# Bipolar power supplies and the voltage vacuum

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by bachevelle, Sep 5, 2008.

Sep 5, 2008
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2. ### blocco a spirale AAC Fanatic!

Jun 18, 2008
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It's very simple really, it's all about relative voltages and usually how they relate to the point defined as ground/common/0V

If you take a 6V battery, in most circuits we would define the negative as our common or ground or 0V and we would say that we have a +6V supply with respesct to ground.

However, in some instances we might define that positive as common/ground, in which case we would say that we have a -6V supply with respect to ground.

If we have two 6V batteries and we connect the positive of one to the negative of the other and define the connection between the batteries as common/ground then we have a +6V and a -6V with respect to ground. Depending on which point we define as ground means that, with this arrangement, we could have: 0V +6V +12V or 0V -6V -12V or +6V 0V -6V

3. ### bachevelle Thread Starter New Member

Sep 5, 2008
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thingmaker3 said:
Here's another way of looking at it: "Negative" and "positive" simply indicate whether current would flow to the reference or from the reference as a result of the potential.