Real-time simulation and rapid prototyping of power electronics, critical loads, and control systems have prompted recent interest in accurate electrical terminal models of photovoltaic (PV) panels and array systems. Advancement in computing technologies, such as parallel computing and digital signal processing techniques for real-time simulations have allowed the prototyping of novel apparatus to be investigated in a virtual system under a wide range of realistic conditions repeatedly, safely, and economically. This paper accesses numerical iteration methods, selects appropriate techniques, and combines them with model construction methods well suited for boosting the computational speed of an electro-thermal dynamic model of a PV panel. The target computational engine is a parallel processor based real-time simulator to be used in a power hardware-in-the-loop (PHIL) application. Significant improvements resulting from the proposed modeling approach in computation time and numerical convergence speed are verified using experimental results for the target PV panel using Opal-RT's RT-Lab Matlab/Simulink based real-time engineering simulator. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.