Sponsored by Lane Powell

Next: Cheaper solar panels

| Print |  Email
Articles - September 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
0910_Next01

Portland State University chemistry professor Carl Wamser is figuring out a way to create solar panels that could be inexpensive enough to install on every house. The current process that uses silicon, the main element of a solar panel, is expensive. Wamser has found a cheaper substitute: an organic molecule called porphyrin, which is purple and acts like chlorophyll. Breaking down porphyrin into a usable form is easier and thus cheaper.

“Silicon has been engineered to death. It is energy intensive and expensive,” says Wamser.

Once created, the porphyrin cells will be rolled onto thin, pliable sheets and put between layers of other conductor materials. During manufacturing, silicon cylinders waste 40% of the product; the porphyrin sheets would produce no waste.

The research is funded by a $492,000 three-year National Science Foundation grant and a $200,000 two-year grant from the Oregon Nanoscience and Microtechnologies Institute. Wamser’s product is five to 10 years away from completion, but someday Wamser hopes to see “something like this on every home.”

Josey Bartlett
 

More Articles

Game On

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

The big news at Oregon Business is we’re getting a ping pong table. After reading the descriptions of the 2015 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon, a disproportionate number of which feature table tennis in the office, I decided it was time to bring our own workplace into the 21st century. It was a tough call, but it’s lonely at the top, and someone has to make the hard decisions.


Read more...

MBA Perspective

February 2015
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
BY KIM MOORE

Robin Anderson, dean of the Pamplin School of Business, University of Portland: "You need people who are comfortable leading in ambiguity."


Read more...

Chronicling Gov. Kitzhaber's march to resignation

The Latest
Wednesday, February 11, 2015
021115-kitzhaber-jekaplan14-thumbBY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Recapping a wild week featuring plenty of will he or won't he resign drama.


Read more...

5 companies react to lower fuel prices

The Latest
Thursday, January 15, 2015
thumb-shutterstock 233787049BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

Consumers love the savings they get from low oil prices, but how has business been affected?


Read more...

The 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon

March 2015
Thursday, February 26, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Employment in Oregon is almost back up to prerecession levels — and employers are having to work harder to entice talented staff to join their ranks. This year’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon project showcases the kind of quality workplaces that foster happy employees. 


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


Read more...

ZoomCare rolls out new on-demand health clinics

News
Monday, March 02, 2015
zoomcarethumbBY KIM MOORE |  OB RESEARCH EDITOR

Portland-based healthcare provider ZoomCare said it plans to “remake American healthcare” by expanding its on-demand urgent care model to emergency, surgery, dental and primary care, among others.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS