What Consumers Should Know About Solar Product Forgery

Protecting Yourself From Forgers Could Save You Thousands

Q CELLS Unique Tra.Q™ system leads the industry in protecting consumers.

Thanks to their ability to dramatically reduce homeowners and business owners’ electricity bills and the ease of installation, solar power’s popularity has soared in Australia in recent years at a record-breaking pace. With consumer demand being so high, there can exist a motivation for some manufacturers and installers to cut corners and cash in on the solar boom by compromising quality or even engaging in product forgery.

Q CELLS was one of the first manufacturers to stress the importance of having traceable quality down to the cell-level for this very reason – to give customers the ultimate peace of mind in the product they’re buying.

100% Product Traceability is the Best Defence Against Counterfeits

With the highest investment in R&D in the industry, Q CELLS stands behind every cell we make and are proud of our award-winning Engineered-In-Germany heritage. The inroads Q CELLS has made raising the bar for quality and performance can pose a juicy incentive for counterfeiters. Major brands have fallen victim to counterfeiters that has sadly resulted in Australian homeowners losing their life savings to fraudulent operations in some cases, or in severe compromise to system output.

Fortunately, Q CELLS has devised an innovative and industry-leading quality control measure to track and ensure quality from the cell-level* to give consumers total security in the product they’re buying. We developed the ground-breaking Traceable Quality (Tra.Q™) system to enable us to completely track the entire quality control process during manufacturing through its entire lifetime from wafer to field.

Every individual Q.ANTUM cell features a Tra.Q code which allows complete traceability from each manufacturing process to the field.

How Does Tra.Q Work?

Tra.Q™ is a tiny laser marking that looks like a QR code that is unique to each individual cell. The information contained in each traceable code includes the serial number, the date and location of production and even which material charge was used to make the cell. Using this innovative system, we can better analyse errors and as they arise and quickly respond to it.

With Tra.Q™ every solar cell is labelled with a unique code. Thanks to specially-developed laser technology, the cell isn’t damaged in this process. The code with a special device. Tra.Q™ is like a fingerprint for a solar PV cell.

Tra.Q™ differentiates itself from serial module verification that comes standard for all solar panels sold in Australia and can be easy to fake. The result: 100 % product traceability and no chance for product forgery. At the moment, Q CELLS is the only brand in the solar industry to offer the patented Tra.Q™ labelling technology.

Q CELLS is the only brand on the market to offer this kind of peace of mind to consumers through the patented Tra.Q™ labelling technology.

The True Cost of Cheap Panels

Some people might be satisfied with cheap product fakes when it comes to handbags or shoes, but when it comes to solar, poorly designed panels, including imitation panels or less reputable brands, may not be properly weatherised or well-constructed, potentially impacting In the worst case, these inferior panels can increase the risk of electrocution or fire.

Further, while seeming cheaper, imitation or grey-marked panels can end up costing consumers more than their savings in terms of solar rebates and incentives as they might not qualify for rebates as a result of not being an approved brand/model.

Imitation panels may not carry a warranty comparable to established brands, or if they do, there’s the possibility of the company suddenly disappearing when products start failing, only to re-emerge under another brand name.

Peace of Mind Through German Engineering

From sourcing the foods they eat, to the coffee they drink and the fibres for the clothes they wear, the age of the ‘prosumer’ dictates that people want to know more about the origin of the products they are choosing. We at Q CELLS feel the same principle should apply to solar cells and modules because they are at the heart of the PV system.

There are now hundreds of solar cell manufacturers whose cells come from all over the world and subject to non-standard quality standards. Oftentimes, will be responsible for only for only part of the entire production volume of each cell and module, then including several parties to carry out other processes. Thus, OEM manufacturers are most often not liable for the overall product quality and performance. With so many parties involved, quality can be compromised.

With ™, Q CELLS has a comprehensive view into the entire history of each individual solar cell. We want consumers to feel secure knowing that they have bought a genuine Q CELLS product.

We know for sure what’s in our products and we can prove it beyond a doubt. Q CELLS solar cells carrying the Tra.Q™ label can be clearly identified. This ensures transparency and means you can count on secure yields!

Finding a Trusted Q CELLS Vendor

The truth is, most Australian solar industry players are doing good, honest work. However, it only takes a few bad apples to cause real harm and sew distrust in consumers’ minds. In our mission to provide quality solar products to the market, Q CELLS has also launched Q.PARTNER – a network of quality, vetted solar installers befitting of Q CELLS quality products.

An installer carrying the Q.PARTNER seal is a knowledgeable, local expert carrying genuine Q CELLS solar panels. If you’re interested in going solar, contact Q CELLS to be connected to a Q.PARTNER in your area.