Bob Oswald, who headed up research efforts at BP Solar and Solarex over the past two decades, has joined as chief technology officer.
HelioVolt specializes in copper-indium-gallium-selenium solar technology. CIGS can be added to roof tiling or siding inconspicuously and thereby turn these building materials into energy-harvesting devices. CIGS, according to proponents, is more efficient and durable than the flexible solar panels (which harvest solar energy through photovoltaic dyes) promoted by some other start-ups. CIGS cells are also far less obtrusive and could become cheaper over time than traditional solar cells. The company received $8 million in funding from, among others, New Enterprise Associates in June.