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Old 18-04-2019, 11:53   #1
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2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

When I setup my house bank several years ago, I sized everything for a bank of 4 GC2 batteries. But it turned out to be harder than I anticipated to find room for all four batteries, so I just installed two. While this has worked out OK, Iíd like to increase capacity when these batteries are ready to be replaced.

My bank is located in a lazarrete, and while I donít have the footprint to accommodate 4 GC2s, I have plenty of vertical height, so I could easily replace the 2 GC2 batteries with 2 L16 batteries (easy, that is, aside from the extra weight).

The L16 batteries would give me the capacity Iím seeking, but I would not have the ability to run on half a bank if I had a cell failure, like I would with 4GC2s. But I donít know if this is a big enough risk to worry about.

(Iím not a blue water sailor, but I would eventually like to voyage up the coast of British Columbia, where batteries might be a little hard to come by. My system also includes a small starting battery (group 51) that I could use in a pinch for critical electronics).

Recommendations?
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Old 18-04-2019, 12:07   #2
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

Until recenlty I had 2 Trojan J185P-ACs onboard which are 12V and almost the same footprint as L16s. While I can't personally recommend the Trojan line, they have a decent reputation. I bet you could find a 12V counterpart to the L16 which will fit the bill for you. Lot's of options out there.
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Old 18-04-2019, 12:56   #3
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

If you go with the premium "RE" version, care for it properly and after 6-8 years start watching for signs of declining SoH, to be proactive about replacing the bank before too-high a risk of failure,

I would not be overly concerned about redundancy.

A quality purchase for Starter(s) with a similar approach and the ability to switch nav/essential loads over should be enough.
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Old 18-04-2019, 12:59   #4
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

That said, if Trojan's T1275 fit your space and give you a bit more piece of mind they should be fine, but don't come in RE afaik.
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Old 18-04-2019, 14:26   #5
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

The L16 is a monster battery, traction duty, that will out perform just about any other affordable alternative.
If your back can handle the weight, that would be my choice. Fewer connecting cables are the frosting on the cake.
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Old 18-04-2019, 15:03   #6
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

Quote:
Originally Posted by john61ct View Post
If you go with the premium "RE" version, care for it properly and after 6-8 years start watching for signs of declining SoH, to be proactive about replacing the bank before too-high a risk of failure,

I would not be overly concerned about redundancy.

A quality purchase for Starter(s) with a similar approach and the ability to switch nav/essential loads over should be enough.


Embedded within my question is another: ďUnder what circumstances is a cell failure most likely to happen, and does it give any warning signs?Ē Your post implies that cell failure (if it happens at all) tends to occur near end of life. This makes sense, and I would surmise that there is another peak at start of life.

But Iím starting to think that my concern is misplaced anyway, since the overall risk of cell failure is probably far less than the dozens of other failure prone systems on board.
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Old 18-04-2019, 15:31   #7
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
When I setup my house bank several years ago, I sized everything for a bank of 4 GC2 batteries. But it turned out to be harder than I anticipated to find room for all four batteries, so I just installed two. While this has worked out OK, Iíd like to increase capacity when these batteries are ready to be replaced.

My bank is located in a lazarrete, and while I donít have the footprint to accommodate 4 GC2s, I have plenty of vertical height, so I could easily replace the 2 GC2 batteries with 2 L16 batteries (easy, that is, aside from the extra weight).

The L16 batteries would give me the capacity Iím seeking, but I would not have the ability to run on half a bank if I had a cell failure, like I would with 4GC2s. But I donít know if this is a big enough risk to worry about.

(Iím not a blue water sailor, but I would eventually like to voyage up the coast of British Columbia, where batteries might be a little hard to come by. My system also includes a small starting battery (group 51) that I could use in a pinch for critical electronics).

Recommendations?

Yes , stop worrying and analyzing small stuff. Get the big batteries and move on.
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Old 18-04-2019, 15:41   #8
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

We put in two L16s (Trojan SPRE06-415) about 13 months ago. We've been living aboard full time and so far there is no noticeable decrease in capacity.



Compared to the AGMs we had before they have quite high internal resistance, so voltage goes down quite a lot with heavy loads (for us, that is about 130amps max with the inverter). But this was the case with the new batteries as well and hasn't changed since then.
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Old 18-04-2019, 15:57   #9
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

I have had Trojan L16's and liked them. I now have Lifeline L16's and like them more. It's a matter of budget I think, but go for the L16's as they are stout like what is needed on boats
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Old 18-04-2019, 18:39   #10
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Re: 2 L16s vs 4 GC2s

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty123 View Post
cell failure (if it happens at all) tends to occur near end of life.
Yes QC with good makers reduces lemon factor by a lot if you get them fresh.

A 20-hour load test, or some other benchmark you devise long as it's standardized, done after the commissioning / break in period, will reveal declining capacity aka SoH.

Also Balmar SG200 claims to do so, but pretty new.

Industry standard is EoL at 80% remaining but many push a bit past that.

Longer you do, higher the likelihood of "sudden unexpected failures".
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