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Banyan Energy

Founded Year



Series B | Alive

Total Raised


Last Raised

$2.8M | 11 yrs ago

About Banyan Energy

Banyan is developing a set of optics to concentrate sunlight within a PV module. The company claims their optics platform can achieve concentration levels ranging from 2x up to 500x. Banyan's first product is a low-concentration module.

Headquarters Location

950 Gilman Street Suite 800

Berkeley, California, 94710,

United States


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Expert Collections containing Banyan Energy

Expert Collections are analyst-curated lists that highlight the companies you need to know in the most important technology spaces.

Banyan Energy is included in 1 Expert Collection, including Renewable Energy.


Renewable Energy

4,019 items

This collection contains upstream and downstream solar companies, as well as those who manufacture and sell products that are powered by solar technology.

Banyan Energy Patents

Banyan Energy has filed 8 patents.

patents chart

Application Date

Grant Date


Related Topics




Geometrical optics, Photovoltaics, Optical devices, Fiber optics, Solar thermal energy


Application Date


Grant Date



Related Topics

Geometrical optics, Photovoltaics, Optical devices, Fiber optics, Solar thermal energy



Latest Banyan Energy News

Green Jobs: SolarCity’s Hiring Surge, Plus Ampulse, Banyan, Aquamarine

Jul 7, 2012

This is not a green jobs openings column; there are already a number of those. The aim of this regular column is to track the comings and goings of senior staff in the green energy and environmental field. But sometimes a jobs announcement is too compelling not to announce. In a solar industry in transition, with daily news of consolidation and attrition , SolarCity's hiring situation warrants notice. The solar and energy efficiency installer and financier has more than 300 job openings across the country, according to its website . SolarCity hired 100 new employees in June to bring its total workforce to more than 1,900 in 14 states. U.S. solar capacity doubled in 2011 over 2012, and increased 85 percent in the first quarter of 2012 over the same period in 2011, according to GTM Research . Much of the job growth has come in the downstream installation and financing sector. An analysis of the potential SolarCity IPO here . Banyan Energy , a developer of solar concentrator optics, named Rusty Schmit as CEO. Schmit founded Advent Solar , an emitter wrap-through solar firm acquired by Applied Materials (Nasdaq: AMAT) in 2009. In the aftermath of the Abound Solar bankruptcy , we'll be seeing a lot of Abound employees moving to new positions. Former Abound VP President of Global Sales Erik Mikysa is now VP of Business Development at Ampulse , a startup which claims that the firm’s "c-Si thin-film technology takes advantage of HW-CVD techniques to directly deposit a very thin layer of c-Si onto a uniquely textured and flexible metal substrate. "   Former SunPower COO Dennis Arriola returned to his previous employer, Southern California Gas, as Chief Operating Officer. Southern California Gas is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility and a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Wave energy developer Aquamarine Power named Paul Capell as its new chairman. Aquamarine Power’s technology is a wave-powered pump which pushes high pressure water to drive a conventional onshore hydro-electric turbine. The firm is developing a commercial 40-megawatt wave farm off the coast of Lewis in Scotland. Shareholders include SSE (Scottish and Southern Energy) and ABB.

Banyan Energy Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • When was Banyan Energy founded?

    Banyan Energy was founded in 2005.

  • Where is Banyan Energy's headquarters?

    Banyan Energy's headquarters is located at 950 Gilman Street, Berkeley.

  • What is Banyan Energy's latest funding round?

    Banyan Energy's latest funding round is Series B.

  • How much did Banyan Energy raise?

    Banyan Energy raised a total of $4.97M.

  • Who are the investors of Banyan Energy?

    Investors of Banyan Energy include E8 Angels, Acero Capital, next47 and National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

  • Who are Banyan Energy's competitors?

    Competitors of Banyan Energy include Solaria, SunLink, Meridian Deployment Corporation, M V Systems, Anteos and 12 more.

Compare Banyan Energy to Competitors

Concentrator Optics

Concentrator Optics offers solutions encompassing design, prototyping and manufacturing of optical elements for the solar industry. The company's speciality are Fresnel lens parquets for concentrating photovoltaics (CPV). The company's customers benefit from the company's experts' competence gained through academic research on nonimaging optics and commercial development of solar applications. The company accompanied several solar projects from design to the market. The company's goal is the technology leadership in the solar lens market. research is an integral part of the company's strategy to ensure sustainable growth on a technology basis.


Accustrata is a company that received a SBIR Phase IB grant for a project entitled: Real time optical control system for thin film solar cell manufacturing. Their research project relates to a real-time optical control system in the manufacture of next generation thin film solar cells and panels. The proposed system improves thin film solar cell manufacturing by improving the quality of the individual solar cells and panels. It allows manufacturing of more consistent and uniform products resulting in higher solar conversion efficiency and manufacturing yield. The proposed system uses patented miniature fiber optic sensors, installed at many locations in the film deposition chambers. They monitor different spots on the substrate and obtain real time measurements of film properties. The system compares the measured with the targeted values and provides immediate correction, improving film uniformity and narrowing material property distribution. It returns most of the products to their targeted specification, which would otherwise be rejected. This proposal will reduce waste and improve the manufacturing yield and the conversion efficiency of thin film solar cells and panels. It has specific benefits for the large-size solar panels, which are manufactured at higher cost today due to insufficient manufacturing yield. The proposed technology will reduce the time it takes for solar panels to reach grid parity with traditional energy sources. The proposed technology will also facilitate the development of numerous other applications for next generation thin film based products such as photonic crystals, nanotechnology, meta-materials, multi-junction solar cells, printing and counterfeiting control. This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5).

