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Corporation
ENERGY & UTILITIES | Renewables / Solar
bloosolar.com

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Stage

Series B - II | Dead

Total Raised

$22.93M

Last Raised

$6.83M

About Bloo Solar

Bloo Solar designs, develops and manufactures solar photovoltaic (PV) modules. Bloo Solar is a third generation solar technology that is designed to optimize PV performance by converting more of the sunlight that strikes our modules into electricity utilizing a novel three-dimensional substrate structure. By utiizing a three-dimensional, single-junction solar cell, efficiency increases and total daily power output is significantly greater than current technologies.

Bloo Solar Headquarter Location

5000 Robert J Mathews Parkway

El Dorado Hills, California, 95762,

United States

916-939-4240

Latest Bloo Solar News

Bloo Solar: Startup Exploring 3D Features and Nanostructures Closing Shop

Nov 14, 2016

A brief obituary of a solar startup that “discovered” the “volumetric effect?” by Eric Wesoff Photo Credit: Gonzo Carles Creative Commons A brief obituary of a solar startup that “discovered” the “volumetric effect?” by Eric Wesoff 0 GTM has charted the rise and fall of more than 150 solar startups . A few failed magnificently but most of the others just faded away -- victims of greed, sloth, pride or any of the other deadly startup sins. Bloo Solar falls into the latter category -- the one where investors don't perform adequate due diligence and the company goes forward with a technology based on a collective self-deception. Sources close to the company claim that the startup is winding down and selling off its assets. We've reached out to CEO Larry Bawden for comment but have not yet received a response. The startup originated with IP from UC Davis based on nano-structured silicon and later aimed at building nano-structured “bristles” with cadmium telluride as the PV absorber material. More recently the company settled on amorphous silicon as the PV absorber. Bloo claimed that "each bristle in the brush is an individual solar cell with a conductive core that converts and channels energy efficiently to a conductive backplane. " According to Bloo, the technology's advantages over existing planar solar cells included more optical volume, better light trapping and minimized recombination by providing a long photon absorption path and a short carrier collection path. Bloo also claimed that the energy yield of its cell could be "2 to 3 times higher than current technologies. " That claim would serve as a red flag to anyone with a bit of solar technology experience. Bloo Solar's patent portfolio included "Methods for forming nanostructures and photovoltaic cells implementing same" with an abstract citing "a photovoltaic nanostructure [that] includes an electrically conductive nanocable coupled to a first electrode, a second electrode extending along at least two sides of the nanocable, and a photovoltaically active p-n junction formed between the nanocable and the second electrode. " Acadia Woods Partners was the main investor in Bloo, with about $20 million deployed over the last decade. Acadia Woods is helmed by Jeff Samberg , son of Art Samberg of Pequot Capital Management, at one time one of the world's larger hedge funds with over $15 billion under management. Art Samberg is also chairman of the board at Tri Alpha Energy , a fusion energy science project. The "volumetric effect? " I spoke with a half-dozen ex-employees of Bloo -- none wishing to be quoted or quoted with attribution. Some common themes emerged: frustration; wasteful spending; people were "misled" with "no path forward. " There were tales of difficult firings, early employees in acrimonious relationships with management, an idiosyncratic physicist (more descriptive words were used) and an inept top leadership, unfamiliar with the laws of thermodynamics. From a technological standpoint, the company had to shift from its early materials experiments with cadmium telluride to a more manufacturable "meta materials" platform depositing amorphous silicon on microimprinted polymer structures. Along the way, the company acquired an expensive cluster computer to perform computational modeling to determine if the company's "belief" in a "novel" theory of light absorption on a 3D structure, dubbed the "volumetric effect," was real. Sources familiar with the firm said that there was improved "absorption of photons in the infrared band-edge on a 3D structure compared to a similarly thick (or thin) planar absorber" but not the improvement leading to 2x or 3x improvement in energy yield claimed by the company's leadership. Sources told GTM that the company's "volumetric effect" was not in accord with photonic theory. Technologists that worked for the firm said that the real value proposition for the company was not improved efficiency, but rather the ability to use thinner absorber layers by extending the photon absorption path length and decreasing the carrier collection distance. Lessons learned? So, is there anything to be learned from this disaster? Almost all the Bloo sources spoke of the need for investors to do better vetting of technologies -- using credible solar industry experts. Sources regretted their own lack of vetting in taking jobs at the company. This was deep science requiring fundamental research -- not the typical domain of venture investors. The startup was never able to attract any traditional venture capital and when the one large investor lost interest, it was lights out.

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Expert Collections containing Bloo Solar

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

Bloo Solar is included in 2 Expert Collections, including Renewable Energy.

R

Renewable Energy

2,726 items

Includes companies working on technology to support renewable energy generation.

S

Solar

1,123 items

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

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