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I'm working on a project involving a SBC, IR LED's and a screen. All of them together draws 3.5 to 4 Amps and voltage of-course is 5v. I'm hoping to run this using 18650 (3.7v), I have a couple of them lying around. I'm confused on what would give me the most efficiency - connecting batteries in series and using a buck converter or parallel batteries with boost circuit. Either way i'm not familiar these circuits, can anyone give me a lead.

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parallell is usually easier with lithium batteries as their charge will self-balance. The efficiency you will get depends mostly on the DC-DC converter you use.

However: 6A (input current) is past the point where good boost converters start getting expensive, so using a series arrangement and a 4A or 5A (output current) buck converter may be easier.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ so i assume charging is going to be a pain. \$\endgroup\$ – PunyCode Apr 27 '18 at 6:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ Depends how you plan charging them. If you do it in-situ you'll need to supply enough power to run your load AND charge the batteries at the same time, taking care of balancing and switching the load between external power and batteries, but there are plenty of off the shelf solutions. Otherwise take them out and put them in a charger. \$\endgroup\$ – Finbarr Apr 27 '18 at 8:49
  • \$\begingroup\$ charging need not be painful, charge balancing modules are easily had. \$\endgroup\$ – Jasen Apr 29 '18 at 7:50

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