Batteries in Series and Parallel Revisited

Sunday, 2 November 2014  | 

  This is a popular historical Blog post created on one of our external Blogs in 2010, revisited and transferred to the store Blog for information and good practice reasons. The post became an important feature, which tried to address bad practices that became apparent, particularly within the mobile home and boating communities as requirements of additional electrical equipment increased, highlighting the common misunderstandings of battery connectivity.

  One of the frequent questions to our help desk at Arc Components Limited, is the question about batteries linked in series and parallel and the effect of voltage and amperage output. To help we created a simple guide to show cause and effect of batteries joined together to form battery banks.

  A popular misconception (especially in the houseboat community) is when joining batteries together in parallel that the existing cables are adequate and reused, they are also often used as pattern for sourcing additional cables for the task of creating a battery bank. Whereas the truth of joining batteries together in parallel is that the Ah of the batteries is increased, therefore new heavier-duty cable is required to avoid the cables potentially burning out.

Associated products can be found in the automotive terminals, automotive cable and wiring products and battery shop products sections.

 

Batteries Joined in Series

Batteries Joined in Series

Batteries joined together in Series: have the effect of doubling the voltage, the Ah stays constant as the diagram above using identical batteries (of the same voltage and Ampere-hours) shows.
Configuration: 2 x 60Ah connected in series = 24V 60Ah output.
Ampere-Hour (Ah): The time that a battery can deliver (in an hour) the stated current (in Amperes), or the electric charge transferred by a steady current of one Ampere for one hour.

Batteries Joined in Parallel

Batteries Joined in Parallel

Batteries joined together in Parallel: have the effect of doubling the Ah, the voltage stays constant as the diagram above using identical batteries (of the same voltage and Ampere-hours) shows.
Configuration: 2 x 12V 60Ah connected in parallel = 12V 120Ah output.

Batteries Used in Series and Parallel Example 1

Batteries in Series and Parallel Example 1

Batteries joined together in Series and Parallel: the above diagram shows how we start to create a bank of batteries as we would use in principle on an EV (electric vehicle). By joining two battery banks (already linked in series) and connecting them in parallel, we increase the battery banks voltage and Ampere-hours.
Configuration: 4 x 12V 60Ah connected in series then connected in parallel = 24V 120Ah output.

Batteries Used in Series and Parallel Example 2

Batteries in Series and Parallel Example 2

Batteries joined together in Parallel and Series: the above diagram shows another way to create a bank of batteries. By joining two battery banks (already linked in parallel) and connecting them in series, we increase the battery banks voltage and Ampere-hours.
Configuration: 4 x 12V 60Ah connected in parallel and then in series = 24V 120Ah output.

  A technician could 'pull the guide up' for technicalities such as variables in cable length etc. We created the guide as a simple presentation to show the by-product of fitting additional batteries without preparation or consultation.

Originally posted: October 2010

This blog post was created: 2nd November 2014 and closed for comment 25th July 2015.