AMP hours vs Watt hours Explained What is the Difference

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What is the Difference AMP hours vs Watt hours and how do you calculate the two values for your solar battery power system

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How Two 100 Amp Hour Batteries Can Become 200 Amp Hour Batteries Depending on How They’re Wired

Have you ever wondered how two batteries can be wired together to create a battery bank with a greater capacity? It’s an important question if you’re interested in building DIY campers or setting up an off-grid power system. In this video, we’re going to explain how two 100 amp hour batteries can become a 200 amp hour battery bank, depending on how they’re wired.

First, let’s clarify some terms. When we talk about a battery’s capacity, we’re referring to the amount of electrical charge it can store. The standard unit for battery capacity is amp hours, which tells us how many amps a battery can deliver for a certain amount of time. For example, a 100 amp hour battery can deliver 1 amp for 100 hours, or 2 amps for 50 hours.

Now, let’s talk about wiring batteries in parallel. When batteries are wired in parallel, their positive terminals are connected together, as are their negative terminals. This means that the batteries’ amp hour ratings are added together, while their voltage remains the same. So, if you wire two 100 amp hour batteries in parallel, you’ll end up with a 200 amp hour battery bank with the same voltage as each individual battery.

On the other hand, when batteries are wired in series, their positive and negative terminals are connected to neighboring batteries, creating a chain. The battery bank’s positive and negative terminals are connected to the ends of the chain, creating a circuit. When batteries are wired in series, their voltages are added together, while their amp hour ratings remain the same. So, if you wire two 100 amp hour batteries in series, you’ll end up with a 100 amp hour battery bank with twice the voltage of each individual battery.

But which battery bank has more capacity, the 200 amp hour parallel bank or the 100 amp hour series bank? The answer may surprise you. To understand why, we need to use the formula amps times volts equals watts, or more specifically, amp hours times volts equals watt hours.

Let’s convert both battery banks to watt hours using this formula. For the 200 amp hour parallel bank, we have 200 amp hours times 12.8 volts, which equals 2.56 kilowatt hours, or 2560 watt hours. For the 100 amp hour series bank, we have 100 amp hours times 25.6 volts, which also equals 2560 watt hours. So, despite having different amp hour ratings and voltages, both battery banks have the same capacity in watt hours.

Now, let’s look at how this translates to powering a load. Let’s say we have a 100 watt light bulb operating at 12.8 volts, and we’re using the 200 amp hour parallel bank to power it. We can use watts equals amps times volts to calculate how many amps are flowing from the battery bank to the light bulb. In this case, we have 100 watts divided by 12.8 volts, which equals 7.81 amps. So, if we ran the light bulb for one hour, it would consume 7.81 amp hours of power.

But what if we were using the 100 amp hour series bank to power the same light bulb? Since the battery bank’s voltage is now 25.6 volts, we need to recalculate the amperage using watts equals amps times volts. In this case, we have 100 watts divided by 25.6 volts, which equals 3.90 amps. So, if we ran the light bulb for one hour, it would consume 3.90 amp hours of power.

So, as we saw earlier, the capacity of a battery bank is determined by the formula amps times volts equals watt hours. This means that the battery bank capacity is the same, regardless of whether the battery bank is wired in series or parallel. However, the voltage at which the battery bank operates does affect the amperage flowing through the wires.

For instance, if a 100-watt light bulb is powered by a 12-volt battery bank operating at 12.8 volts, it will consume 7.81 amps if it runs for one hour. On the other hand, if the same light bulb is powered by a 24-volt battery bank operating at 25.6 volts, it will consume 3.90 amps in one hour. This shows that a higher voltage allows for a lower amperage, which means that the wires can be smaller and more efficient.

This is why a 24-volt battery bank can be more advantageous when running appliances or systems that require higher wattage. By delivering the same amount of power at a higher voltage, the amperage can be reduced, resulting in more efficient operation.

It’s important to note that the capacity of a battery bank also depends on the type of battery used. Deep cycle batteries, for example, are designed to provide a steady current over an extended period, making them ideal for use in a battery bank. Other types of batteries, such as starting batteries, are not suitable for this purpose as they are designed to deliver a high burst of power for a short period.

Additionally, the capacity of a battery bank can be affected by factors such as temperature, age, and usage. For instance, a battery bank that is regularly discharged beyond 50% of its capacity can have a shorter lifespan than one that is only discharged to 20%. It’s therefore essential to take good care of your battery bank to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

In conclusion, the capacity of a battery bank is determined by the formula amps times volts equals watt hours. Wiring batteries in parallel increases the capacity of the battery bank, while wiring them in series increases the voltage. The voltage at which the battery bank operates affects the amperage flowing through the wires, with higher voltage resulting in lower amperage. Finally, the capacity of a battery bank can be affected by various factors, and it’s crucial to take good care of it to ensure that it lasts as long as possible.

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