Series and Parallel Calculations

When designing a battery pack it is useful to make a few series and parallel calculations. Hence one of the worksheets in our Battery Calculations Workbook is exactly that.

pack series and paralle

Cells that are in parallel have the positive terminals all connected together and the negative terminals all connected together.

When connecting cells in series the negative terminal of the first cell is connected to the positive terminal of the second cell. The negative terminal of the second cell is connected to the positive terminal of the third cell. This continues until we reach the total number of cells required in series.

The SeriesParallel worksheet looks like this. Note: all of the calculations are in the sheet and open to view, copy or use in a different way.

Series and Parallel worksheet - Battery Calculations Workbook

The worksheet is standalone from the other worksheets and just allows you to make simple calculations.

Series and Parallel worksheet - Battery Calculations Workbook

Enter the cell values in the top left cells.

Note: we use cells with a white background to indicate values that you can enter or modify.

Next enter the pack series and parallel values. Best to enter what you think are the target nominal values. The step size sets the values used up and down from the nominal series and parallel numbers.

The first chart top right gives the calculated pack voltages. As you can see, these are just against the number of cells in series as the number in parallel doesn’t alter these values at this level of calculation. The number of cells in parallel will effect the pack voltage under load, but that is a different calculation.

Series and Parallel worksheet - Battery Calculations Workbook

The graduated cells plotted versus series and parallel give the total pack size in kWh.

So, this chart gives you the energy (kWh) and the absolute maximum and minimum pack voltage.

Series and Parallel worksheet - Battery Calculations Workbook

The final two charts give:

The total mass of cells in kg against series and parallel.

The estimated pack mass is the cell mass plus an estimation of the non-cell mass (based on a straightline fit to the battery pack data).

The SeriesParallel worksheet hopefully gives you a tool that allows you to understand how changing the configuration of a battery pack changes the voltage range, total energy and mass.

Battery Calculations Workbook

This can be purchased as a one off for $15 or get all updates for a year and access to the databases for $25.

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