question

repadventures avatar image
repadventures asked

Simultaneous Charging, Orion and SmartSolar MPPT

After hours of searching, I cannot seem to find a clear answer surrounding simultaneous charging using the following two devices in parallel:
- SmartSolar MPPT Controller - 75|15
- Orion-Tr Smart DC-DC Charger Isolated - 12/12 |18


My questions are as follows:

  1. How can I configure both chargers to simultaneously OR individually charge a 100ah Lifepo4 battery?
  2. Would a great SmartShunt or 'Smart Battery Sense' be necessary to make this work effectively? Would it help? (even though I believe the SmartShunt/Smart Battery Sense will only communicate with the SmartSolar MPPT Controller.)


From my own research, it seems like the Orion and SmartSolar will not be able to charge simultaneously due to the lack of VE.Smart support for the Orion. https://www.victronenergy.com/media/pg/VE.Smart_Networking/en/ve-smart-product-compatibility.html
They cannot communicate with each other, nor can the Orion receive battery voltage data from a Victron SmartShunt/Smart Battery Sense.


MPPT Controllersorion-tr smartsmartshunt
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3 Answers
Philip Barclay avatar image
Philip Barclay answered ·

Yes, both chargers should operate at the same time. If both are configured with the same charging parameters they will both terminate at the same time (roughly) once the battery hits the configured voltages. One thing to be mindful of is the maximum charge current your battery can handle, with both charging the battery may receive 32A, but this is likely within spec of your battery.

The thing that is missing here is the non-ability of the Orion to connect to a smart battery sense to ensure it doesn't damage the battery when the battery temperature is below zero.

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Thank you both for your very helpful answers.

Two additional questions:


  1. If my Lifepo4 battery is already equipped with a low temp cutoff and overcharge protection, is there any value to having the Smart Battery Sense installed on this system? Particularly given only the MPPT controller will utilize it?
  2. In other posts I’ve seen folks mention offsetting the voltages between the two controllers to prioritize one charger over the other. Is there any downside to not configuring with this offset?
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pmikep avatar image
pmikep answered ·

I helped someone wire an Orion and a SmartSolar in his van conversion. They work fine together charging his LiFePo4 battery bank. I set them both with the same charging parameters. His do not talk to each other. They just respond to battery voltage. In my mind, it's the same as multiple MPPT's charging a battery.

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Bob K avatar image
Bob K answered ·

I don't see any problem so long as you:

  • Ensure you don't exceed the battery's max charging current. Battleborn, for example, recommends a .5C charge rate. That would be maximum 50 amps for you 100Ah battery if you have a Battleborn LiFePO4 battery. https://battlebornbatteries.com/faq/
  • Ensure all components are rated for the combined maximum current.
  • Program both chargers with the correct charging parameters.

Both chargers will just respond independently to whatever voltage they get from the battery. I've charged my Battleborn batteries simultaneously with the travel trailer's onboard charge controller and a separate Victron BlueSmart charger. The combined amps gets the job done faster.

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