Hanwha Solar Panels Review: Everything You Need To Know
If you're looking for solar panels, you've probably come across Hanwha, the brand that owns Qcells. Qcells is currently the most popular solar panels brand in the United States, commanding a 33.7% market share of the US residential solar market.
But just because Qcells is the most popular doesn't necessarily make it the best. As such, you may want to check out a Hanwha solar panels review to learn more about the products. Below, we provide just that.
Join us as we conduct a thorough Hanwha solar panels review, where we'll dive into the nitty gritty, helping you understand what makes Hanwha one of the most trusted manufacturers of solar energy today.
A History of the Hanwha (Qcells) Brand
You might be asking, "Hold up. Is this a Qcells solar panel review or a Hanwha solar panels review?" To be clear, it's both.
Qcells was a German solar energy brand founded in 1999 and has since gone by many variations of its name. Most recently, in 2022, they rebranded from "Q Cells" to "Qcells." Had this review been written two years back, the title might read, "Q Cells solar panel review."
Hanwha bought the company in 2012 but retained the brand name, probably because of Qcells' exceptional popularity in the United States. Qcells offers a wide range of high-end panels for residential, commercial, and industrial purposes.
The Hanwha Qcells Reputation
Hanwha Qcells is an established and trusted brand, possessing a Tier 1 Bloomberg rating and a BNEF Top Tier module supplier. But it isn't only popular in the United States. Qcells won NTV Germany's Life and Living Award in 2022 for most popular solar provider, marking the second consecutive year it won this award.
Hanwha Solar Panels Review: The Most Popular Lines
So what will we cover in our Hanwha solar panels review? Remember, although Hanwha is the parent brand, we're analyzing its Qcells products.
The two of the most popular Qcells lines under the spotlight here will be:
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK M-G11S Series
- Q.PEAK DUO M-G11S Series
Each of these solar panels comes with a spat of Qcells proprietary technology as follows:
- Q.AUNTUM DUO Z optimizes the layout to improve cell interconnection and increase power output.
- Anti-LeTID Technology helps fight degradation from intense light.
- Anti-PID Technology combats production decrease due to cell leakage.
- Hot-Spot Protect reduces the likelihood of panels becoming overloaded from heat.
Below are a few key topline specs for each product line.
Q.PEAK DUO BLK
The BLK series is a strictly residential panel. Some specs, according to the Qcells data sheet, are:
- Wattage Range: 390-410
- Cell Type: 108 Monocrystalline Q.AUNTUM Solar Half Cells
- Weight: 21.1 kg
Q.PEAK DUO ML-G11S
The ML-G11S series is suitable for residential, commercial, and industrial arrays. It boasts the following essential specs:
- Wattage Range: 400-420
- Cell Type: 108 Monocrystalline Q.AUNTUM Solar Half Cells
- Weight: 21.1 kg
What to Expect From Hanwha Solar Panels
Now that you know what are the most popular lines of Qcell products, we can delve deeper into their specs and features. Follow the next five main points of consideration in our Hanwha solar panels review:
The efficiency of solar panels measures the total sunlight a panel converts into electricity. The ranges of the two Qcells panel series are:
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK Series: 20%-21%
- Q.PEAK DUO ML-G11S Series: 20.5%-21.5%
Solar panel efficiency ratings generally range from 15%-23%, and a high-efficiency panel has a rating above 20%. Qcells solar panels fall into these high-efficiency ratings.
What we mean by the performance of solar panels is the rate of output degradation as temperatures rise. The average operating temperature for solar panels is 25 Celsius (77 Fahrenheit). For every degree above this number, panel performance typically decreases between .3% and .5%. The lower the number, the better the performance.
Both the BLK Series and ML-G11S Series panels average a temperature coefficient of -.34%/Celsius, which is the rate at which output drops as the temperature increase by a single degree Celsius. These specs show that Qcells panels are toward the lower end of the scale, indicating they retain high performance even as temperatures increase.
If you want your solar panel to last, check its ability to withstand pressure and elements. Both lines of Qcells panels sport solid aluminum frames and a double glass module design. They were also the first panels on the market to pass a new independent Quality Controlled PV certification in 2020 that set new standards for guaranteeing performance and durability.
Both panels have been certified for the following tests:
- Quality Controlled PV - TÜV Rheinland
- IEC 61215
- IEC 61730
Another quantifiable test for panel durability is looking at the Pascal (Pa). These numbers measure the max pressure in terms of push and pull the panel is designed to take from snow and wind.
The two lines of Qcells panels record the following Pa numbers:
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK Series Push/Pull Load: 8100/4000 Pa
- Q.PEAK DUO ML-G11S Series Push/Pull Load: 8100/4000 Pa
These numbers far surpass market averages, which are 5400/2400 Pa.
Much like any product, you want to know to what length the company guarantees it'll cover damages or performance loss when buying solar panels. The Qcells panels have the following product warranties:
- Q.PEAK DUO BLK Series (Product Warranty): 12 years
- Q.PEAK DUO ML-G11S (Product Warranty): 12 years
Overall, Qcells product warranties are on the lower end of the spectrum, given that the average product guarantee for solar panels is 12-25 years.
Panels also have performance guarantees that claim the product will hold its electrical output over a specified period. The average is 90%-output by ten years of use and 80% by 25 years. Qcells offers the same performance warranty for both panel series. The warranty states that they will retain, at minimum, the following percentages throughout their lifespan:
- After year 1: 98% of nominal power
- After year 10: 93% of nominal power
- After year 25: 86% of nominal power
If panels fall below these performance claims, the company must replace or fix the products free of charge. Overall, this is around a -.5% degradation rate, which surpasses market averages. Although premium brands, such as LG, have performance guarantees as low as -.3% per year.
Finally, your chosen solar panels should have a reasonable price tag for the provided performance.
Many factors, such as location, determine solar panel cost. When it comes to Hanwha, the estimated range is $1.73 – $2.31 per watt after the 30% tax credit. So, if you buy a panel array to power a standard 6 kWh, you can expect to spend around $10,380-$13,860.
Below are some of the average prices for competing models, all reflecting the 30% tax credit:
- Tesla: $2.33 – $3.10
- REC Group: $1.92 – $2.32
- LG Solar: $1.89 – $2.47
- Jinko: $1.98 – $2.58
Hanwha Solar Panels Review: What Users Say
We've covered the technical side of the Hanwha QCell solar panels review, but what do actual consumers say?
Positive Hanwha solar panels user reviews mostly mention QCell products as easy-to-install and affordable solutions. They also praise the quality and durability of these solar panels for the price.
Unfortunately, a few negative reviews complained about quick QCell solar panel failure. Some users even had trouble contacting the company about their warranties.
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