Hanwha Q-Cells solar panels review
Updated: Jan 21, 2019
Hanwha Q CELLS is a major manufacturer of solar panels. In 2015 they produced 3.2 gigawatts, making them the 5th largest manufacturer of tier one solar panels in that year (just so long as you think GCL Systems were slumming it in 2015 and were not yet worthy to be called tier 1).
Q-Cells have told me that 2016 sales are on track to sell their entire annual
capacity of 5.4 gigawatts, which if true will advance them from 5th place in 2016.
Their panels are tier 1 and have a 12 year product warranty which is 20% longer than the 10 year product warranty most panels carry. Hanwha Q CELLS has an Australian office in Sydney, their panels are salt mist corrosion resistant and so are suitable for installation anywhere, and at the time of writing in October 2016 they appear to have the lowest price per watt of any panel that carries a 12 year or better product warranty.
Hanwha Group started in South Korea as Hanwha Explosives Inc. in 1952 and rapidly exploded into a massive international conglomeration. They acquired the German company Q Cells and its solar panel manufacturing capacity in Germany and Malaysia when it became insolvent in 2012. They also acquired Solarfun, which was a Chinese panel manufacturer. Not wanting to be mistaken for a bunch of clowns, they changed the name of Solarfun to Hanwha Solar One.
In February 2015 they squished the two companies together to create Hanwha Q CELLS.
Hanwha Q CELLS produces panels in Malaysia, China, and Korea. They used to have a production line in Germany, but they shipped the plant equipment to Malaysia in 2012, so Hanwha Q CELLS does not produce any German made panels.
They Do Some Thinking In Germany
Hanwha Q CELLS describes their Q CELLS panels as “Engineered in Germany”. While they no longer manufacture panels in that country, their headquarters for research and development are in Germany and I have been told they have over 200 experts there working to improve the design and production of solar panels.
Hanwha Q CELLS also have 3 other research and development centers around the world. If you are wondering where those centers are located, I will quote the Chairman and CEO of Hanwha Q CELLS, Seong Woo Nam. On the promotion of their new Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in July 2016, he said:
"We're very excited to have Dr. Daniel Jeong as our new CTO, who has demonstrated an outstanding leadership in integrating our global R&D teams located in Germany, Malaysia, Korea and China following the merger between former Hanwha Q CELLS and Hanwha SolarOne in early 2015.”
To me, it seems the CEO of the company is making their “Engineered in Germany” slogan sound a bit dated. But it’s easily fixed. I suggest they change it to, “Engineered in Germany, Malaysia, Korea, and China and proud of it.”
I know it makes me proud of humanity to see people of different nations working together to create the renewable energy technology we need to protect the environment.
Hanwha Q Cells’ Two Brands - Hanwha Solar & Q CELLS
While Hanwha Solar One and Q Cells are now a single company, they produce two brands of solar panels under the names Hanwha Solar and Q CELLS. This can get a little confusing.
Both brands carry a 12 year product warranty and are reasonably similar.
According to the datasheets for Hanwha Solar panels, they can be up to 16.2% efficient and are certified as corrosion resistant, so feel free to rack ‘em up by the seaside.
The datasheets for Q CELLS panels gives their highest efficiency as 16.8%, but do not clearly show their corrosion resistance certification. But the Sales Manager of Hanwha Q Cells California, assures me they are fully certified for corrosion resistance and, like the Hanwha Solar panels, are suitable for installation anywhere in California.
A Cost Effective Reliable Panel
An above average product warranty with a competitive price makes Hanwha Q Cells a good choice and I have no problem at all in recommending them.