Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: Battery lifetime.

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 03/15/2009
I understand the concept difference between parallel and series wiring of batteries to achieve a certain end result. What I do not understand, though, is the comparison between burn time on voltage, amperage, and battery life expectancy. Say, for example, we use ten 12-volt batteries wired in series which will then produce in excess of 120 volts. What effects, if any, are to be considered in amperage changes, use loads, and resultant recharge rates and down time for such in regards to battery life? If a single battery, say, has a life expectancy of 2 years, would using it in such a capacity relinquish life expectancy or extend it? Or is this related to the capacity for recharge?
- Brian (age 54)
Vero Beach, FL, US, Earth, Sol
Any battery has a capability of storing a fixed amount of energy.  This energy is described as so many Ampere-Hours at  the fixed voltage of the battery.  So what you have to do is to figure out how many Amperes the circuit will be drawing.  It doesn't make any difference whether you connect the batteries in series or parallel, it's the current that counts.  As far as life expectancy goes, different manufacturing processes can enhance the lifetime.  For example, marine batteries typically have heavy duty plates.  They weigh more and are more expensive the ordinary car batteries.


(published on 03/15/2009)

Follow-up on this answer.