How To Connect Batteries In Series And Parallel

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connect batteries in series and parallel

Table of Contents

Key Takeaways:

  • Connect batteries in series to increase voltage, keeping capacity constant.
  • Use parallel for higher capacity, maintaining the same voltage.
  • Series-parallel combines both, increasing both voltage and capacity.
  • Ensure batteries are compatible for series/parallel connections.
  • Charging in series requires careful management to prevent imbalance.

Properly connecting batteries is crucial for optimizing power output and reliability across applications. Understanding series, parallel, and series-parallel configurations is essential.

In this post, we will explore battery connection methods, providing the knowledge to make informed decisions and achieve optimal power management. Let’s dive in!

Connecting Batteries In Series

When a battery is connected to another in series, the combined voltage increases while the capacity remains separate. For example, 3*12V12Ah batteries (connected in series) will have a battery voltage of 36Volts and a battery capacity of 12Ah.

To link batteries in series, each battery must have the same voltage and capacity as the other. For example, you can connect two 12V20Ah batteries in series but you can not connect a 6V20Ah battery to a 12V20Ah battery.

To connect a series of batteries, you tie the negative terminal of one battery to the positive terminal of another and repeat until all batteries are connected. To use a battery as an power source, you would connect a link/cable to the negative terminal of the 1st battery in your string of batteries to your application, then another link/cable to the positive terminal of the last battery in your string to your application.

Charging batteries in series requires knowledge about increased battery voltage. We recommend to charge each battery individually if possible, because charging them all together could end up with one or more of the batteries being out of balance. Or you need a smart BMS to control it.

connecting batteries in series

Connecting Batteries In Parallel

Connecting in parallel is when you connect two or more batteries together to increase the amp-hour capacity, but the voltage will remain the same. For instance, connecting four 24V24Ah batteries creates a system with a capacity of 24V96Ah.

When you connect batteries in parallel, the negative terminal of one battery is connected to the negative terminal of the next, and so on. The positive terminals are also connected to each other.

Parallel battery configuration has long been a go-to choice when it comes to maximizing the lifespan of batteries and ensuring they can power equipment for longer. But on the other side, because they can contain a bigger amp-hour capacity it may take them longer than series connected batteries to charge.

connecting batteries in parallel

Series-parallel Connected Batteries

Finally, it’s also important to mention series-parallel battery connections. A series-parallel arrangement uses two or more battery strings to increase both voltage and capacity at the same time.

For instance, if you connect six 12V20Ah batteries together, you can build a 24V60Ah battery. This is done by using 2S3P configuration.

If you need help with configuring batteries, please contact our battery specialists.

Series vs. Parallel Quick Answers

Does connecting batteries in parallel increase amp hours?

Yes, connecting batteries in parallel increases amp hours. This means the batteries will last longer. For instance, if you connect two 12v 12ah batteries in parrallel, you’ll still have a 12v system, but double the amps.

What happens when you put two 12 volt batteries in series?

When you put two 12 volt batteries in series, you get more volts. It becomes a 24 volt system, but the amps stay the same.

Which is better, in series or parallel?

If you want more power, go parallel. If you want higher voltage, go series.

Can you put Lifepo4 batteries in series?

Be careful though, not all batteries can be connected in series. Some, like many Lifepo4 batteries, might get damaged. But Ionic lithium batteries are usually safe for series connections. Always confirm it with your battery manufacturer.

Which is safer, series or parallel?

Safety wise, both the series and parallel connections are the same. The important thing is the supply voltage. So don’t worry about safety as long as the voltage is right.