Effects of Cell Arrangement on EMF in Series and Parallel Circuits

In summary, the arrangement of cells in series and parallel affects the overall electromotive force (emf) in a circuit. In series, the emf is the sum of each individual cell's emf, while in parallel, the maximum emf of all the cells is used. This can be explained by the way the cells work together in series, with each one pushing electrons along, and in parallel, where there is an equal path for the electrons to separate and act as individual cells. However, if the voltages of the cells are different, it can cause a short circuit. Further understanding of the concept of voltage is still needed.
  • #1
Cheman
235
1
Cells in series and parallel...

How is emf effected by having cells in series and parallel? I would have thought that for both you would just add the emfs of each cell up, since in both ways you arrange them you are just increasing the attraction/ repulsion experianced by the elctrons in wire.

Thanks in advance. :smile:
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
[tex]E_{series} = \sum_i E_i [/tex]

[tex]E_{parallel} = max(E_i, ~i=1..n) [/tex]
 
  • #3
But is there a proof for this, either mathematically or in terms of visualised physics?

Surely, each of the cells is going to "push/ pull" the elctrons round ciruit with certain force - why will there arrangement make any difference?
 
  • #4
My understanding of it, although probably very flawed :-p , is that if they are in series, think of the batteries working together, once some electrons are pushed along by one, the other pushes even more, and in parallel, there is an equal path for the electrons to go, so they separate and act as a cell with the same volage, but the 2 will have a higher capacity now, because each is drawing half the current, unless the voltages for the cells are different, then it will short. I still need to get a better idea of what voltage physically is myself :rolleyes: My EE instructor doesn't care for the science behind the engineering, so I can blame him for my lack of understanding :wink:
 

Related to Effects of Cell Arrangement on EMF in Series and Parallel Circuits

What is the difference between cells in series and cells in parallel?

Cells in series are connected in a single line, with the positive terminal of one cell connected to the negative terminal of the next. This increases the voltage output of the cells, but the current remains the same. Cells in parallel are connected side by side, with all the positive terminals connected together and all the negative terminals connected together. This increases the current output of the cells, but the voltage remains the same.

Which configuration is better for increasing voltage - series or parallel?

Series configuration is better for increasing voltage, as the voltage output of each cell is added together. For example, if two 1.5V cells are connected in series, the total voltage output would be 3V.

Which configuration is better for increasing current - series or parallel?

Parallel configuration is better for increasing current, as the current output of each cell is added together. For example, if two 1.5V cells are connected in parallel, the total current output would be the same as one cell, but with longer runtime.

What are the potential risks of connecting cells in series or parallel?

Connecting cells in series can lead to an unequal distribution of voltage, which can damage the cells or cause them to discharge unevenly. Connecting cells in parallel can cause issues with balancing the current output, which can also lead to damage or uneven charging.

Can cells of different capacities be connected in series or parallel?

No, cells of different capacities should not be connected in series or parallel. This can lead to uneven charging and discharging, which can damage the cells and affect their performance. It is important to use cells of the same capacity when connecting them in series or parallel.

Similar threads

Replies
5
Views
2K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
20
Views
609
  • Electrical Engineering
Replies
3
Views
785
  • Electrical Engineering
Replies
5
Views
240
Replies
5
Views
834
  • Other Physics Topics
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • Other Physics Topics
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Introductory Physics Homework Help
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
2
Views
15K
Replies
6
Views
1K
Back
Top