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schematic

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

I noticed when connecting multiple big batteries in series some people use zig zag configuration (right) instead of the one on the left, what would be the potential reason for that? If the current is very big, what is the downside for huge current (500A) circling?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This is a good question but has the wrong title. Anyone wondering the same thing would never find this post or answers. How about, "Optimum physical arrangement for series connection of high-current batteries", or similar. \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 21 '17 at 22:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this case, a pictorial drawing showing the physical arrangement of the batteries and connections, rather than a schematic might be more useful. Both your drawings show the batteries connected in series, but the right drawing is messier than the left - I don't really see what you are asking. \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Bennett Jul 22 '17 at 1:58
  • \$\begingroup\$ Changed the title \$\endgroup\$ – yxing Jul 22 '17 at 7:26
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It's more likely to be a voltage concern than a current one. In the first diagram, the voltage between the two adjacent battery terminals at the bottom is 384 volts. In the arrangement on the right, no adjacent battery terminals differ by more than 144V.

In fact, there is probably a better way:

schematic

simulate this circuit – Schematic created using CircuitLab

This way, adjacent battery terminals differ by only 48V.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ This might also be marginally safer when the spanner slips and falls onto the battery terminals ... \$\endgroup\$ – Transistor Jul 21 '17 at 23:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Nah, you'll still get a big big boom. Hope you have your arc flash gear on. \$\endgroup\$ – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jul 21 '17 at 23:47
  • \$\begingroup\$ He's talking 500 amps, so he is going to need ridiculously large gauge wire, so the shortest distance between batteries is likely the best configuration, taking into consideration the fact that you might have to periodically remove a battery for repair \$\endgroup\$ – Filek Jul 22 '17 at 7:58

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