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Hi,For greatest efficiency, you could use a MOSFET as the diode. It will have a lower voltage drop than even the best Schottky and with a little extra circuit, it can be the active part of the regulator => max efficiency possible.
Look into switching regulators.
Works perfectly once i had a panel suiting my rating. Used a zener coupled with a normal diode.
Just that the panel is taking the longest time to reach its peak voltage everytime...