What’s best for you? Parallel or Series configuration?

Parallel or Series
Parallel or Series

Do you know the difference between having batteries in Parallel or Series?

We are going to touch on the 2 ways you can set up your batteries depending on what it is you are trying to achieve.
The 2 methods we are going to discuss are Parallel and Series. So what do they mean and how does it look when set up correctly?
Batteries wired in series will have there voltages added together. Batteries wired in parallel will have there capacities (measured in amp-hours) added together. However, the total available energy (measured in watt-hours) in both configurations is the same. The first thing that should be done is ensuring that all the batteries are the same type eg. AGM, Lithium etc. Then all the same size eg 100ah, 200ah etc. And lastly to ensure longevity they should also be around the same age.

Batteries in Parallel:

As per the top photo you are connecting all the positives together with 1 lead coming off the end battery to your controller, charger etc. You also connect all of the negatives together as shown with the lead coming off the last battery to also connect up to the power source/charger etc. By connecting this way you are increasing the AMPS so therefore you need to ensure that your cabling and fusing is sufficient for the total AMPS you are now producing. The plus side of this setup is that there are more components available because you are keeping the 12V format. By using a Parallel setup this can also minimize possible issues with other 12V items e.g. Solar Panels.

Batteries in Series:

As per the second photo you run a lead out from the positive terminal at the first battery and a lead from the negative terminal from the last battery. Then you connect the other terminals as per the photo. By doing this setup you only increase your Volts eg, 1 battery is 12V and 4 batteries in a series is 48V. Higher Volts can help with cheaper equipment and smaller cabling based on what you have connected to your system.

Before deciding which setup is right for you it is advisable to check with the battery manufacturer to see if these options are available for your battery option. In a lot of situations it is better to just buy 1 battery with a larger capacity?

Here at JTS12Volt we have everything you need for your battery system including Cabling, Fusing, Brackets etc so let us know if there is anything we can do to help

Contact us if you have any questions in relation to any of the information listed above or any other products we have available

Cheers, Pete and the entire JTS Team