When you’re looking to install a solar energy system, an important step is comparing solar panel brands to find the one that is best for you. You want to be sure you’re investing in high-quality panels that can efficiently turn sunlight into free electricity for many years.
In this blog, we’re putting two solar industry leaders toe-to-toe to see which is the better brand panel: Q CELLS or LG Solar. We’ll be looking at each brand’s:
- Product Warranty
- Performance Warranty & Degradation Rate
The Cost of Q Cells vs the Cost of LG Solar Panels
Cost is an important factor when considering which solar panel brand is the best for your project. Do you go with the top-of-the-line product with the best performance and higher price, or do you go for the middle-of-the-road option that combines good performance with a good price?
Out of these two brands, LG Solar is going to be the more expensive option. LG Solar manufactures some of the highest-efficiency and highest-quality solar panels on the market today. But that technology comes at a price that isn’t feasible for every customer.
In comparison, Q CELLS offers a more affordable product. However, while their solar panels are still very dependable and efficient, they won’t perform quite as well as LG Solar’s panels (more on that later).
So if keeping costs on the lower side is an important factor for your solar energy system, you may want to opt for Q CELLS. However, if you want to optimize panel performance and produce the most electricity possible, LG Solar may be worth the extra cost.
How Do The Efficiencies of Q CELLS and LG Solar Panels Compare?
Solar panel efficiency is the percentage of electricity that panels produce from the energy they received from the sun. A higher efficiency means the panel has the ability to produce more electricity during a certain period of time.
Most solar panels today have efficiencies ranging from 15% to 20%. LG Solar offers one of the most efficient panels widely available on the market today at 21.7%. Their least efficient panel is 19.6%.
Q CELLS offers panels ranging in efficiency from 18.6% to 20.6%. While these don’t quite reach the efficiency levels of LG Solar’s panels, they still pack quite a punch for their price point.
There’s one important distinction to make with Q CELLS panels and their efficiencies. To get panels that are near or above that 20% efficiency threshold, you’ll need to go with their Q.PEAK DUO line, which are made of half-cut cell panels. Instead of being comprised of 60 or 72 cells as with standard solar panels, panels with half-cut cells feature 120 or 144 cells. These panels are more efficient and oftentimes more durable than standard panels, but they’re also typically more expensive.
LG Solar panels will likely be more expensive than Q CELLS panels with half-cut cells. However, LG Solar’s panels may also produce more electricity for a longer period of time (we’ll get to that in our section on performance warranties).
Product Warranties: Do Q CELLS or LG Solar Have Better Panel Guarantees?
Product warranties protect your investment from any manufacturing or material defects. The best solar panel brands offer long-lasting, extensive guarantees because they’re willing to stand behind their product.
When it comes to both Q CELLS and LG Solar, LG offers a significantly better product warranty. Q-Cell offers a 12-year limited product warranty on some modules and 25 years on others. LG ups the ante a bit with a 25-year limited product warranty on all of their products. During this time, both manufacturers will either repair or replace faulty panels, as long as the issue falls within the warranty’s terms.
However, LG Solar not only includes the material cost of the troubled panel, but also the cost of the labor required to perform the replacement. This is extremely rare among solar panel manufacturers, as in most instances, the customer will be on the hook for labor costs.
However, if you install solar with Paradise Energy, you’ll have access to our Triple Ten Guarantee, which covers any labor associated with the repair and replacement of warrantied products, no matter what the manufacturer’s product warranty includes.
Another thing to consider when evaluating panel manufacturer warranties is how secure they are as a company. A warranty is only as good as the company backing it. If your panel manufacturer goes out of business, there will be no one to stand behind those guarantees.
When it comes to both Q CELLS and LG Solar, we have a lot of faith that both companies will be around to honor their warranties. Q CELLS has been a major manufacturer of solar panels since 1999 and continues to provide solar panels for a large portion of solar projects around the world.
LG Solar, which has been producing high-quality panels since 2004, is a highly respected industry leader. Not only is their solar division doing well, but they have the backing of LG Electronics, a global tech giant. So if something does happen to LG Solar (which we have no reason to believe it will), LG Electronics will be around to honor those warranties.
Which Panels Last Longer? A Look Into Q CELLS’ & LG Solar’s Performance Warranties
In addition to the product warranty, solar panels will also come with a performance warranty. This warranty sets the bar for the degradation rate of your panels. Solar panel degradation is the slow decline in production that occurs to all solar panels over time. That means each year the amount of electricity your panel is able to produce is less and less.
Performance warranties exist to ensure your panels don’t degrade too quickly and that they’re able to produce large amounts of cost- and emissions-free electricity for decades.
Each performance warranty promises that their solar panels will degrade at a specific rate year over year for a specific period of time. If they exceed this rate, the panel will be replaced or repaired.
All Q CELLS panels that we currently offer are guaranteed the ability to produce 98% of their nominal power after the first year, and then degrade 0.54% thereafter. Ten years after installation, the panels will be producing at least 93.1% of their nominal power, and after 25 years, they’ll be producing at least 85%.
LG Solar also offers a 25-year performance guarantee, however, their degradation rate is much lower. They guarantee that their panels will produce 98% after the first year, then 0.33% degradation rate after that to still produce at least 90.08% of their nominal power after 25 years.
So by opting for LG Solar over Q CELLS, you’ll have panels that produce more electricity for a longer period of time.
It’s important to note that the performance guarantee only covers a solar panel’s ability to produce a certain amount of electricity, not the actual electricity production of the panel. The actual production will depend on several external factors, like weather and how the solar panel was installed.
If you install solar with Paradise Energy, we’ll have you covered for actual system production with our Triple Ten Guarantee. If your system produces less electricity than we estimate it will in your solar system proposal, we’ll literally write you a check for the difference.
Should You Install Q CELLS or LG Solar Panels?
Q CELLS and LG Solar both offer dependable and efficient panels for your solar power system. While Q CELLS come at a more accessible price, LG Solar delivers high-efficiency panels that degrade more slowly.
If price is a big factor for you, Q CELLS will likely be the better of the two options. They offer above-average efficiency and have great warranties for a fair price. If you want top-of-the-line panels, or the space you have for your solar system is small compared to the amount of electricity you’d like to produce, LG Solar will likely be the better option.
|Brand||Cost||Efficiency||Product Warranty||Performance Warranty|
|Q Cells||Cheaper option than LG Solar||18.6% to 20.6% Efficiency||12-25-year product warranty||All panels have a 25-year performance guarantee at 85%|
|LG Solar||More expensive option than Q Cells||19.6% to 21.7% efficiency||25-year product warranty||All panels have a 25-year performance guarantee at 90.08%. Also includes labor costs|
That said, if you narrowed your options down to these two brands, you won’t go wrong either way. Both solar panel brands will contribute to a long-lasting solar system that will produce tons of cost- and emissions-free electricity for many years to come.
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