A battery such as this is able to provide multiple different voltages based on user input. Given that the textbook battery provides a fixed voltage, how is this achieved? Are there multiple cells which are connected up together differently depending on the requested voltage or does it work in a different way?

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    \$\begingroup\$ en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switched-mode_power_supply \$\endgroup\$ – hyportnex Jan 25 '18 at 18:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ Would Electrical Engineering be a better home for this question? \$\endgroup\$ – Qmechanic Jan 25 '18 at 18:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ A "battery" is a collection of cells, Each cell has a specific voltage ( depending on temperature). You can get different voltages from a battery by putting terminals between cells. This is confused because commonly a single dry cell is called a "battery" instead of a" cell". \$\endgroup\$ – blacksmith37 Jan 25 '18 at 19:38
  • \$\begingroup\$ That thing is not a battery. It contains a battery, but I'll bet it also contains a switching voltage regulaor. \$\endgroup\$ – Solomon Slow Jan 25 '18 at 21:41

the power supply can be configured to furnish different voltages by changing the circuitry inside it under software control. There are several different ways to control the voltage output of a "programmable" power supply like this. the engineering stack exchange guys can describe them for you. programmable supplies can be run off either wall power or internal batteries.

In the dim, dark and distant days of electrical engineering, batteries with two or three different voltage outputs were commonly used in things like portable radios. In those batteries, the different voltages were achieved by packaging inside a single container different batteries, each with different number of cells in series, and running their outputs into a special plug connector with a different voltage available on each pin.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ And before that, the grid bias battery! \$\endgroup\$ – Philip Wood Jan 25 '18 at 23:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ yes yes! i vaguely remember those! \$\endgroup\$ – niels nielsen Jan 26 '18 at 0:12

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