Frequently Asked Questions
Solar Panels FAQ
All current Qcells’ high-quality solar modules are covered by a 25-year product warranty and a 25-year linear performance warranty.
If you have any issues with the operation of Qcells products, please contact your solar retailer or installer.
You can also visit our Contact Us page
We are happy to introduce you to a local solar retailer that sells and installs Qcells products and can provide a quote for you.
Please fill in the ‘Get a quote’ form
The output of your solar system is dependent on several factors: the orientation (North, South, East, or West), the inclination angle of the roof, the size of the solar system, the angle of the sun at different times of the year, and the weather conditions. Your solar retailer can estimate your solar energy production for you by measuring these details for your home.
The amount of solar energy that you can consumer yourself will depend on the amount of energy usage in your household, and the time that you use that energy. For solar systems without an energy storage system, you can time the use of your major appliances such as heating, cooling and pool pumps, to ensure that you are using your solar when it is being produced during the day. If you have a Q.HOME CORE solar battery/energy storage system, you can continue to use your solar energy during non-daylight hours. Your Q.HOME CORE also includes the Q.OMMAND home energy management system which uses smart software to ensure that your battery is being used effectively and that if you need to draw from the grid, you are doing so at the optimal time.
We encourage you to find a retail energy plan that will work hand-in-hand with your solar system and solar battery if you have one.
Qcells offers the Arcstream energy retail plan that is tailored for Q.HOME CORE battery owners, and provides membership of a virtual power plant, providing even more value for solar system owners.
In most cases, a solar system can be installed where at least 10 m² of roof area is available. The amount of solar production potential for your system is dependent on the geographic location, the roof the orientation (North, South, East, or West), the inclination angle of the roof, and the amount of sunlight accessible (be aware of shading from trees and nearby buildings). To ensure your roof is suitable, get in touch with one of our solar retailers for an assessment.
With your own solar system, you can generate electricity and markedly reduce your reliance on buying electricity from the grid that is created from fossil fuels. You can use the power you generate for your own use in your home, and significantly reduce your electricity bill every year.
The power that you do not use can be fed into the grid to increase the amount of renewable energy available to everyone.
By adding an energy storage system, like Q.HOME CORE, you’ll be able to store the solar power generated by your solar panels and use it later in the day and evening, or when there is a grid power outage.
Like putting in a swimming pool or ducted air conditioning, designing a garden, or even a tailored travel itinerary, there is no one-price-fits-all for a home energy design.
Each location with have its own variations, and each family will have its own energy needs, and will require a professional solar system design to receive a quote.
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Even in low-light conditions, on cloudy or rainy days, or at dusk, Qcells solar modules continue producing with high output.
Qcells modules are built for real-life conditions and are recognised for their particularly good performance with diffused light.
Even at a very low irradiation of 200 W/m², our solar modules still achieve 98% of their original efficiency, which means higher returns for you with a minimal amount of sunshine. At radiation values between 400 and 900 W/m², efficiencies over 100% of the nominal value can be achieved.
These results have also been confirmed by the independent Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
Photovoltaics (PV) is a method of converting sunlight into electricity.
The heart of a PV system is the solar cell. When sunlight (electromagnetic radition) reaches the solar cell, it creates a physical response, and the solar cells generate a direct current (DC).
On average, a residential solar module is made up of 60 or 72 solar cells that are electrically connected and safely protected by a tough glass panel and frame. Several modules together make up a powerful and efficient photovoltaic system.
The electrical current produced at the terminals of the solar modules flows through a cable connected to the inverter, where it is converted to alternating current (AC) so that it can be used by electrical equipment.
The French physicist Alexandre Edmond Becquerel first discovered the “photoelectric effect” in 1839 and thus laid the foundation for today’s efficient solar cells and the production of environmentally friendly electricity from sunlight.
A feed-in tariff (FiT) is a payment you can receive for excess electricity produced by your solar panels that is fed, or exported, to the grid.
Feed-in tariffs were originally used to provide an incentive to homeowners to invest in a solar system. As the price of solar systems in Australia has decreased over time making them more affordable, the need for feed-in tariffs to incentivise purchase has also decreased.
