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Electrical components like batteries and solar panels can be used independently or combined. If combined, they are connected in series or in parallel.1)

Series connections double the voltage while the current (or capacity in Ah when dealing with batteries) remains unchanged.

  • common example: 2 6v, 200Ah golf cart batteries in series = a 12v, 200Ah battery bank.2). This is a recommended configuration.
  • less common example: 2 12v, 90Ah batteries in series = a 24v, 90Ah battery bank.

Parallel connections double the current while the voltage remains unchanged.

  • common example: 2 12v, 90Ah batteries in parallel = a 12v, 180Ah battery bank. This is not a recommended configuration. It is not due to any shortcoming of parallel connections; 12v "deep cycle" or marine batteries are rarely real deep cycle batteries and suffer from the treatment van life dishes out.

Wide parallel configurations (like 4S) are difficult to charge/discharge evenly without exotic cable configurations.


When discussing multi-battery banks it is common to describe the electrical layout with a particular notation.

p = parallel
s = series


  • 1p1s - a single battery
  • 1p2s - two batteries in series, as one finds in the common 2x6v GC battery setup
  • 2p1s - two batteries in parallel
  • 2p2s - two sets of batteries in parallel linked in series as one finds in higher-capacity GC-based setups
1) more complicated arrangements are possible; see below
2) a bank acts as a single unit, not as two separate batteries
electrical/12v/parallel_serial.1586371055.txt.gz · Last modified: 2020/04/08 11:37 by frater_secessus