Series vs. Parallel

Understanding the Difference

A brief look into the different styles of battery connections so you can make sure you know your system.


Series

seriesA series connection allows for connecting for 2 or more batteries to increase the voltage output equal to combined voltage of all batteries added. Example: 2x 12 voltage battery creates a 24 voltage system.

This is accomplished by connecting the positive of one battery to the negative of another and using the positive of the first battery and the negative of the last battery to complete the circuit. This is commonly issued on vehicles that require great output. Golf carts, airplanes, RVs, and boats are the most common place.


Parallel

ParallelA parallel connection allows for the connecting of 2 or more batteries of identical size and connection. Connected plus to plus, minus to minus. Example: 4x 12 volt batteries connected in parallel still have 12 volt output.

This is commonly used to connect multiple batteries outside of a vehicle, on a work bench, for maintaining purposes. Note: if you’re using a parallel set up, please make sure the batteries are roughly the same size and in the same condition or you may risk overcharging the battery.