SunPower vs Q Cells (Full Review)

Installing solar on your property comes with so many benefits. First, it allows you to generate your own electricity, meaning you do not have to rely on the national grid for power.

This will reduce your monthly utility bills by unimaginable margins, allowing you to save more money.

Solar energy also makes your home or business eco-friendlier and enhances the value of your property significantly.

This is important if you are looking forward to selling your home or business in the future.

Considering all these benefits, not to mention the numerous incentives offered by the government to solar-powered homes and businesses, it is not surprising that more property owners are now going solar.

However, that’s just the first step. Choosing the ideal solar provider can be a bit of a welcome challenge since there are so many options out there. 

In this post, we compare SunPower and Q Cells. Keep reading to find out which one of the two fits your solar energy needs.

Company Profile

SunPower 

SunPower is one of the oldest and most popular solar energy companies in the world. The company has been in business since 1985, providing homeowners with a comprehensive line of high-quality solar products.

From state-of-the-art solar panels to high-capacity battery storage, you can always rely on SunPower to deliver the right products for all your energy needs. 

The highlight of this solar provider is their 25-year replacement product warranty that ensures your investment pays for itself before the warranty period elapses.

Q Cells

Q Cells is arguably one of the world’s largest manufacturers of solar panels and related products.

The South Korean company was originally founded in Germany in 1999 and they have grown in leaps and bounds to become a popular choice with property owners all over the globe.

Through their parent company, Hanwha Solutions, Q Cells produces and supplies high-quality solar cells and modules for homes and businesses.

Their high-performance photovoltaic products are renowned for their quality, durability, and efficiency.

This explains why Q Cells remains a big name in the solar energy industry.

Verdict:

Both SunPower and Q Cells are highly reputable companies

Also read  SunPower vs. Sunnova.

Solar Panel Type and Design

The type and design of the solar panel have a great impact on its efficiency. The materials used to build the panels affect how the generated energy flows through them. 

With that said, there are three main types of solar panels to consider, including monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin-film panels.

Monocrystalline panels are the most efficient since they are made from pure silicon while polycrystalline and thin-film panels consist of a mix of different materials.

SunPower produces the three types of solar panels through their subsidiary Maxeon Solar while Q Cells concentrates on producing Monocrystalline solar panels only.

Verdict: SunPower wins this contest since they offer customers more options when it comes to choosing different types of solar panel technologies.

Efficiency and Output Rating

The efficiency of a solar system is measured by how well it is able to generate and distribute electricity throughout the entire building.

On the other hand, the output rating refers to the amount of electricity a solar panel or system is capable of producing when working optimally.

SunPower solar panels have an output rating of 360-500 watts, depending on the type, with an impressive efficiency of up to 22.8%.

Comparatively, Q Cells solar panels have a maximum power output of 390 watts with an efficiency of up to 20.8%.

Verdict: When comparing the two companies, SunPower solar panels have a better power output rating with impressive efficiency.

Price Bracket

Let’s face it. Investing in solar energy might seem like a costly venture at first due to the high upfront costs.

Fortunately, this is no longer an issue given that many solar companies offer customers a variety of financing options. 

Moreover, today’s solar systems are highly efficient and they come with long warranty periods, meaning they are able to pay back the investment in less time.

You also have the option to lease solar panels instead of buying and the solar provider will be in charge of installation and maintenance.

With that said, SunPower solar panels come with a high price tag given their guaranteed efficiency and low degradation.

Their solar systems are arguably the best and most reliable in terms of performance and energy generation, However, they are priced at $2.23 to $9.22 per watt, which makes them somewhat expensive.

Q Cells solar systems are equally impressive and they are available at a lower, mid-range price point.

Their solar systems are priced at $2.32 to $3.08 per watt. This makes them one of the best values for money.

Verdict:

SunPower solar systems are highly-priced, but for good reason given their efficiency and performance.

However, Q Cells solar systems offer a better deal thanks to their quality products available at a reasonable price range.

Manufacturer Warranty & Service

SunPower offers one of the longest performance warranties in the industry. Their Maxeon solar panels come with a 25-year warranty that covers system repairs, replacement of defective parts, labor, shipping at no additional cost.

And unlike other companies, you do not need to provide proof of purchase to use your warranty.

Q Cells offers an industry-standard 12-year warranty on all their products, except for the new generation G5+ and G6+ panels that come with a 25-year warranty.

They also offer a 25-year performance warranty on selected products. The product warranty covers material defects only.

Verdict:

SunPower has an upper hand in terms of warranty coverage and service. They have the leading performance warranty cover in the industry.

Besides, their warranty-claim process is hassle-free.

Overall Quality 

SunPower is renowned for its focus on producing high-quality solar systems. The company began as a solar energy research project, meaning they have what it takes when it comes to manufacturing top-quality solar products.

SunPower solar systems are the most efficient in the market and they focus on quality, reliability, and performance.

Q Cells solar systems may not match the quality of SunPower products, but they still offer an impressive price to quality ratio.

This means you don’t have to dig deep into your pockets to acquire a high-quality solar system for your home or business.

Verdict:

SunPower wins in terms of overall quality. Their solar systems are incomparable when it comes to quality and performance.

Real-World Performance

Before investing your money in any solar system, you should first calculate its performance in real-world conditions. 

The performance of a solar system depends on several factors like temperature, location, time of year, dust or dirt, shading, panel orientation, and available sunlight.

In most cases, the temperature co-efficient is usually used to determine real-world efficiency of a solar system. The lower the temperature co-efficient, the better the performance of the solar system.

SunPower has a temperature co-efficient rating of -0.34%, meaning if the temperature goes up by one degree, the solar system will reduce its efficiency by -0.34%.

If the temperature rises by 10 degrees, the efficiency will reduce by 3.4%.

Q Cells has a temperature co-efficient rating of -0.39% to -0.35%. Applying the same formula, a Q Cells solar panel will lose its efficiency by -0.39% when the temperature increases by one degree.

Verdict: SunPower solar systems have a better performance in real-world conditions if the current temperature co-efficient ratings are anything to go by.

Reviews and Industry Experts Feedback

Both SunPower and Q Cells have their set of loyal customers hence reviews and feedback on sites like customeraffairs.com and solarreviews.com have to vary.

Interestingly, both Q Cells and SunPower have an average score of 4.58 out of 5 on solarreviews.com. This means that customers consider these two companies to be reliable and trustworthy.

Verdict:

Both companies tie as far as customer reviews are concerned

Customer Support 

SunPower has invested heavily in support services to ensure that customers get all the help they need.

You can contact support via email, phone, or live chat during office hours from Monday (6 am to 7 pm) to Saturday (7 am to 4 pm). You can also get helpful information by visiting the FAQ section on their website.

The customer support team at Q Cells is also helpful but they are not as responsive as SunPower since they deal with a wider global clientele base.

Besides, Q Cells does not have live chat so you have to wait a bit longer to get a response via email.

Verdict: SunPower wins hands downs as far as customer support is concerned

Who owns Qcell solar panels?

Q Cells was originally founded in Germany, but it changed ownership to a South Korean company known as Hanwha Solutions.

The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea but it has offices in major cities around the world.

Where are Qcell solar panels manufactured?

Q Cell solar panels are manufactured in different locations around the world. The company has manufacturing plants in Malaysia, China, the USA, and South Korea.

Final Verdict

If you are looking for a budget-friendly solar system, then Q Cells is the choice for you. However, we strongly suggest that you choose SunPower over everything since their solar systems rank among the best in the market right now.

Although a bit pricey, SunPower solar products are highly efficient and they offer the best performance.