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Series B - II | Dead

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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.

Headquarters Location

5000 Robert J Mathews Parkway

El Dorado Hills, California, 95762,

United States




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 1 Expert Collection, including Renewable Energy.


Renewable Energy

4,443 items

Companies in the Renewable Energy space, including solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, and nuclear energy providers, as well as related software developers.

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.

Bloo Solar Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  • Where is Bloo Solar's headquarters?

    Bloo Solar's headquarters is located at 5000 Robert J Mathews Parkway, El Dorado Hills.

  • What is Bloo Solar's latest funding round?

    Bloo Solar's latest funding round is Series B - II.

  • How much did Bloo Solar raise?

    Bloo Solar raised a total of $22.93M.

  • Who are the investors of Bloo Solar?

    Investors of Bloo Solar include Acadia Woods Partners and National Science Foundation.

  • Who are Bloo Solar's competitors?

    Competitors of Bloo Solar include Bossa Nova Vision, Trina Solar, Xantrex Technology, SolarBridge Technologies, PI Energy and 7 more.


Compare Bloo Solar to Competitors


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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.

Solarno Incorporated

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Anteos is a company that received a SBIR Phase II grant for a project entitled: Relief-Free Infrared Diffractive Optics Based on Semiconductor Materials. Their award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5) and their project will develop a new generation of relief-free thin-plate components of diffractive optics operating in the infrared region of spectrum. The diffractive optics employs volume phase holographic structures, which are optically recorded in semiconductor materials transparent at the infrared wavelengths using proprietary process of photo-modification for producing dramatic change of the material refractive index under illumination with low intensity light. Phase I of this project proved feasibility of the proposed concept by demonstrating photo modification of ZnSe infrared material and fabricating the first model components. The developed technology can be immediately applied to fabrication of diffractive optics, volume phase holographic gratings, and phase retardation plates for wavelengths up to 1.9 m, as well as antireflection layers for wavelengths up to 8 m. In Phase II project the technology will be optimized and applied to fabrication of the prototype components of infrared diffractive optics operating at longer wavelengths, including the important wavelength of CO2 laser 10.6 m and windows of atmospheric transparency 3-5 and 8-12 m. The developed photo-modification process is highly adaptable and creates a rich technology platform for fabrication of a broad range of products for a large variety of markets. Successful implementation of this technology will result in a new generation of high efficiency relief-free infrared diffractive optics and sub-wavelength components, including diffraction gratings, beam splitters, beam shapers, semiconductor materials with artificial birefringence, phase retardation plates and wave plates. The relief-free components of infrared diffractive optics based on semiconductor materials are capable to withstand high light intensities and perform complicated light management functions. Another important application is the fabrication of highly stable anti-reflection (AR) layers on infrared semiconductor optics. The market for infrared diffractive optics includes defense and airspace industry, laser industry, spectral devices, sensors and detectors, night vision optics, industrial process control, material processing, cutting and welding, environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics and surgery. Anteos is a company that received a SBIR Phase II grant for a project entitled: High-Efficiency Nanocomposite Photovoltaics and Solar Cells. Their project is focused on development of an innovative technology for fabrication of high-efficiency thin film nanocomposite photovoltaic materials and solar cells taking advantage of the recently discovered effect of carrier multiplication in semiconductor nanocrystals. The proposed concept employs smart design of the solar cells providing fast and effective spatial separation of electrons and holes photo-generated in the nanocrystals. The proposed reach nanotechnology platform solves the challenging problem of electrical communications with nanoscale objects, such as nanocrystals, nanorods, nanowires, nanotubes, etc. It can be employed for development of many other nanocomposite optoelectronic devices having numerous commercial and military applications. If successful the development of new generation of high-efficiency photovoltaic materials and solar cells based on the demonstrated technology will have broad impact on the entire solar energy industry resulting in considerable energy savings and environmental protection. The technology has great commercialization potential and niche market. The proposed all-inorganic, high-efficiency, thin film, flexible nanostructured photovoltaic materials and solar cells, which can operate in extreme environment conditions and offer significant mass and volume savings, are ideally suitable for numerous applications, including power generating residential rooftops, power supplies for utility grid, emergency signals and telephones, water pumps, activate switches, battery chargers, residential and commercial lighting, etc.

Jem Enterprises

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Gratings Incorporated

Gratings Incorporated specializes in the integration of nanostructures for renewable energy applications within the solar energy sector. The company offers products and services that include the development of c-Si based renewable energy technologies and LabVIEW-based characterization tools. Gratings Incorporated primarily serves sectors that require advanced solar cell technology and renewable energy microgrids. It is based in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


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