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Hanwha Qcells
Headquarters86, Cheonggyecheon-ro, Jung-gu, ,
Area served
Key people
  • Justin Lee (CEO)
ParentHanwha Solutions
WebsiteOfficial website in English
Official website in Korean

Hanwha Qcells (commonly known as simply Qcells) is a major manufacturer of photovoltaic cells. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, after being founded in 1999 in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany, where the company still has its engineering offices. Qcells was purchased out of bankruptcy in August 2012 by the Hanwha Group, a South Korean business conglomerate. Qcells now operates as a subsidiary of Hanwha Solutions, the group's energy and petrochemical company.

Qcells has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, South Korea, and the United States. The company was the sixth-largest producer of solar cells in 2019, with shipments totalling 7.3 gigawatts.


Qcells manufacturing plant in Dalton, Georgia, United States
Revised RomanizationHanhwa Kyusel
McCune–ReischauerHanhwa K'yusel

On 23 July 2001, the company produced its first working polycrystalline solar cell on its new production line in Thalheim. Qcells would grow to become one of the world's largest solar cell manufacturers, employing over 2,000 people and encouraging other companies to open facilities in the surrounding area, which would come to be known as Germany's "Solar Valley."[1][2]

The company went public on 5 October 5, 2005, listing on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange. High share prices during the initial public offering poured money into the company and made the founders wealthy. Lemoine died in 2006, and shortly thereafter, Fest and Grunow left the company to go back into research. Only Milner remained and served as the company's CEO.[1]

In 2005, Qcells established the CdTe PV manufacturer Calyxo. In November 2007, Qcells agreed a deal with Solar Fields, which intellectual property and assets were merged into Calyxo's newly established subsidiary Calyxo USA.[3][4] In 2011, Solar Fields took over Calyxo.[5]

In 2008, Qcells acquired 17.9% stake in Renewable Energy Corporation.[6] This stake was sold in 2009.[7] At the same year, Qcells' subsidiary Sontor merged with a thin-film company Solarfilm.[8]

In June 2009, the company acquired Solibro, a joint venture it had established in 2006.[9] Solibro manufactured thin-film solar cells based on copper-indium-gallium-diselenide. These modules were marketed until the sale of Solibro to Hanergy in 2012.[10]

Qcells was hit hard by the Great Recession in late 2008, with share prices slipping from over 80 euros to under 20. In response, the company laid off 500 employees. Milner resigned as CEO in early 2010, and by the end of the year, the company's finances appeared to stabilize. Just a few months later, in 2011, the global solar cell market crashed, with production overcapacity driving prices extremely low. Qcells saw sales slide by around 1 billion euros, ran a loss of 846 million euros and on 3 April 2011, the company filed for bankruptcy.

In August 2012, the Hanwha Group, a large South Korean business conglomerate, agreed to acquire Qcells, saying that it presented synergy opportunities.[11] In 2010,[12] Hanwha had purchased a 49.99%[13] share in Chinese manufacturer Solarfun which had been renamed Hanwha SolarOne. SolarOne had been producing solar cells for Qcells under contract.[13] Due to high costs, production in Germany ceased in 2015, with Hanwha moving the work to its SolarOne facilities in China and newly opened manufacturing facilities in Malaysia and South Korea. In 2019, Qcells opened its first manufacturing facility in the United States.[14]

In recent years, Hanwha has since worked to simplify the structure of units, merging SolarOne into Qcells in December 2014,[15] merging Qcells and the company's Advanced Materials (petrochemicals) group in 2018,[16] Qcells & Advanced Materials acquired a solar company operated by the Hanwha Chemicals group in 2019,[17] and in 2020 Hanwha Qcells & Advanced Materials merged with Hanwha Chemical to form the Hanwha Solutions group.[18]

In January 2023, Qcells made a commitment to invest more than $2.5 billion to build a fully integrated, silicon-based solar supply chain in the United States from raw material to finished module with full production expected by the end of 2024.[19] Qcells also operates a residential solar financing platform in the United States, EnFin, offering loans for those who choose to install PV systems in their homes.

In August 2023, the U.S. Department of Commerce ruled that Qcells had not circumvented tariffs on Chinese-made goods following an investigation involving multiple photovoltaic cell manufacturers.[20][21]


Qcells develops and produces monocrystaline silicon photovoltaic cells and solar panels. It produces and installs PV systems for commercial, industrial, and residential applications and provides EPC services for large-scale solar power plants.

The company's engineering offices are located at the original headquarters in Thalheim, German. Production facilities are located in Qidong in China, Cyberjaya in Malaysia; Eumseong and Jincheon in South Korea and Dalton, Georgia and Cartersville, Georgia in the United States.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Stange, Jennifer (14 April 2012). "Keeping solar power hopes alive". Deutsche Welle. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  2. ^ "Hanwha Q.Cells officially launched". Eco-Business. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  3. ^ "Q-Cells AG Partners With Solar Fields LLC". Solar Industry Magazine. 2 November 2007. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  4. ^ Pakulski, Gary T. (6 November 2007). "Perrysburg's Solar Fields bought by German concern". The Blade. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  5. ^ "Calyxo Increases CdTe Production To Be Number One". Solar Power + Management. 13 June 2012. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  6. ^ Lannin, Patrick (30 April 2008). "Orkla ends REC put option deal with Q-Cells". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  7. ^ Bjartners, Anders (29 April 2009). "Q-Cells moves to sell $860m stake in Norway's REC". ReCharge. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  8. ^ Stromsta, Karl (29 April 2009). "Q-Cells and Sunfilm join forces to form thin-film titan". ReCharge. Retrieved 21 June 2019.
  9. ^ "Q-Cells takes over Solibro GmbH". Renewable Energy Focus. 10 July 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  10. ^ Steitz, Christoph (5 June 2012). "Hanergy to acquire Q-Cells's Solibro unit". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  11. ^ Cho Mu-hyun (27 August 2012). "Hanwha acquires German solar-cell maker Q-Cells". The Korea Times. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  12. ^ "Solarfun Changing Name To Hanwha SolarOne". Energy Matters. 22 December 2010. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  13. ^ a b Kim, Miyoung; Sarawagi, Vinay (3 August 2010). "Hanwha Chem to buy 50 pct of Solarfun for $370 mln". Reuters. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  14. ^ "Major solar panel plant opens in US amid backdrop of industry worries about low-priced Asian imports". AP News. 18 October 2023. Retrieved 17 April 2024.
  15. ^ Dulaney, Chelsey (8 December 2014). "Hanwha Group to Consolidate Solar Holdings". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  16. ^ Kim Bo-gyung (31 October 2018). "Hanwha Q Cells Korea seeks to remain top solar cell maker". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 19 June 2019.
  17. ^ Patrini, Michael (29 January 2019). "Hanwha Q CELLS Co., Ltd.'s $825 Million Merger agreement with Hanwha Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. – Global Legal Chronicle". Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  18. ^ Lee, Yoojung (24 June 2020). "Harvard Grad's Nikola Bet Bolsters Dynasty Built on Dynamite". Bloomberg News.
  19. ^ "Qcells Invests $2.5 Billion in U.S. Solar Supply Chain - Qcells North America". us.qcells.com. 11 January 2023. Retrieved 1 April 2024.
  20. ^ "DOC Issues". Morgan Lewis.
  21. ^ "Department of Commerce Issues Final Determination of Circumvention Inquiries of Solar Cells and Modules from China". US Department of Commerce.
  22. ^ "Manufacturing Excellence : WHY Q CELLS? : ABOUT : Q CELLS". Hanwha Q Cells. Retrieved 25 July 2021.

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