girls jumping togetherContinuing on the theme of the previous blog, regarding wiring individual batteries in parallel to make a higher capacity bank, now we can look at the best way to wire them up.

I included a teaser graphic in that last blog that showed two batteries wired in parallel and with the two main cables, one positive and one negative, both connected to one battery. I expected a flurry of comments on this, but to my surprise received only one. Mr. D said that the configuration shown would result in uneven current draw from each battery, resulting in greatly reduced cycle-life of the first battery in line. Is that so?

And if so, what is the best configuration? What are the alternatives?

Yipee! Time to put on the testing hat once again.

battery charge checkingI saw some communications in a trade journal the other day discussing the common practice of wiring batteries in parallel to increase capacity. Specifically, one writer was warning of the possibility of a cell shorting in one of the batteries, resulting in the other batteries all discharging at a high rate of current into the short circuited cell leading to an apocalyptic event below decks. Is he/she correct? Well, yes and no.

Yes, this is very much a possibility, but is dependent on battery type. An old timer, like yours truly, will probably adhere to the notion that the likelihood of a shorted cell is real, but that’s because our heads are still stuck in “the good old days”, and we are not being practical.

Let’s think about this. How can a cell, one of six in a 12 volt lead acid battery, become short circuited?

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Early pioneers of marine lithium battery systems used individual cells in a rectangular format, and some still do. These types of cells are referred to as “prismatic”, which by definition means having the form of a prism, which is hardly a representative description unless you imagine two prisms joined together to make a rectangle. A more accurate description would be: “a right rectangular prism”, as opposed to a “wrong” or a “left” rectangular prism, one supposes. But I digress …

electrifying dreamstime xl 20820417 800xWe’re still on the electrical trail this week, but I promise I’ll have some more entertaining stuff for you soon. Mind you, electricity can get quite entertaining if you don’t do things correctly, just ask this guy!

There is a conundrum that has cropped up while helping customers plan the change-over from lead-acid batteries to a RELiON lithium battery bank, and we’ll be getting to that soon. But first let’s review current practices for charging multiple battery banks.

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