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Old 19-11-2014, 01:24   #1
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Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Hi everyone,

My lagoon 421 is on production. I will get my new boat on February.

This will be my first catamaran. We decided this one for comfort with the kids on the board.

I never liked to have a generator noise in the boat so I did not take the genset option.

I want to supply energy for my dish washer, water maker and all other standard energy needs from the house battery bank.

To charge them I have 3x120 w solar panels the option from the factory and big 75hp yanmar engines which comes with 130ah alternators.

My plan is to add smart chargersx2 from mastervolt, kombi 4000 again from mastervolt.

Boat comes with 120ahx4 gel batteries I do not now the brand of them.

So the question : how much space do I have for batteries in my l421. Since the boat is not light at all I feel like a bit more weight is not an issue so I can add more gel batteries. Or I can remove Gel batteries and put for the same size more lipo.

Anyone has an idea about this.

Thank you a lot.

BB



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Old 19-11-2014, 01:57   #2
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Certainly many are now doing it successfully.

For a start you will need at least 750 - 1kw of solar. The factory fit is simply inadequate. There are a couple of 450's with up to 1.8kw fitted.

You would be better off with a custom solar setup. Look up roetter's post on CF. He posts in the first link below.


some links

Solar Panel Options on a Cat

Some Lagoon 440 Modifications to consider.

DIY Lithium As A House Bank - 1
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Old 19-11-2014, 21:59   #3
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

No question if it was my boat. Solar plus LiPo is the way to go.

BUT
1. We are liveaboards so our demand is constant and lead acid batteries don't last, even the best AGMs.
2. We are in a suitable sunny environment in Australia and solar does 90% of our requirements.

We have a 420 with 850 W (increasing to 1000W) of solar panels and 800AH Lithium house batteries. Usable AH is 600 before automatic protection system isolates the batteries. This will handle some days of inclement weather in winter but our backup is a Honda 2KVA portable genset and/or the engine alternators.

Although you gave good charging with your alternators, this is only really useful when you are motoring. We are cruisers and we spend lots of time at anchor so the motors may not be used for days or weeks. You don't really want to run your diesels at idle just to generate power. Also check the alternator output, it should be suitable for lithiums but it best to make sure.

Advantages of lithium:
1. No voltage drop. We are constant at 13.4V approx even under high load.
2. More usable AH. With lead acid you can't use more than 50% of rated capacity, and to get useful life really shouldn't go below about 70%.
3. High current drain. With lithiums we can run appliances such as toaster, hair dryer etc., via the inverter without voltage drop or damage to the batteries
4. Long life. Lithiums are rated in cycles and ours are rated at 3000 cycles or more. Assuming a cycle is a day (liveaboard) we expect 10 years plus. We have been getting a loss of capacity with AGM after 2.5 years.
5. Lifestyle. No more worrying about the #*^+! batteries.
6. High recharge rate. Can accept as much as you can pump in right up to about 98% capacity. Lead acids reduce the charging when they near full charge and take a long time to obtain full charge.
7. 21 st century vs 19th century technology.
8. Much lighter weight.

Disadvantages
1. High capital cost. Offset by long life so the nett per annum cost is about the same over 10 years by my estimation.
2. Need suitable charging devices. In my case I had to upgrade the OEM Christec charger that came with the boat. Newer boats such as 421 probably have the later chargers with more pin settings including a lithium suitable program. Suggest you check.

I'd suggest if you are buying a new boat:

1. Check the price of factory solar. Solar is CHEAP! Chances are you will pay too much for the factory option. But although panels are cheap, don't forget about installation costs which can be messy after market. Get a price to supply and install after purchase.
2. 1000AH solar. The more the merrier. Panels are cheap.
3. Good solar charger with a lithium program. Not a problem but check before you buy.
4. Check the factory installed charger has a lithium program
5. Use lead acid for the engines. Low use, cheap will do, replace regularly.
6. Good inverter 3KVA
7. Find a reputable lithium supplier who understands the technology. Most don't!
8. Pay the money and buy quality. Cheap lithiums can be risky.

My experience is its always best to go direct to the final solution. You will eventually go lithiums, unless you are only using the boat occasionally, so it's better to do it right first time. Upgrading later always is more costly in my (unfortunate) experience.


Bob
CASABLANCA L420 #86
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Old 19-11-2014, 23:54   #4
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Tell them you changed your mind and get the generator installed. You don't want to rely on your engines to charge your batteries when the sun don't shine and the wind won't blow. Just run the genset every couple of days to top up the bats at the same time make water and heat it, also make ice and run the dishwasher.

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Old 20-11-2014, 00:20   #5
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Batteries don't make power they only store it.

The first requirement is to to produce more power than you use, so get the solar right. With your high demands that means lots.

