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How to Connect Two Lithium-ion Batteries-Connect in Parallel
Can lithium-ion batteries be connected in parallel?
Lithium-ion batteries can be connected in parallel. If higher currents may be needed in a circuit and bigger cells aren’t available or incompatible with the design, then one of more lithium-ion cells can be connected in parallel. Most battery chemistries, including lithium-ion cells, allow parallel configurations that come with a few side effects. However, the capacity in parallel cells, as well as the runtime, tends to increase while, on the other hand, the voltage stays constant.
A cell that produces high resistance is less critical in parallel connection than it is in a series one. However, a failing cell will decrease the total load capacity. A short circuit, on the other hand, is more fatal as the faulty battery drains energy from the other cells in the circuit, and this may cause a fire hazard. Many of these short circuits tend to be mild and occur as increased self-discharge.
A short may sometimes occur through reverse polarization or even dendrite growth in the cells. Large battery packs tend to have a fuse that disconnects that failing cells from the parallel circuit in case of a short. In a parallel connection, a weak cell doesn’t affect the voltage as it remains constant throughout the circuit. However, due to reduced capacity, it will provide a low runtime. Also, a shorted cell in a circuit is capable of causing excessive heat and, thus, a fire hazard.
How do you connect lithium-ion batteries in parallel?
Before you wire lithium-ion batteries in a parallel connection, there are a few guidelines or considerations that you may need to adhere to as a safety precaution for you and the battery.
1.Avoid connecting batteries with entirely different chemistries
As an alternative, you can connect your load to one of the cells, and it would drain both of them equally. The most suitable method, however, that would ensure that the cells are equalized is to connect the positive at one end of the pack and the negative at the other end.
How do you combine two battery packs?
It is possible to combine two battery packs. Most of these packs already have built-in circuits in either parallel or series connection. For example, a car battery may be made up of 6 cells, each with 2V, therefore, making a total of 12V. You can join the battery packs in parallel to make a higher current, but the voltage will remain 12V. However, when you decide to join the batteries in series, you would get a higher voltage of 24V while the current remains the same throughout the circuit.
To join these packs in parallel, use a jumper cable to connect both positive terminals and another cable to connect the negative terminals.
If you have no idea of what you’re doing when handling the lithium-ion batteries, don’t do it without expert assistance. The batteries contain a flammable electrolyte, and they can easily catch fire. It is, therefore, important to understand every guideline and procedure before conducting the experiments on your own.