Series and Parallel at the same time?

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by jdraughn, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. jdraughn

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    I was curious if it would be possible to take 4 car batterys, wire them into the car like normal. They would be in parallel so the car see's 12 volts, there would just be 4x the amps.

    But, also have the batterys wired in series and have that connection run to a custom built audio amplifer. I noticed when looking for amplifer chips that the majority of them run at around 40 to 60 volts. You also would not need such a heavy gauge of wire running to your amps.

    Does that make sense? I am just starting to learn about electronics and was really getting into it, making little circuits and such when it started to warm up and then I got really interested in my Corvette and doing some very unique mods (which is actually why I got really interested in circuits to begin with, to make mods for my vette).
  2. beenthere

    Retired Moderator

    Apr 20, 2004
    As useful experiment, try to draw the arrangement on paper. Limit to two batteries, but try to arrange the connections to have them in parallel and also in series. What you get is exploding batteries.

    Having extra batteries in parallel gives the potential for more amperage, but any load will only draw the current it need. Extra capacity won't matter.

    You are correct about the higher voltages. Car manufacturers are thinking of going to a 48 volt power bus, partly to save copper.

    Look into DC to DC converters to boost voltage in your car. No problems with extra weight and taking up the trunk with batteries.
  3. jdraughn

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    I had never really given it much though, but what would be more effecient, going from 48v to 12v, or 12v to 48v?

    I suppose it depends on the method you use to drop or raise the voltages.
  4. SgtWookie


    Jul 17, 2007
    With the high efficiency of buck/boost regulators nowadays, it's nearly a draw.

    It is a bit easier to go from a higher voltage to a lower voltage.
  5. mik3

    Senior Member

    Feb 4, 2008
    If you need a car audio amplifier you can buy one. They draw power from the 12V battery but they have an internal DC-DC boost converter to raise the voltage according to the output power of the amplifier.

    Also, note that it is not good to parallel batteries because if they are not identical current will flow between them (may overheat them), one will discharge more than the other, and so on.