GreenSun Energy, a research company in Tel Aviv, has developed new solar panels that use far less silicon than traditional silicon based solar cells and can generate power with non-direct sunlight. Most solar cells drop the amount of electricity they can generate by a significant amount during periods of shade or cloudy weather, not so the GreenSun Energy panels. The GreenSun Energy cells are made with fluorescent dyes and nanoparticle metals – when light (either direct or indirect sunlight) hits the panel, the nanoparticles concentrate the sunlight to the edges where the silicon is. The bright color of their solar panels allows them to capture different parts of the sun’s spectrum.
GreenSun Energy so far has gotten their solar power panels up to 12% efficiency and are currently working towards higher efficiencies. More importantly, they say that they can produce them for about half the price compared to traditional silicon based solar cells thereby making them much more affordable.
If you’re interested, visit the GreenSun Energy site