First I want to express my appreciation to all of those who have been pushing this technology forward. I have been reading with great interest for the last couple of years (mostly) as a lurker interested in how the technology is working.
I am in the process of restoring a new to me vessel and while I am not quite ready to replace the batteries I am in the process of upgrading the electrical system
and the information was very helpful in selecting equipment
which will (hopefully) be workable when I eventually migrate to LiFePo4
I did choose Victron gear
and specifically the following hardware
Victron Quattro 8kva 230V inverter
/ 200A @ 24V charger
Victron automatic input adjusting isolation transformer (3.6 kva)
Victron Skylla-I 100A 24V charger
Victron Pheonix 1200 watt dedicated 120V inverter
Victron Pheonix 300 watt dedicated 120V inverter for the nav station.
I am currently integrating the hardware
with the existing 440AH @ 24V wet cell golf cart battery
bank which is 5 years old. My thought was to get the bugs out of the system before replacing the battery bank which will need to happen in the next year or so (actually voltages, electrolyte specific gravity, and available capacity are well in spec so who knows how long they might go).
The question is: To migrate to LiFePo4 when the bank dies or do the drop in AGM
thing until I am ready to go cruising in about 8 - 9 years.
I expect to continue to be predominantly at the dock
with 15 to 20 three day weekends away from the dock
during the year, the rest of the time the system is in liveaboard
mode the isolation transformer can handle 3.6 kva so any power consumption
above that (as much as 12 kva worst case for short periods) is pulled from the batteries by the Quattro and supplements the incoming AC power. As soon as the load is removed the batteries could be (in the case of LA are) recharged.
Thus, these batteries are going to see a significant number of short cycles just sitting at the dock over the next 7 - 8 years which might drive me to feel the need to replace the bank prior to several years of cruising?
As others have suggested, if I stick with LA technology for the time being I may very well put a small LiFePo4 bank up forward for the windlass
(and potential bow thruster in the future) just to start tinkering with a small bank.
Thanks again everyone for their efforts bringing this technology forward, I even see some polymer technologies out there which may bring even higher energy densities!