German Solar Panels | Are They Really Made In Germany?

Fourteen years ago, Germany was in the middle of a solar boom.  Not just solar installation but also manufacturing.  Thanks to buckets of engineering talent and a skilled workforce, German solar panels were regarded as being among the best in the world.  

But Germany’s days as a world leader in panel manufacturing are long gone.  Competition from lower-cost production in south-east Asia – mainly China – drove most manufacturers out of business or at least out of Germany.  Those that remain tend to be small, high-end producers that make top-quality panels for Europeans willing to pay extra for local production.

But – as is often the case – back when Germany’s solar reputation was soaring, some wanted to take advantage of it without doing the hard work of actually becoming good at making solar panels.  

This resulted in a slew of small Chinese manufacturers giving themselves German-sounding names in the hope of fooling people into thinking their cheap solar panels were high-quality German ones.  Some examples:

  • German Solar AG
  • Munchen Solar
  • Hanover Solar

There are fewer Teutonic wannabes around than there used to be, but whenever anyone tells you the panels they’re selling were made in Germany, it’s worth checking they’re the real deal.  Very few genuine German-made solar panels are now installed in Australia.

Solarwatt Is German

SolarWatt is one of the few genuine German manufacturers with panels that are sometimes still installed here.  They are high-quality double glass panels with a long 30 year product warranty.

QCELLS Was German

QCELLS started in Germany but their headquarters are now in Seoul with production in China, Malaysia, and South Korea.  They’re not lying when they say their panels have German engineering, but these days they’re made nowhere near that country.  While they now have very little to do with Germany, they are quality panels we can recommend.

China Makes Many Good Panels – And Some Bad Ones

Just because a solar panel was made in China doesn’t mean it isn’t good.  A panel’s quality depends on the manufacturer, not the country of origin.  The majority of panels produced in China are good quality but these are not made by companies that decided to mislead people into thinking their panels come from another country.  

Here’s a chart of panel brands we can recommend because they’re reliable and well-supported in Australia.  Most are made in China.

Sprichst Du Deutsch?

This photograph of the labels on the back of a panel produced by German Solar AG clearly shows the country of origin, as Australian law requires, while also showing the effort the company took to pass themselves off as German.  The technical details are all written in German despite it being sold in Australia.

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 SolarQuotes.com.au. My last “real job” was working for the CSIRO in their renewable energy division. Since 2009 more than 750,000 Australians have used my site to get quotes for high quality PV systems from pre-vetted solar installers.

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