I see all forums recommending using a Schottky diode instead of a "normal" 1N4007 diode on parallel with each solar panel cell. Why a Schottky? You don't need speed here. And the voltage drop is about the same (0.7V-1V).

Schottky forward voltage (drop): PDF1, PDF2, Wikipedia

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    \$\begingroup\$ what makes you think the voltage drop is the same? 0.6-0.7 is a std diode, 0.15-0.45 is scottky. Operating current dependent \$\endgroup\$ – JonRB Jul 3 '16 at 9:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonRB-Wikipedia and the link provided shows forward voltage around 1V for scottky \$\endgroup\$ – Ultralisk Jul 3 '16 at 9:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ That's not a Schottky diode, try a 1N5... part. \$\endgroup\$ – pjc50 Jul 3 '16 at 9:41
  • \$\begingroup\$ @pjc50 - Thanks! That was my problem. Solved! \$\endgroup\$ – Ultralisk Jul 3 '16 at 9:44

No, the voltage drop is not about the same. Schottky diodes have half the voltage drop compared to otherwise equivalent full silicon diodes. And, that's the reason.

When a solar cell is dark, it is simply a silicon diode. The diode polarity is opposite the current flow when illuminated. For a series string of solar cells, a single cell in the dark blocks the current regardless of what the other cells are doing. Even worse, with enough other cells in series, the cell in the dark can be reverse biased to the point of destruction. A Schottky diode in parallel allows the current from other cells to bypass a dark cell, and limits the reverse bias voltage to a safe level.

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