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Q & A: Batteries for Voltage and Current

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
If we have more batteries then more one is the current more than one battery?
- Shalanda Rideout (age 12)
Gompers J.R. High, Joliet, Illinois
A:
Hi Shalanda -

Well it depends on how you hook the batteries up. Here's an example with just 2 batteries:

Most battery powered devices hook the batteries up in series, where the positive (+) end of the first battery touches the negative (-) end of the second battery. Hooking the batteries up like this increases the voltage but not the maximum current the batteries can supply. In series, you can add the voltages of the batteries together to get the output voltage, but the maximum current is the same as if there was only 1 battery.

The other way to hook the batteries up is in parallel, where the (+) ends of the batteries are connected to each other, and the (-) ends are too. In parallel the voltage is the same as if there was only 1 battery, but you can add the currents of both batteries together to get a bigger output current.

I have attached a picture which may explain this a little better than I can with words. I hope this helps!

~Bob (w mike)

(published on 10/22/2007)

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