Either sort of battery will work, lithium is better, but you do need to be prepared to learn about the batteries.
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Old 20-11-2014, 00:37   #6
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Definitely LiFePO4 battery, DIY or not, if money is not the object. Much, much lighter, beside many other advantages discussed here over and over. As for solar charging power, simply double your average daylight drain and you'll be fine. Another story when the sun is less than polite: you'll need a small generator to keep your appliances running and battery topped until next day. Simple battery monitoring device like Nasa Marine Clipper BM-1 will let you know when is the time to start the generator+charger. Some solar inverter/charger combos allow for switching gen output directly when the sun goes down. Talk to Bruce Schwab, the guru at Ocean Planet Energy.
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Old 20-11-2014, 04:06   #7
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Thank you for your kind answers.
We use our boat intensively in summer time for 3 months. The rest of the time we go occasionally. Our boat is all the time around turkey south coasts. We had nice experience with our actual mono hull boat with 2x150W solar panels. L421 will be my new toy and I’m looking for comfort in this one.
Electric toilets, electric winches, water maker, dish washer, washing machine… so many stuff over there require electricity…
I showed the pictures of solar panel installations on Lagoon Cats to my wife.
You know, Lagoon Factory do not install panels on top of the bimini may be because the top of the bimini will be useful for managing the main sail? To fit the main sail into the lazy jack Maybe I will need to go up?
I'm questioning if this is a good idea to install panels on a place where it is not recommended by manufacturer.
SS frames after the bimini looks huge space to fit 5-6 panels.. But my wife didn’t like it.
So I called the Logoon dealer now and I requested to add 9,5kVA onan genset. He sad I'm late to change the configuration but he will try.
Yesterday I was at METS Amsterdam show. There I met with Victron guys. I'm considering to buy my invertor from them. They made a fantastic color screen monitor with Bluetooth enable smartphone application. I realy like it.
I will keep my 4x140 Ah factory GEL batteries, maybe add one or two more (depending on space) and replace with LiPo Batteries ones they get old.
This is my actual decision. If lagoon won’t add the Genset then I will need to convince my wife for SS frame and I will start to look for panel suppliers.
Cheers,
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Old 20-11-2014, 04:32   #8
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

It is shame to have a large cat with room for all that solar and install a generator.

For a similar cost you can get totally reliable, quiet power that never breaks down or needs servicing.

Priceless.
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Old 20-11-2014, 05:34   #9
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Go lithium but your engines are too big and your house bank, solar and alternators are not big enough. Dishwasher, really?

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Old 20-11-2014, 05:57   #10
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

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Originally Posted by SVNeko View Post
Dishwasher, really?

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Happy wife, happy life, if he can afford it, why not?

I agree with everything else you said, if you don't mind a monohuller speaking up.
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Old 22-11-2014, 09:11   #11
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

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Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Happy wife, happy life, if he can afford it, why not?

I agree with everything else you said, if you don't mind a monohuller speaking up.
Thats it Thank you

I don't like to wash dishes and my wife either. We don't wash at home so to me it is very normal need. Why we wash dishes on holiday

BTW I still did not received an OK from Lagoon for Genset. Still waiting..
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Old 22-11-2014, 09:16   #12
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

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Thats it Thank you

I don't like to wash dishes and my wife either.
No, but you'll have to like fixing a dishwasher in remote places but then again you'll have a nice space to put more cabinets when you finally toss the thing overboard.
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Old 26-11-2014, 14:24   #13
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Lagoon factory sad that its to late to change the configuration. I wont have the Genset

So it's time for me to think about solar panels...

Do you think that on top of the bimini it's ok to put some panels? I already have 3x120 flex panels from factory option list. They are located on top of the saloon. I'm planning to add 3x130 from Victronenergy monocrystaline panels. In total I'll have 750W of panels.

Any of you had such installation on L421?

For invertor charger I will go for victron quattro 5000. Do you think that it is a good choice?

Thanks for your feedback,
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Old 26-11-2014, 18:33   #14
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Burcinb View Post
Lagoon factory sad that its to late to change the configuration. I wont have the Genset

So it's time for me to think about solar panels...

Do you think that on top of the bimini it's ok to put some panels? I already have 3x120 flex panels from factory option list. They are located on top of the saloon. I'm planning to add 3x130 from Victronenergy monocrystaline panels. In total I'll have 750W of panels.

Any of you had such installation on L421?

For invertor charger I will go for victron quattro 5000. Do you think that it is a good choice?

Thanks for your feedback,
Victron quattro 5000.

A good link on panel mounts. I think you should consider a similar setup with 750 - 1kw (3x250 or 3x320 ) similarly mounted to those shown and seperate from the lagoon instal.
The frame behind canopy is away from boom shading and can be set up with tilt. You might find you can get away without a genset, certainly for a while.

Help Needed with Solar Power
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Old 26-11-2014, 18:49   #15
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Re: Lagoon 421 LiPo Battery or gel?

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Originally Posted by casablanca View Post


I'd suggest if you are buying a new boat:

4. Check the factory installed charger has a lithium program
5. Use lead acid for the engines. Low use, cheap will do,


Bob
CASABLANCA L420 #86
Thanks for sharing your experience, Bob.

I'm keen to replace a gel battery house bank with lithiums when they die. Like many others, I hope the price drops by then but I'm not so sure about that.

I assumed that I would have to also replace my 2 start batteries with lithiums as the battery charger would have yo be configured for a lithium charge program, as you pointed out, and would normally charge start batteries then swap over to the house bank. Is it possible to get a battery charger that can do a AGM or or gel lead acid charge cycle for start batteries and then a lithium cycle for the house bank? This would be the only solution that I can think of to still use lead acid start batteries. If such a device is available, do you know the make and model?

Cheers
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