The BLK ML-G9 AC is a 132 half-cell Mono-PERC solar panel from Q Cells featuring an attractive all-black design equipped with an Enphase microinverter on the rear. It can deliver up to 385 W of power and reaches a conversion efficiency of up to 20.1%.

The module technologies employed make it one of the most powerful residential solar panels, while the microinverter technology makes it one of the best solar panels for handling shade.

When installing a solar power system, you must consider the solar panels you use. These PV system components will constantly be exposed to the elements, so only high-quality ones guarantee solar production reliably.

The BLK ML-G9 AC is one of many solar panels on the market. The question is whether this panel can deliver comparable performance to that of other brands. This detailed review of the BLK ML-G9 AC solar panel aims to find out. 

Read on for all the info!

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC?

The BLK ML-G9 AC is a high-density monocrystalline residential solar panel from Q Cells equipped at module level with Enphase microinverter technology.

The AC module, launched in late 2021, is simply a Q Cells BLK ML-G9 module with an Enphase IQ7+ microinverter on its rear.

  • The BLK ML-G9 is an aesthetically pleasing all-black module featuring Q Cells’ Q.ANTUM Duo-Z technology. It offers superior performance to earlier modules due to its zero-gap technology working in tandem with its dual and PERC cells.
  • The Enphase IQ7+ microinverter allows module-level inverters for DC-AC conversion. This also allows parallel connection of solar panels (instead of the standard series connection), preventing the low performance of a single panel from dragging down the performance of other panels.

Thus, with Q Cells’ innovative module technologies, the BLK ML-G9 AC has an efficiency of 20.1%, making it very reliable. It also has 132 cells (12 more cells than a standard module type), boosting its power output up to 380 W.

The BLK ML-G9 AC modules are equipped with microinverters and offer excellent partially shaded performance.

Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel Range 

The BLK ML-G9 AC solar panel range offers power classes of output between 375 to 380 W. 

You can buy this module in two power classes:

  • Q.Peak Duo BLK ML-G9 / AC 375,
  • Q.Peak Duo BLK ML-G9 / AC 380

Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel Technical Specifications 

As shown in its datasheet, the BLK ML-G9 AC is one of the best solar panels for power generation:

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel’s Power Output?

The BLK ML-G9 AC delivers a power output of between 375 W to 380 W. Thus, they are robust modules for domestic solar systems. They may even be suitable for small commercial projects.

With their high power potential, you won’t need as many modules for your solar PV system, and you’ll achieve a superior LCOE (Levelized Cost of Energy) to boot.

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel’s Efficiency?

The BLK ML-G9 AC modules break the 20% barrier to being high-efficiency modules. Their conversion efficiency ranges from 19.8% to 20.1%.

Generally, solar panels that convert up to 19% of the sunlight that falls on them are considered high-efficiency panels. 

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel’s Temperature Coefficient? Will it Perform Well in Australian Weather?

The temperature coefficient of the BLK ML-G9 AC solar module is -0.35% / °C, while its temperature tolerance is -40 to +85 °C.

Solar production drops when the temperature of panels exceeds 25 °C.

The temperature coefficient means that in every 1-degree increase of temperature (above the 25 °C threshold), the drop in solar production is only 0.35%. This means that the BLK ML-G9 AC solar panels perform well under high temperatures.

The temperature tolerance shows that the BLK ML-G9 AC performs handily in Australian weather. The temperature in Australia ranges from about 0 – 34 °C, which is within the modules’ temperature tolerance.

So, wherever you are in Australia, and whatever the season, the BLK ML-G9 AC solar panels function without any issues.

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panels’ Country of Origin?

Q Cells was founded in 1999 as a German company. After a 2012 takeover by the South Korean-based Hanwha Group, Q Cells is now headquartered in South Korea and operates as a subsidiary of Hanwha Solutions.

Q Cells’ products, including this AC module, are engineered in Germany in the company’s engineering facility at Talheim. However, the company has manufacturing facilities in China, Malaysia, South Korea, and the US.

Will the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel Look Good on My Home?

In creating the BLK ML-G9 AC, Q Cells takes the high-performing, aesthetically pleasing all-black BLK ML-G9 and equips it with an Enphase microinverter. As such, the BLK ML-G9 AC retains the pleasing visuals of the BLK ML-G9 while also improving its performance through microinverter technology.

  • By implementing zero-gap technology, the BLK ML-G9 AC removes the spaces between cells that otherwise mar the appearance of solar panels.
  • Because of its all-black design, the BLK ML-G9 AC doesn’t have frames or busbars that noticeably contrast with the cells’ colour.

If you have a dark roof, the BLK ML-G9 AC will blend into it perfectly.

Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Solar Panel Key Features

  • Beautiful all-black design: The first thing you’ll notice about the BLK ML-G9 AC is its stunning all-black format, making it a visually superior panel.
  • Microinverter inclusion: Each AC module contains a microinverter for DC-AC conversion. The module-level inverter allows panels to be connected in parallel for improved performance under shading. 
  • Monocrystalline panels: The BLK ML-G9 AC is a monocrystalline panel. The cells of these panels are made from a single silicon crystal. As a result, they are purer than polycrystalline and thin-film panel cells and demonstrate higher performance metrics than either of these types.
  • Efficient PERC cells: Passivated Emitter and Rear Contact (PERC) technology includes a reflective layer at the back of the cells. When light passes through the solar cells and is not absorbed, the layer reflects the light onto the cells. So, PERC cells absorb light better to generate more electricity.
  • Better performing dual cells: The BLK ML-G9 AC is a 132 dual-cell panel. The technology splits the standard 66 cells panel into two. This creates more paths for the current to pass, reducing resistive losses and increasing yield. Dividing the solar cells also reduces the internal current, reducing the likelihood of hotspots.
  • Zero-gap technology: Unlike standard solar panels, the BLK ML-G9 AC doesn’t have any gaps between the cells. This allows more cells to be fitted, elevating module density and efficiency. 
  • Strong build: The BLK ML-G9 AC has an anodised aluminium frame and a 2.8 mm thick thermally pre-stressed glass covering, making it strong and able to withstand heavy snow loads (up to 5,400 Pa) and wind loads (up to 4,000 Pa).

What is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC’s Warranty?

The BLK ML-G9 AC has a 12-year product warranty and a 25-year performance warranty.

The product warranty promises that there’ll be no material or workmanship defect affecting performance for at least 12 years. The performance warranty promises that the modules will have at least 98% of nominal power at the end of the first year and at least 86% of nominal power at the end of 25 years.

These warranties are on par with those of the best PV module manufacturers.

Is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC a Tier 1 Solar Panel?

The BLK ML-G9 AC is manufactured by a Tier 1 solar panel manufacturer. So, it is a Tier 1 solar panel free of defects and ticks the right boxes in terms of performance and reliability.

For a brand to be a Tier 1 manufacturer, it’ll have a big reputation in the industry, state-of-the-art facilities, and manufacturing solar panels for at least five years. That is, Tier 1 manufacturers have the capacity to produce quality and reliable panels.

Is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC a CEC-Approved Panel?

At this time of writing (May 2022), the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC is not a CEC-approved panel. The modules are not among those listed as approved modules on the CEC website.

Australia’s renewable energy regulator (the Clean Energy Council) rigorously tests modules and lists those suitable for solar installations in the country. While the BLK ML-G9 AC is not yet listed, there’s no doubt it will soon.

Hanwha Q Cells is listed as an approved module manufacturer, and many of its modules are listed as approved, including all power classes of the BLK ML-G9.

That said, using a CEC-approved module like BLK ML-G9 AC qualifies you for federal government solar subsidies like the Small Scale Technology Certificates (STCs).

Is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Safe and Reliable?

The BLK ML-G9 AC has been independently tested and certified, making it one of the market’s safest solar panels. It is certified by IEC, an international body that publishes electrical and electronic technologies standards. The BLK ML-G9 AC has a high snow load capacity of 6,000 Pa and a wind load capacity of 4,000 Pa. 

It is also certified by TÜV Rheinland, which has arguably the most comprehensive testing programme in the solar industry.

The modules have incredible hot spot prevention ability and prevent common degradations like LID and LeTID. As a module-level inverter, high voltage won’t pass over your roof. These AC modules are also built strong enough to withstand handling stress and whatever the weather throws at it. 

Advantages and Disadvantages of the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC

The BLK ML-G9 AC has plenty of advantages:

  • An elegant all-black design.
  • High power output (365 to 385 watts of electricity).
  • Over 19% efficiency, they convert a high amount of sunlight to electrical energy.
  • Excellent shade tolerance, giving good yield under shading.
  • The electricity is transmitted at low voltage over your roof.
  • Excellent temperature behaviour, allowing for good yield even under hot temperatures.
  • Long-term yield security (because of offering protection against common degradation and hotspot).
  • Strong with an anodised frame and a tempered glass cover.
  • Extended warranties to give peace of mind.

On the other hand, the BLK ML-G9 AC doesn’t have many disadvantages at all:

  • The BLK ML-G9 is a monofacial solar panel. It can only collect light from one side.
  • This is a residential solar panel. It is not suitable for commercial or industrial solar systems.

Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Installation

The Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC installation is relatively straightforward, as it follows the same process as installing standard panels. The installation manual spells out the mounting, electrical, and safety requirements.

However, installing solar modules is not a DIY project. Engaging reputable solar installers (like Instyle Solar) is the only way to guarantee a quality, safe, reliable solar installation.

Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Compatibility with Inverters

A solar panel array is usually paired with an inverter in a solar system. When the PV modules generate solar electricity (direct current), the inverter converts it to a form that household appliances use (alternating current).

However, each BLK ML-G9 AC panel already has a micro-inverter for DC-AC conversion. So, there’s no need to worry about what solar inverter brands in Australia you should use. 

Is the Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC Worth it for Your Home? Our Opinion

The Q Cells BLK ML-G9 AC is a good value residential solar module. With dual PERC cells, zero-gap technology, microinverter technology, and more, the PV module is optimised to be efficient, give more solar electricity, and perform optimally in the long term and under different circumstances.

However, you’ll find more efficient residential panels from Canadian Solar delivering up to 405 W of power for more yield per square metre. For example, the HiKu and BiKu panels are some of the best solar panels in terms of performance and reliability.

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