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Q-Cells SE
Type Societas Europaea
Traded as FWBQCE
Industry Photovoltaics
Founded 1999 (1999)
Headquarters Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany
Key people Nedim Cen (CEO and chairman of the executive board), Karlheinz Hornung (Chairman of the supervisory board)
Products Photovoltaic cells, solar modules, development and installation of solar parks
Revenue €1.354 billion (2010)[1]
Operating income €82.3 million (2010)[1]
Profit €18.9 million (2010)[1]
Total assets €1.096 billion (end 2010)[1]
Total equity €882.7 million (end 2010)[1]
Employees 2,380 (end 2010)[1]
Website www.q-cells.com
Q-Cells Thalheim (Bitterfeld-Wolfen)

Q-Cells is a German manufacturer of photovoltaic (PV) cells headquartered in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany.[2][3] Q-Cells was established in 1999. Its core business is the development, production and marketing of (mono- and multi-) crystalline silicon photovoltaic cells.[4]

Since commencing production in 2001, Q-Cells now employs about 1500 people at its site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. In its newest solar cell factory in Selangor, Malaysia, further 1000 people are employed. Q-Cells produced 537 MW of PV cells in 2009. In 2010, the output was increased to 939 MW. Thereof 482 MW was produced in Germany. So nearly half of the production took place in Malaysia.[1]

However the company has suffered from the supply of cheap solar products from China. After reporting a €846m net loss in 2011 Q-Cells filed for insolvency on April 3, 2012. On July 18, its creditors unanimously approved that the company is to be continued.[5][6] On August 29, Q-Cells was acquired by Hanwha, in an agreement that is subject to approval by anti-trust authorities.[7] Transaction between Hanwha Korea and Q.Cells GmbH completed effective 18 Oct 2012 and a ceremony held in its Cyberjaya Plant on 2 Nov 2012 to officially announce Hanwha Q.Cells Malaysia.


Q-Cells markets mainly multicrystalline solar cells which reach conversion efficiencies of up to 17.4%. Its monocrystalline cells have efficiency ratings of up to 18.8%.[8] Q-Cells marks its cells with a small capital 'Q' near a corner.[9]

Q-Cells also sells solar modules under its own brand. The module portfolio encompasses crystalline silicon and CIGS thin-film modules. Its multicrystalline module products are called Q.BASE and Q.PRO. Q.PEAK is the name of the monocrystalline module series which also comprises an all-black version.[10]

With its CIGS modules, Q-Cells set a world record for thin-film PV in mass production. Total area efficiency of the Q.SMART modules reached 13.4% in March 2011.[11]

Research and development[edit]

Q-Cells has developed the performance of its cells as well as its technological production processes. Q-Cells is also developing additional technologies through partnerships for the commercialization of these technologies.[4]

In 2011, Q-Cells reached a conversion efficiency of 19.5% for 6-inch multicrystalline solar cells which was independently confirmed by the Fraunhofer Society. This newly developed cell concept named Q.ANTUM features an advanced structure for the back side.[12] Based on these cells, Q-Cells built a record-setting solar module with efficiency rating of 18.1% related to the aperture area.[13]

The latest R&D achievement is a monocrystalline cell based on the Q.ANTUM concept with an efficiency of more than 20%. A 60-cell solar module equipped with these cells would result in a power rating of about 280 W.[14]


The group includes:

In 2009 a few companies, like Sovello or Sunfilm, have been sold. In 2011, Calyxo (CdTe) was taken over by Solar Fields LLC.[19][20]

Alliances and joint ventures[edit]

Q-Cells and China's solar wafer manufacturer Solar LDK announced a joint venture partnership to develop large-scale solar power plants in Europe and China. The first projects, including a 40-MW power plant, are already in the pipeline.[21]

Takeover by Hanwha Chemical Corporation and Hanergy Holdings Group Company Ltd (formerly Farsighted Group, aka Huarui Group)[edit]

As of 19 October 2012, "the company was bought by an indirect subsidiary of Hanwha Chemical Corporation, which is part of one of the largest South Korean corporations with 2011 sales of USD 31.6 billion." http://www.q-cells.com/en/press/article/QCELLS-transferred-to-new-owner.html

Hanergy Holdings Group in late September 2012, completed "its acquisition of the 400-employee thin-film solar unit of Q Cells" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/10/business/energy-environment/chinese-company-buys-2-solar-companies-from-west.html?partner=socialflow&smid=tw-nytimesbusiness

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Annual Report 2010". Q-Cells. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  2. ^ Q-Cells Top Cell Producer Worldwide | Renewable Energy News Article
  3. ^ http://de.statista.com/statistik/daten/studie/38166/umfrage/marktanteil-der-hersteller-fuer-solarzellen-weltweit-in-2009/ last retrieved 05.12.2009
  4. ^ a b Evergreen Solar and Q-Cells Announce Partnership with REC
  5. ^ "Q-Cells fails to stave off insolvency". Financial Times. 2012-04-02. 
  6. ^ Creditors give the go-ahead for continuation
  7. ^ Hanwha Wins Bidding War for German PV
  8. ^ "Q-Cells' solar cell products". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  9. ^ Trademark registration
  10. ^ "Q-Cells' solar module series". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  11. ^ "Q-Cells achieves with 13.4% new efficiency world record for CIGS thin film solar module out of mass production". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  12. ^ "Q-Cells SE develops world record-setting solar cell with 19.5% efficiency rating". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  13. ^ "Q-Cells SE marks fourth world record in the current business year with polycrystalline solar module". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  14. ^ "Q-Cells presents photovoltaic innovations for higher yields at EU PVSEC 2011". Retrieved 18 September 2011. 
  15. ^ http://www.flexcell.com/
  16. ^ http://www.flexcell.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=66&Itemid=46
  17. ^ Solaria Corporation
  18. ^ Solibro | CIGS Solarmodul Manufacturer
  19. ^ Calyxo
  20. ^ http://www.calyxosolar.com/de/home/unternehmensmeldung/index.html Calyxo Unternehmensmeldung (in German). Retrieved 3 April 2012.
  21. ^ China's New Focus on Solar | Renewable Energy News Article

External links[edit]