This has resulted in a reduction in value of feed-in tariffs in different parts of the country. It is generally expected that the value of feed-in tariffs will continue to decrease.
Solar panels pose an incredibly challenging recycling task. As a result, we have teamed up with Lotus Energy to handle the recycling of our panels.
Home Batteries FAQ
With our energy storage system Q.HOME CORE, you’re able to store the excess energy generated by your solar panels and you will then be able to access your solar from your battery at the end of the day, when the sun’s gone down and it is peak time for electricity use.
Solar battery storage can almost double a household’s self-consumption of solar energy.
The Q.HOME CORE home battery (energy storage system) is covered by a market-leading standard 15 year product and performance warranty.
If you have any issues with the operation of Qcells products, please contact your solar retailer or installer.
You can also visit our Contact Us page
The installation of a solar system and battery depends on the size of the system, access to the roof space, the weather conditions during the installation period, and the individual requirements of your property (such as meterboard and electrical wiring upgrades, cabling, etc).
In general, the installation of a residential solar system should be accomplished within a few days. During this time, you may only lose access to electricity for a short period of time.
The Q.VOLT inverter inside the Q.HOME CORE energy storage system is a single phase inverter and your Q.HOME CORE will be connected to your first phase.
However, it is easy for your installer to adapt the Q.HOME CORE for a home with three phase electricity by adding a Carlo Gavazzi energy meter which will net balance each phase of energy – if your property is using 1kW via your second phase, and 2kW by your third phase, then the inverter with the energy meter will export 3kW to the first phase to balance them out.
Note that your Q.OMMAND app will only show total energy usage, and not per-phase energy usage.
Additionally, this functionality is available in Australia only, and is not applicable to properties with three phase electricity in New Zealand.
Solar batteries can be installed alongside existing solar systems, or as an integrated part of a new solar system. All solar battery systems have battery inverters, but some systems (AC-coupled) are designed to be paired with separate solar inverters, whilst others (DC-hybrid) integrate the function of the solar and battery inverter into one package. Some homeowners are having the best of both worlds – they have an existing solar system, and rather than just installing a battery alongside, they are installing a whole new solar system with an integrated DC-hybrid inverter working in parallel to their existing solar system.
Solar batteries also vary by the type of battery chemistry, by the quality of the battery management system and the sophistication of their software. There are a range of different chemistries used, with many large international manufacturers using both NMC or LFP lithium ion batteries. Ultimately, overall performance of any battery system is determined as much by the combination of the battery pack (Qcells uses industry leading Samsung SDI battery packs) and the software that controls it (which Qcells develops inhouse).
Perhaps more important than optimising your battery purchase decision for your current needs is considering how you can future proof your investment. Many Australian households are considering investing in an electric vehicle or electrifying their heating, or other appliances, which will reduce their petrol or gas bills. Ideally, these households need a modular solution that can meet their current needs but can be doubled or tripled in the future as their needs change.
Home batteries are part of a complex global supply chain that overlaps with the supply chain for electric vehicles. This should mean that over the long term the price of the battery packs will go down as the demand for batteries for all uses increases. However, in any given year, the fast growth in demand for batteries for homes and electric vehicles may mean that prices might increase if supply growth falls behind consumer demand.
At the same time as the global battery market is growing, solar batteries for use in the home are getting more and more specialised, with custom battery management systems and more complex battery inverters needed to control the battery and interface with the solar system and the grid. The increased complexity of solar batteries as a product, and the increased competition between different manufacturers, will see continued investment in inverter power controls and software to deliver more value to customers. Increasingly it will be the cost of the software smarts, or the brains of the battery, that will determine the costs of different battery systems, rather than the costs of the battery pack itself.
Solar and Battery App FAQ
You can monitor your Q.HOME CORE energy storage system by using either phone APP or website – https://au.qommand.qcells.com/. Your Q.HOME CORE comes with Qcells’ proprietary monitoring software app, Q.OMMAND Home, which you can access on mobile devices or your laptop/desktop computer. The app gives you access to real time data such as your solar production, battery charging/discharging power and household usage as well as monthly reports. You can also connect your Samsung SmartThings devices on the app. Please read the user manual for more information.
