Series vs Parallel

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By: Battery Systems

When researching your next battery purchase, you have probably come across the terms ‘series’ and ‘parallel’. Yet, you may find yourself asking – What do these terms really mean, and how do they affect my battery’s life and performance? For one, when discussing batteries that are connected in either series or parallel, it is important to take into consideration the necessary changes that should be made when charging your battery.

Batteries connected in series stack their voltages in order to run machinery that requires higher voltage amounts. This can prove tricky when attempting to charge your battery, because it becomes necessary to account for the increased voltage levels. Because of the increased voltage, it is crucial to utilize a charger that satisfies the increased voltage output of a series configuration. Keep in mind that batteries connected in series have no effect on the amp-hour capacity of your configuration, thus, when charging a battery it is important to focus strictly on the increased voltage. For example, two 6 Volt batteries connected in series will deliver 12 Volts of output, but will carry the same amp hour capacity. Hence when charging these batteries, it is important to utilize a charger that satisfies the 12 Volt capacity that is necessary for both the 6 Volt batteries connected in series.

In contrast, batteries connected in a parallel configuration are able to increase the amp-hour capacity of your batteries, at the same voltage. A parallel configuration is not meant to allow your batteries to power anything above its standard voltage output, but rather, it will increase the duration for which it could power an item at such a capacity. Thus, when charging batteries that are configured in a parallel combination, it is imperative to take into account the increased amp-hour capacity that will result from the new configuration. This is because when you are charging in parallel, you are not recharging the voltage of the system, but rather the amp-hour capacity.

Ultimately, it is important to know the different effects that both parallel and series configurations have on your battery’s performance. Whether it is the increase in voltage brought on by a series configuration or the rise in amp-hour capacity that arises from a parallel configuration; Understanding how these outcomes vary and how to adjust the manner in which you upkeep your batteries, is crucial in maximizing battery life and performance.

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