Gratings Incorporated

Gratings Incorporated is a company that received a STTR Phase I grant for a project entitled: High Efficiency Thin-film Photovoltaics on Low-cost Substrates by Layer Transfer. Their their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and their project will apply high aspect ratio, nm-scale, columnar, and crystalline Si structures as templates for high-quality growth of thin-film GaAs solar cells on low-cost flexible substrates. Sub-10-nm Si seed layers are expected to facilitate growth of low-defect density GaAs films. The aspect ratio of nm-scale structures also serve as sacrificial layers for removal of completed GaAs solar cell. Epitaxial growth and characterization of GaAs films on nm-scale Si structures will be carried out at the Center for High Technology at the University of New Mexico. Successful phase I STTR research will lead to commercialization of high (~ 20 %) efficient, flexible solar cells for applications in a wide range of terrestrial and space environments. Multiple substrate re-use and inherent large area processing capability of Si will result in significant cost reductions. High quality heteroepitaxial GaAs growth on Si has been a subject of intense research. Due to its direct bandgap, GaAs is attractive for a number of optoelectronics applications and its integration with Si-based microelectronics has been a cherished goal. The lattice and thermal expansion mismatches with Si make it difficult to grow good device quality layers. We have recently demonstrated as the Si seed dimension is reduced below 100 nm dimensions, the quality of heteroepitaxial growth increases rapidly. The nm-scale Si structures are formed using low-cost, large area methods based on conventional integrated circuit processing methods. Successful research effort will lead to reduction in PV generation costs, and enhanced applicability of thin-film PV in terrestrial and space environments because in contrast with competing thin-film solar cells, GaAs thin-film solar cells will not suffer from light-induced performance degradation.

Menova Energy

The Power-Spar is a high efficiency solar concentrator that can be configured for electricity, heat, cooling and/or lighting solutions. The Power-Spar system consists of a parabolic trough reflector which concentrates the sun's energy onto a modular absorber. The absorber converts the sun's energy to electricity (via high efficiency multi-sun photovoltaic cells), or to heat (via a patented absorption surface) or transports the light to the buildings' interior (via optical cabling). The system is designed for easy integration with heat recovery systems, turbines, thermal based chillers and geo-thermal solutions to maximize the thermal, electrical and lighting outputs. This efficient co-generation yields unprecedented dollar value. Capable of capturing up to 80% of the sun's energy, Power- Spar systems can reduce typical building energy bills by as much as 70%/year!

AOS Solar

AOS Solar was started in 2005 to combine the material cost and manufacturing process economics of thin film solar PV with the efficiency and reliability of crystalline silicon solar PV. The company have an initial prototype solar coupon built and tested using technology. nnThe company's key enablers to achieve market traction are the cost and reliability of the company's product. The silicon on glass (SOG) technology the company are developing will enable solar panels costing around $1/watt to manufacture on the company's pilot line, with lower costs as the company ramp up production due to manufacturing efficiencies and learning curve. Solar silicon is an established technology with proven 20+ year life (versus newer thin film technologies). nnToday the company have working coupons at 7.5% efficiency and the company are working to scale up to larger cells with target 9% efficiency in Q-1, 2008. The company's form factor and efficiency limits are based on first generation technology. By scaling the company's manufacturing and improving the company's technology the company expect to achieve 16 - 18% efficiency in a single junction and 22 - 24% efficiency in a double junction module. nnThe company's A round funding will be used to continue development of the company's equipment / process technology in order to manufacture on larger substrates (2.5' x 4' glass) and to design a scaled up manufacturing line (30+MW annual capacity) based on this development.


Tisol is a company that received a SBIR Phase I grant for a project entitled: Scalable fabrication of mesoporous thin-films for production of efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. Their project aims to apply a specialized method to develop a rapid, large-scale and inexpensive thin film deposition technology. The goal is to enable the low-cost mass production and maintain the optimized nanostructures and film properties of efficient dye-sensitized solar cells. The broader societal/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to reduce production costs of materials used in dye-sensitized solar cells. Compared to other solar cell technologies, dye-sensitized solar cell technology has the potential of (1) low cost due to the abundance of elements that constitute the cell; (2) lightweight thus reduced installation cost and enhanced flexibility. However, recent advances in photovoltaics industry set a cost standard of < $1/Watt. If dye-sensitized solar cells were to be at par with current technologies on the market, the cost of thin film deposition has to be reduced. This project targets on the development of a high-throughput and large-scale thin film deposition process, which will make the solar electricity via dye-sensitized technology more cost-effective and thus more available.

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