Batteries in Series and Parallel Revisited

Wednesday, 2 November 2016  |  AdrianR

  This is a popular historical Blog post created on one of our external Blogs. Revisited and transferred to the store Blog for information and Good Working Practice reasons. The post highlights important features that try to address bad practices, some of which became apparent within the mobile home and boating communities as requirements for additional electrical equipment increased. The introduction of The Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) Certificate again highlighted a common misunderstanding of battery connectivity, one of those topics we will touch on here.

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

  A popular misconception, especially in the houseboat community, is the subject of joining batteries together in Parallel and using the size of the existing cable as an adequate size and format. They were often used as a pattern for sourcing additional cables to create a "Battery bank". The truth of joining batteries together in Parallel is that the batteries' Ampere Hour (Ah) is increased. Therefore, a new set of heavier-duty cables are usually required to avoid the wires potentially burning out.

Associated products for creating Battery Banks can be found in the "Automotive Terminals", "Automotive Cable", and the "Battery Shop Products" sections.

 

Batteries Joined in Series

Batteries Joined in Series

Batteries joined together in Series: have the effect of doubling the voltage, and the Ampere Hour 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 Ampere Hour, and 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 Bank's 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 Bank's 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 from a qualified tradesperson.

 

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