and efficiencies from 20.9% for smooth black panels to 21.3% on the best wattage bifacial glass panels, that are usually put in in ground-mounted programs.

Your chosen panels are paired with the Qcells Q.House Core tools package deal, which features a hybrid inverter that may be AC  or DC coupled and is appropriate with different main inverters. The inverter is matched with Q.Save lithium batteries with a peak output of 128 amps.

The tools all comes from Qcells’ father or mother firm, Hanwha, which has been an engineering chief in Korea for many years.

Does Qcells supply system monitoring?

You should utilize the Q House Q.ommand app to maintain monitor of your system and analyze real-time information from the inverter, panels and batteries as soon as every thing is up and operating.

What warranties does Qcells supply?

Qcells warranties the workmanship and efficiency of those programs for 25 years, which is fairly normal. Nevertheless, the corporate has a partnership with EnFin to supply loans for photo voltaic installations, and for those who finance your system via them, Qcells will lengthen your efficiency guarantee to 30 years.

When you’re related with an installer in your space, it is worthwhile to ask them further questions on their course of, whether or not they use in-house worker installers or subcontractors and if they provide any further warranties or choices.

How a lot do Qcells photo voltaic panels value?

Qcells would not share specifics on pricing for panels and Q.House packages, however Daniel Chang, Qcells’ senior director for product administration, instructed me it’s aggressive.

“There’s not many choices for high quality, American-made [panels]. … One out of three roofs in America which have photo voltaic – possibly much more – are Qcells,” he stated. “Our market share is fairly excessive and it would not be excessive if our pricing was too excessive, proper?”

When you think about federal clear power credit of 30%, the common value of a photo voltaic system within the US is $22,091, in response to saveonenergy.com, which is owned by CNET’s father or mother firm. State, county and municipal governments and typically even banks and credit score unions could supply further incentives to convey that complete out-of-pocket expense down even additional. One evaluation from Wooden Mackenzie reveals the common value of put in solar energy was $2.99 per watt for an 8-kilowatt system. 

Bear in mind these figures are all simply nationwide averages, and precise tools and set up prices can fluctuate extensively throughout areas and particular person conditions. In case you choose to get a quote via Qcells, chances are you’ll be given particulars about a number of licensed installers in your space. Even nonetheless, it is really useful to get a number of quotes from different firms in your space that are not affiliated with Qcells as nicely.

As a result of Qcells works via its community of distributors with various prices, it will possibly’t supply a worth match, however once more it is a query to ask the licensed installer you are related with as a substitute.

What financing choices does Qcells supply?

Financing choices, together with whether or not or not you buy, lease or get panels via an influence buy settlement, might be via the installer you signal a take care of. In case you get a mortgage via Qcells most popular financer, Qcells will tack on 5 years to your panel efficiency guarantee, bringing it to 30 years.

Does Qcells function in my state? How do I order?

Chang instructed me that the community of distributors and installers Qcells works with function in all 50 US states, however to make certain service is definitely supplied in your particular location, you may want to finish the “Contact Us” kind on the Qcells web site to provoke the dialog and obtain information about distributors close to you.

There may be additionally a “calculator” hyperlink on the web site that connects you to the web Qcells market run by an organization known as Electrum that operates a community of over 150 licensed installers nationwide. This instrument could assist provide you with an concept of what’s obtainable in your space and to your particular tackle earlier than you converse instantly with somebody from Qcells to confirm.

As soon as a buyer is matched with a distributor/installer, experiences are positive to fluctuate and it is onerous to say rather more about what to anticipate from the method. Qcells affords guarantee assist, however do some additional analysis on the installer you are known as nicely earlier than agreeing on something.

Is Qcells your best option?

Qcells is a serious participant within the US photo voltaic market providing a well-liked product and a good portion of its panels are manufactured domestically. They’re additionally beneath the umbrella of a serious worldwide industrial conglomerate, so it is a protected guess they are not going anyplace quickly.

The Q.House tools package deal can also be a pleasant, standardized set of parts that is streamlined for straightforward, stackable, modular set up. It is virtually a plug-and-play method to residence photo voltaic. The wild card is the distributor/installer that places the system in for you. This provides an additional analysis burden to the selection to go together with Qcells and its dependable {hardware}. As a result of Qcells photo voltaic panels are extensively put in, it is not unlikely that different firms will quote you Qcells panels. You probably have an area installer in thoughts that you just like, there is a respectable likelihood they may pay money for Qcells panels reasonably than going with whoever Qcells itself connects you with. 

As soon as once more, needless to say CNET has not gone via the ordering or set up course of with Qcells.

Qcells shouldn’t be accredited with the Higher Enterprise Bureau, however the distributors in your space could also be, so remember to test their rankings.

General, for those who’re not too choosy about parts and simply need one thing from a trusted identify, it is price trying out Qcells to see what they’ll supply. 


  • Fashionable model of panels again by a serious producer
  • Comparatively easy tools set up
  • Prolonged guarantee with financing


  • Should undergo community of installers
  • No actual choices on inverters or batteries

Learn extra: Your Photo voltaic Panels Can Make You Cash. Discover Out When and How

How we consider photo voltaic firms

Reviewing photo voltaic firms in a hands-on method is troublesome. Accounting for all of the variations to mission is unimaginable. To offer a useful evaluation, we targeted on what we are able to measure and meaningfully evaluate amongst firms.

We give attention to three buckets of standards: tools, warranties and repair. 

Inside the tools class, firms obtain scores for the panels, inverters and batteries they set up. Warranties embody the ensures on the panels, workmanship and weatherization towards leaks. Corporations earn factors for service if they provide a worth match, a significant degree of worth transparency and a well-rated app for monitoring photo voltaic manufacturing. They lose factors if there are main points pertaining to customer support (lawsuits, investigations or clear reputations for shoddy service). These points will at all times be detailed within the evaluation.

You may learn an in depth take a look at how the scoring breaks down.

We do not contemplate the common worth of an organization’s installations of their rating. This data is troublesome to seek out and onerous to match throughout service areas (and even roof to roof). Corporations are sometimes gradual to reveal it, too. We additionally pass over simply discovered however not helpful data like what number of states an organization operates in.

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