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The work described in this paper was carried out as part of the development of an advanced solar photovoltaic (PV) conversion system. During the design of the system, simulation of both the power chain and the control algorithms was found to be useful, but to simulate a system as a whole requires a non-application specific circuit-based simulation model of a PV array for a simulator such as Saber, or the well known SPICE. There were found to be no such models readily available and thus the development of one became necessary. This work successfully sought to develop a cheap, but effective system to characterize existing cells and generate the device-dependent data that provides the link between the environmental variables irradiance and temperature, and the electrical characteristics of the device.