CORRECTING and REPLACING HelioVolt Receives $8 Million from New Enterprise Associates to Develop Fast Thin-Film Solar Technology for Power Buildings
The corrected release reads:
“I have real confidence in the science”
HELIOVOLT RECEIVES $8 MILLION FROM NEW ENTERPRISE ASSOCIATES TO DEVELOP FAST THIN-FILM SOLAR TECHNOLOGY FOR POWER BUILDINGS
HelioVolt Corporation, a next-generation solar energy technology company, announced today that it has closed $8 million in Series A venture funding from New Enterprise Associates (NEA) of Menlo Park, California, one of the industry's premier venture capital firms.
"We are introducing a dramatically more efficient way to manufacture and install CIS, the proven highest-performing solar technology," said Billy J. Stanbery, Ph.D., founder and CEO of HelioVolt and a solar energy pioneer. "We can shorten photovoltaic manufacturing time and thermal budget by a factor of ten to 100. This is the first truly practical technology to enable buildings to produce their own power."
HelioVolt has invented the fastest and most efficient way to manufacture thin film photovoltaic platforms surfaced with Copper Indium Selenide (CIS), the most reliable and best-performing thin film material for generating electricity from sunlight. HelioVolt's FASST(TM) technology can apply CIS coatings to traditional construction materials including steel, architectural glass and roofing, in custom shapes, sizes and tints.
The attractive and durable CIS coating looks much like slate, and can be incorporated into exterior cladding for buildings including metal and polymer roofing, skylights, and curtain walls, creating a new class of PV construction materials that could not be made with silicon. FASST(TM) will enable architects and contractors to use a building's "skin" to self-power it, a practice called "building-integrated photovoltaics" (BIPV) or creating smart "power buildings."
NEA partner Arno Penzias, Ph.D., a Nobel-prize-winning physicist, discovered HelioVolt when he heard Dr. Stanbery speak on solar energy in late 2004. "I have real confidence in the science," said Penzias. "CIS is the PV gold standard for replacing silicon. BJ Stanbery is the best person in the world to bring this to market in creative new ways."
Another enthusiastic proponent of HelioVolt at NEA, Jimmy Treybig, the founder of Tandem Computers, commented: "The whole energy sector is a tremendous opportunity. We're obviously going to have to replace petroleum with solar energy -- we've all just been waiting for a breakthrough in practicality. Now HelioVolt has made it."
HelioVolt's manufacturing advancement, FASST(TM) (field-assisted simultaneous synthesis and transfer), reduces by as much as two orders of magnitude the amount of time needed to create high quality CIS photovoltaic solar-conversion devices, thus reducing the heat and energy used. This huge reduction in the thermal budget required in manufacturing transforms the net energy payback. HelioVolt has been issued eight patents for FASST(TM) so far.
Scott Sandell, NEA General Partner, said, "This is a company that can change the world by making economically attractive photovoltaic cells for the building materials industry. The DOE has estimated that as much as 50% of the USA's electrical power generation could come from photovoltaics deployed on roofs and exterior glass in homes and commercial buildings."
FASST(TM) is a standardized, high-volume, high-throughput manufacturing method that is similar to a combination of two processes used in conventional semiconductor manufacturing: rapid thermal processing and anodic bonding. First, a base chemical is applied to a substrate such as metal or glass. Another chemical layer is applied with a reusable tool similar to a printing plate. The two plates are brought together in the presence of an electrical field, and a rapid and controlled chemical reaction takes place that produces the high-quality CIS photovoltaic layer on the substrate.
Previous thin-film approaches based on amorphous silicon suffer from low efficiency and degrade over time in the sun. DSSC (dye-sensitized solar cells) are at an early stage of development, still have low efficiencies, and their durability is unproven. These polymer-based thin-films are not inherently stable, chemically, and may degrade in a relatively short period of time, making them best suited for short-term applications such as consumer electronics. CIS is an inherently chemically stable and uniquely nanostructured material that delivers high levels of energy conversion. Via FASST(TM), CIS can be cost-effectively produced on a very large scale, and offers useful lifetimes comparable to crystalline silicon. CIS thin-film platforms require only 1% as much photovoltaic material as silicon to convert the same amount of sunlight into electricity.
HelioVolt Corporation was founded in 2001 in order to develop and market new technology for depositing thin-film photovoltaic coatings on conventional construction materials. Billy J. Stanbery, Ph.D., founder, president and CEO of HelioVolt, has 25 years' experience in both the technical and business aspects of photovoltaics. Dr. Stanbery is an eminent expert within the international PV community in the materials science of CIS and related compound semiconductors. Dr. Stanbery led a PV group while at the Boeing Company, where he conducted much of CIS solar technology's initial research. At Boeing, he registered seven patents in thin film PV device technology, and designed, manufactured and successfully deployed PV devices for spacecraft. Dr. Stanbery's team achieved and has held since 1990 the world record in multi-junction thin film cell efficiency. For additional information, visit http://www.heliovolt.com.
New Enterprise Associates (NEA) is a leading venture capital firm focused on helping entrepreneurs create and build major new enterprises that use technology to improve the way we live, work and play. Since its founding in 1978, the firm has followed the same basic principles: support their entrepreneurs, provide an excellent return to their limited partners and practice their profession with high standards and respect. Practicing classic venture capital for over 25 years, NEA focuses on early stage investments, playing an active role in assisting management to build companies of lasting value. With $6 billion under management, NEA's experienced management team has invested in over 500 companies, of which more than 149 have gone public and more than 195 have been acquired. NEA has offices in Menlo Park, California, Reston, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland. For additional information, visit http://www.nea.com.