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The characterization and design of photovoltaic systems is a difficult issue due to the variable operation atmospheric conditions. With this aim, simulators and measurement equipments have been proposed. However, most of them do not deal with real atmospheric conditions. This letter proposes an electronic device that first measures the real evolution of the I-V characteristic curves of photovoltaic modules and generators, and then physically emulates in real time these curves to test photovoltaic inverters. The device consists of a dc-dc converter, a microcontroller and a data storage unit. The two operation modes (emulation and measurement) are digitally driven by the microcontroller. The converter current is controlled by means of a variable-hysteresis control loop, whose reference is provided by the microcontroller. In addition, a digital voltage control loop is designed to find out the complete characteristic curves of the photovoltaic generators. A 15-kW prototype is designed and built that can measure three times per second the characteristic curves of up to seven generators and then emulate their electrical behavior to test photovoltaic inverters. With the proposed device, the optimal configuration and performance of photovoltaic modules and generators, as well as the operation of photovoltaic inverters can be thoroughly analyzed under real atmospheric conditions.