If you have any problems with your Q.OMMAND HOME app registration or your Q.HOME CORE battery, please contact your installer or check the user manual.
On your Q.OMMAND dashboard, you’ll see an overview of your system in real time (updated every 3 seconds). Under “Production’’ you’ll be able to see how much electricity your solar panels are generating.
On your Q.OMMAND dashboard, you’ll see an overview of your system in real time (updated every 3 seconds). Under “My Home” and “Total load” you’ll be able to see how much electricity you are using in your home.
VPP (Virtual Power Plant) FAQ
A Virtual Power Plant (VPP) is a way for households to maximise the value of their rooftop solar and battery storage systems, and sometimes other controllable appliances such as smart hot water systems.
A VPP connects a network of these energy storage systems, and optimises their grid imports and exports in a real-time, orchestrated manner. In doing so, a VPP fleet that consists of household batteries has the capability of providing the same services that a conventional power plant provides. This means that when combined as a community, battery owners can help to deliver more clean energy to our grid, boost grid resilience and ultimately deliver lower electricity costs.
The Arcstream VPP works by creating a community of batteries, where owners can contribute a small amount of battery storage to provide services to the grid. These services include wholesale energy market arbitrage, grid frequency support and peak shaving from time-of-use tariff optimisation.
VPPs are capable of providing the same services that a conventional power plant can, which means it provides the same benefits, just from a clean, renewable energy source: the sun.
VPPs increase the share of renewable energy in the grid. Instead of exporting excess solar energy to the grid, batteries can hold and use the excess for the household during non-solar hours. If a household has any spare capacity, VPPs can share that capacity with the grid to alleviate periods of high fossil fuel mix and high prices.
VPPs improve grid strength and can replace the need for further network infrastructure investment. By working with the market operator and with distributed system operators, VPPs can offer peak demand reduction, as well as voltage and frequency stabilisation services.
VPPs lower energy costs for consumers. Through the provision of support and stabilisation services to the grid paired with an increased share of renewable energy, these drive the cost of energy down and can ultimately reduce the energy bills that customers have to pay.
And finally, VPPs provide environmental benefits and are one of the best pathways towards a net zero 2030.
Not only can VPPs earn revenue in the same ways that conventional power plants can, VPPs also have access to revenue streams that conventional power plants do not!
Power plants, like coal plants, gas peakers or solar and wind farms, generate and sell electricity to the wholesale market at a spot price. VPPs are capable of this too, but we must also always take in account our individual customer usage. To reap the maximum benefit with the VPPs interaction with the wholesale market, we aim to buy electricity at low prices and sell high as often as possible. This behaviour is known as energy arbitrage.
Conventional power plants also offer ancillary services to the grid, including frequency support, voltage control and reactive power support. VPPs, in comparison, have the added advantage of much faster response times to market signals, giving them access to revenue streams that conventional power plants do not have. An example of ancillary services in Australia’s National Electricity Market (NEM) are the frequency control ancillary services (FCAS).
VPPs can participate in demand response programs, adjusting their aggregate load consumption or generation in response to what the grid requires. Some examples in the NEM include the Wholesale Demand Response (WDR) Mechanism and the Reliability and Emergency Reserve Trader (RERT) Mechanism.
Although microgrids and VPPs utilise distributed energy resources, like solar generation, energy storage systems, smart loads etc., both differ due to their purpose and scope.
Microgrids aim to serve end-users in a specific location, and hence its design and strategy is centred around making sure these end-users have access to electricity at all times. For this reason, microgrids may also be independent of the grid, and can rely solely on the distributed generation within the microgrid to serve the local loads.
On the other hand, VPPs aim to serve both the end-users that are part of the VPP as well as the wider grid. For the VPP to aggregate and control its fleet of resources, the resources must be grid connected.
Customers’ support FAQ
We have a dedicated, friendly customer service team available on1800 QHOME 0 (1800 746 630), Monday to Friday from 9am to 6pm. You can also email us at anytime at email@example.com