College of Engineering News • Iowa State University

Solar panels from Ames firm to aid Japan disaster victims

PowerFilm Solar, an Ames company that makes flexible solar panels, is sending several of its products to Japan to help people who lost their homes in the earthquake and tsunami this month.

From its beginning, the company has been tied to Iowa State University and the College of Engineering. The founders were given incubator space at the old nuclear reactor building west of campus to launch the company. With funding from NASA and the Department of Energy through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, they subcontracted to the university to cover research Ames Lab physicist and Iowa State professor Howard Shanks and electrical and computer engineering professor Vikram Dalal were doing to further develop and improve the solar cells.

Read about PowerFilm Solar’s humble beginnings and plans to provide relief to Japan.