This post will focus on the arrangement of batteries and how they behave in a circuit. We will be using typical household alkaline batteries for examples.
(BTW - Digi-Key is an excellent source to purchase batteries for electronics in your home such as remote controls, smoke detectors, kids toys, clocks, flashlights, etc. So if you’re not already buying batteries already for your home, I recommend considering it! I have found that the prices are superb over the commercial packaged versions at big box stores. Some part numbers are listed below.)
Lets take a look at the output voltage and capacity for alkaline batteries. Please note, these are typical battery values, please refer to datasheets of your exact battery to confirm electrical specs:
|AAAA||1.5V||600 mAh||Energizer # N539-ND|
|AAA||1.5V||1.3 Ah||Panasonic # P645-ND; Energizer # N146-ND|
|AA||1.5V||2.8 Ah||Panasonic # P646-ND; Energizer # N107-ND|
|C||1.5V||7.5Ah||Panasonic # P644-ND; Energizer # N106-ND|
|D||1.5V||15Ah||Panasonic # P643-ND; Energizer # N105-ND|
|9V||9V||600 mAh||Panasonic # P687-ND; Energizer # N145-ND|
Many electronics utilize not only one, but two, three, even four or more batteries. The batteries can be combined and arranged in a few different methods for different reasons to either utilize more voltage or more capacity.
Batteries in Parallel
Batteries in Parallel = Same Voltage and Increased Capacity
Batteries in Series
Batteries in Series = Increased Voltage and Same Capacity.
So how do you know if the battery holder you are ordering is set up in series or parallel? The easiest way is to look for a wire connecting the positive and negative terminal. If you see such a wire, then the battery is in series connection. A series connection battery holder is the most common.
Parallel battery holders are few and far in between. If you really need this type of configuration, I recommend considering electrically connecting the wire leads of the holders to replicate the parallel configuration.
Here is an example of creating a Series / Parallel battery source from using two battery holders with two individual battery cells within each one.
If a 1.5V / 1.3 Ah AA battery is used, this set up would provide a voltage of 3V and a capacity of 2.6Ah.
Last but not least, never set up a battery by connecting the leads in a fashion to create a short circuit (for more info, see Short Circuit on Wikipedia)
Digi-Key product offerings: