More and more electronics equals increased amp draw loads. This only helps to shorten the amount of time it takes for a 12-volt battery to drop to marginal voltage levels; 16 volts provides a 4-volt cushion to the electrical system over a 12 volt system. Instead of a full charge open circuit of 12.6 (2.1 volts per cell times 6 cells), the 16-volt battery offers a full charge voltage of 16.8 (2.1 volts per cell times 8 cells). A discharged battery with a specific gravity of 1.175 produces around 1.75 volts per cell. This means that even when totally discharged, a 16-volt battery will produce 14 volts as opposed to a 12 volt discharged battery producing only 10.5 volts. The voltage of a 16-volt battery will exceed the minimum recommended voltages of a racing ignition even when totally discharged.

2 post, 16-volt batteries are the most common. Because the battery has a higher voltage to begin with (and since the voltage of depleted, totally discharged 16 volt battery still remains at 14 volts), the need for an alternator (along with the associated complexity and weight) is eliminated.

16 volts allow the starter motor to spin faster and increases the performance of electric fans and pumps. The primary reason for using a 16-volt battery is to improve the performance of the ignition system. Typically, a 16-volt battery can help to fire massive plug gaps (up to 0.080"). In some cases, this can also lead to increased jet sizes over a 12-volt baseline. Some racers claim that due to the hotter spark, engines running 16 volts do not fall off as much in "bad air" as when using 12 volts.

A number of components in your racing arsenal such as these will positively love a 16-volt system. The starter in your racecar, the electric fuel pump as well as electric fans will also function perfectly with a 16-volt system.

So far so good, but what parts can you really use with a 16-volt system?

Ignition: Most racing ignitions on the market need at least 12 volts for proper operation and will benefit from 16 volts. The more input voltage to the ignition, the greater the output from the ignition. The hotter spark from a 16- volt battery run through a high-powered ignition system will allow the racer to run as high as an 0.080" plug gap. Wider plug gaps can allow an increase in jet sizes.

Starter: 16 volts will spin the starter as much as 33% faster than with 12 volts.

Electric Fans: The electric fans will also spin 10-15% faster with no damage to the fan.

Electric Water Pumps: The water pumps will also spin 10-15% faster, resulting in quicker cooling.

Electric Fuel Pumps: 16 volts will build an additional 4-6 pounds of pressure at the pump. If additional pressure is not required, it can easily be backed down at the regulator.

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