A numerical method to determine the cell parameters from the analysis of the J–V characteristics of a polymer solar cell is proposed. This method uses the equations given by the diode model, experimental data from the literature, and an adequate fitting procedure with seven fit parameters. Different aspects of the obtained results are discussed. Information concerning cell design optimization is also obtained. The method is of general application in the field of polymer solar cells, as well as to any kind of diode-like cell. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.