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Series and parallel connection of batteries/rechargeable batteries

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Series and parallel connection of batteries/rechargeable batteries



Series circuit

With the so-called series connection the operating voltage is increased.
How batteries are connected in series:
The negative pole of one battery is connected to the positive pole of the other batteries, so that all batteries are passed through by the same current.

The voltage of the two batteries thus adds up together. Switching the batteries together is also referred to as "series connection".    
Example:
If two rechargeable batteries with 4,000mAh (milliamp hours) and 11.1 Volt each are connected in series, the output voltage is 22.2 Volt and the capacity is 4,000mAh.

Advantages and disadvantages:
With a series connection of the batteries, higher total voltages are generated. The disadvantage, however, is that the weakest battery affects the performance of the series. If one battery is defective, the series connection will not work. As a rule, only batteries of the same manufacturer, type and construction technique can be connected in series.


Parallel circuit

The battery capacity increases with parallel connection (or voltage divider circuit).
How to connect batteries in parallel:
The positive pole is connected to the positive pole and the negative pole to the negative pole. The charging capacity (mAh) of the individual batteries adds up.

It is important to note that only batteries of the same voltage and charge state can be connected in parallel.  
Example:
If two rechargeable batteries with 4,000mAh and 11.1 Volt each are connected in parallel, the resulting output voltage is 11.1 Volt and the total capacity is 8,000mAh.

Advantages and disadvantages:
Parallel connecting can increase the performance and service life of the batteries. Nevertheless, the charge control of batteries connected in parallel is not uncomplicated, as each battery also ages and thus represents a potential source of error. Therefore, it may be advantageous to use one large battery instead of several small batteries. If a parallel connection is to be made, however, make sure that the batteries of the same type, capacity, age and state of charge are connected in parallel, as is the case with series connection.


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