How does voltage in a battery increase?

  1. Hi everyone,
    I've been reading about electricity lately and I've run into a question that has been bugging me for a while. If you have (or made) a battery that has a rating of 2 volts (this can really be anything, I'm just giving an example) and you wanted to increase it to 3 volts, how would you do that? I suppose this is all conceptual so I don't mean that I physically want to do this.

    My initial assumption was that you would just increase the amount of charge at both terminals, but that seems like it would only provide the same voltage but it would just have more charges to put through since voltage is joules per coulomb. So more charge would just mean more C's and therefore more potential energy but the ratio j:p would remain the same, right? I don't know if my assumption is correct or not but If am I right, how would you increase the voltage of a battery? I read that you could just attach another cell but is there a way to do this with a single cell?

    EDIT: I read that batteries have different voltages because different materials are used when making the battery to change the voltage. So my question is still the same but I just wanted to throw that in there. To be more clear: What is the difference in number charges, chemical reaction, etc between a battery that is rated for 1.5 volts and one that is rated for 2 volts?
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2012
  2. jcsd
  3. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    I believe you can simply add more cells in series to get a higher voltage. Not 100% sure on that.
  4. Drakktih,
    I understand that but what I'm really looking for is an answer to the question of why some single cells produce more voltage than others. I understand that it is because of the materials used to produce chemical energy and then create electric potential but what I"m looking for is what it means to do more chemical work on the charges of a battery and how that affects the number of negative/positive charges and so on.
  5. Drakkith

    Staff: Mentor

    Are you referring to having a cell that you don't want to physically modify?
  6. rcgldr

    rcgldr 7,700
    Homework Helper

    The voltage of a battery is somewhat affected by the amount of charge. Different battery types (lead acid, ni-cad, li-poly, ...) have a different max voltage per cell. Link to article about batteries with some graphs:
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