A few things:

  • Batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy.
  • There are two types of batteries: primary (single use) and secondary (rechargeable).
  • Different batteries are designed for different purposes. Factors to consider include shelf life, voltage, current, intermittent vs. continuous use applications
  • Connecting batteries in series increases the voltage. Connecting batteries is parallel increases the amperage or capacity. This is clearly demonstrated on page 37 of Fashioning Technology.
  • Manufacturers rate batteries according to ampere hours (Ah)
    1 amp-hour = 1 amp (1000 mA) for 1 hour, 100mA for 10hrs, 10mA for 100hrs
    In reality, this may differ depending on how much current is drawn.
  • Remember – voltage and capacity for batteries differs based on manufacturer, chemistry, primary vs. secondary, etc.


  • Fashioning Technology, p.37
  • Electronics for Inventors, pp.77-84
  • Make: Electronics, p.123

Web Resources

Search Engine for Electronic Parts (good for finding datasheets!)

Multimeter tutorials