I've been planning on putting together a laser tag system and one of the big concerns I have is that photoresistors/phototransistors have relatively small surface areas w/r/t a human body. On the other hand, solar panels have lots of surface area and the scrap ones are cheap enough to slap on a vest.
I've been doing some digging and I found this video where some students at a university manage to detect a modulated laser with a solar panel. They don't mention much in the way of parameters however. I don't know if it was a consumer grade laser pointer or if it was a commercial grade laser, for example. Neither do I know if the panel was extremely sensitive or if it was just any cheap panel they had around.
So I've come with questions. What are the basics of working with solar panels in terms of output characteristics? What equations do I need to know?
Second, does anyone have experience with either lasers or panels (preferably both) who might be able to point out any obvious pitfalls I've overlooked.