German Solar Panels | Are they really made in Germany?

A lot of people believe that the best solar panel is one made in Germany, because our dear friends in Deutschland have an awesome reputation for quality.

But are the German solar panels really the best on the market?

Here’s the rub: If you buy a solar panel that is made in Germany, then you can be 99% sure that you are going to get a good quality module. I’ve met a lot of German engineers in my career as an electrical engineer, and they appear to be genetically incapable of producing low quality stuff.

So if you are worried about being lumbered with a poor quality solar panel, then buying from a brand that manufactures in Germany is one way to reduce that risk dramatically. The downside of course is  you will pay a significant premium for the privilege. Just like if you choose to buy a BMW over a Kia when you go car shopping.

The other part of the question is of course: “Are all Chinese made solar panels crap?”.

Well no, they aren’t.  You might hear this line from sales people who only sell high priced solar systems. In fact I think that statement is borderline xenophobic. Some of the best solar panels in the world come out of China. Some of them outperform German solar panels! The problem is there is also a significant amount of cheap crap that comes out of China. But it’s easy to steer clear of the crud if you stick with solar panel brands I recommend.

Solar Panels Made In Germany

As for solar panels made in Germany and generally readily available in Australia:


solarwatt logo

SolarWatt arrived on the Australian solar scene in 2017. For quite a while, SolarWatt held the record for the longest product warranty in Australia – 30 years, which indicates the company was pretty damn confident in the quality of their gear. Expect to pay a hefty premium for these panels. At least double the cost of a regular Chinese tier 1 panel.

Solar Panels Genuinely Engineered In Germany (but not made there)

Qcells Solar Panels

Q CELLS logo

Qcells was originally a German company but were bought out by Korean giant Hanwha some years ago. They are still great panels in my opinion, but the supply to Australia is largely coming out of China, Malaysia and South Korean factories. Although their original German factories are no longer making panels, Germany remains responsible for product development, R&D and product testing.

Qcells’ headquarters for Technology & Innovation is in the Solar Valley in Thalheim, Germany where the focus is on improving current products and new product development. 

I would say that Qcells are probably the only panel manufacturer making panels in Asia that can genuinely claim to be ‘German Engineered’. Their VDE Quality Testing Program is implemented in all their factories (which are all fully automated) and should ensure that the Asian panels are on par with the German made ones.

Solar Panels Not Made In Germany

Some examples of panel brands available in Australia in the past that may sound like they are made in Germany but are not include German Solar AG, Munchen Solar and Hanover Solar.

Over the years, there have been a few companies that like to play to the German reputation for quality, but who make all their panels in China. I personally found some of the marketing a bit close to the line, because their names led some buyers into thinking they are getting a solar panel made in Germany. 

If you have your heart set on German solar panels, please make sure that the panels you are offered really are made there or have genuine German heritage. Avoid any panel that has been given a name with the express purpose of fooling Australian consumers into thinking they are getting something German.

To get quotes for solar from installers in our trusted network (who don’t try to hoodwink customers into thinking that they’re selling genuine German-made panels when they’re not), simply click the button below:

About Finn Peacock

I’m a Chartered Electrical Engineer, solar and energy efficiency nut, electric car and e-bike owner, dad, and founder of My last “real job” was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009 more than 723,000 Australians have used my site to get quotes for high quality PV systems from pre-vetted solar installers.

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