2337 230th Street
Ames, IA 50014
PowerFilm, Inc. is a developer and manufacturer of thin, flexible solar modules based on a proprietary low-cost production process. The company's primary objective is to target the building integrated solar power market and supply products for selected portable and remote solar power applications as well as custom and OEM solar module markets.
PowerFilm was founded in 1988 by Dr. Frank Jeffrey and Dr. Derrick Grimmer, former 3M research physicists with a combined 65 years of experience in semiconductor and solar energy research and development. PowerFilm is based in the state of Iowa in the U.S.
Thin, Flexible Solar Panels
Since 1988, PowerFilm has focused on developing thin film solar module technology through an industrial scale manufacturing process. The result: low-cost solar modules on a high volume basis. Elements of the company's low-cost technology and manufacturing process include the use of:
- a durable, flexible plastic substrate
- roll-to-roll manufacturing to minimize handling costs
- amorphous silicon to avoid dependence on the silicon wafer market cycle
- printed interconnection to automate the cell connection process.
PowerFilm is in the process of expanding production capacity to meet the rapidly growing demand for solar products in today's alternative power source marketplace.
Thin Film Electronics for Next Generation Flat Panel Displays
In addition to its solar module products, PowerFilm has sought to leverage its core roll-to-roll manufacturing competence to develop additional thin film semiconductor devices.
The company has formed a partnership with Hewlett Packard Corporation , one of the world's leading technology companies. The joint venture is specifically for the development of flexible, low-cost backplane drivers for next generation flat panel displays. This development program has been funded by the
U.S. Display Consortium .
While the project is still in the research and development phase, it may enable the company to play a significant role in the future market for flat panel display technology. Future applications for PowerFilm's thin film semiconductor expertise also potentially include RFID tags and electronic paper.