question

nancybeaumont avatar image

Connecting two Orion-Tr Smart converters in parallel

I want to connect two Orion's in parallel to charge twice as quickly when driving. However, I've read that in order to do this you need to connect a 'hot wire' from the ignition to manually turn the units on, as using the voltage sensing can cause issues if there's a slight lag between the two units, causing one to not turn on.

I understand how to connect the two units in parallel, but how do I connect to the ignition to act as a switch? I have a Mercedes Sprinter, not even sure where to start - thanks in advance! I presume there's no other way to charge quicker than 30A? I have a Euro 6 engine so can't use a standard VSR.

orion-tr smartOrion DC-DC Converters not smartparallel
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5 Answers
Mike Dorsett avatar image
Mike Dorsett answered ·

The ignition switch should have an 'AUX' connection that provides 12v when the switch is in 1st & 2nd positions, but not during 'start' (3rd). This wire normally provides power to the radio, and other circuits like the interior lights. I would use this to power a small 12v relay( dpdt), and connect the relay contacts to the Orions, rather than connecting directly.

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Hi Mike, thanks for your response. I think I'm starting to understand...would it be possible to just use something such as the cigarette lighter port to run a cable to the remote on the Orion, as when the ignition is off this would essentially be like an open switch, and when the ignition is turned on, this would 'close' the switch? So in the image below, the yellow cable would actually just run from the remote port to the cigarette port. I have one in my glove box so this feels like it could be a good solution.

screenshot-2021-10-23-at-210439.png

Also, presumably you need to connect to the remote ports on both Orions? Thanks in advance.

nicetrip avatar image
nicetrip answered ·

The cable you run to the Orion to switch beeds a small! fuse, so don’t connect it to the cigarett lighter, which is a huge energy consumer. Find the ignition wire as previously stated. If you do short cuts your van will soon be up in flames and also no-one will find his way around when installing or repairing/ lioking for faults in tge future.

When using two Orions in parallel you will most likely fry your alternator, especially when your engine is idling it wont have enough cooling. I have a 90A alternator in wont connect more then one 35A Orion on it. So first check how big your alternator is before adding loads to it

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Marc Goldstone avatar image
Marc Goldstone answered ·

My understanding is that the H&L control inputs need to be jumpered together to keep the Orion-Tr Smart units OFF. And that when the H&L inputs are not connected to each other, the Smart Orion-Tr will be in Auto Alternator turn on mode.

I need to parallel two Orion's and their control inputs too. A time delay relay will open the H&L contacts 5 minutes after the Ignition signal goes active to allow the engine to warm up before loading the alternator. The Victron manual doesn't state whether the H&L control inputs on one Orion-Tr can be connected to the respective H&L control inputs on the other Orion so that a single SPDT relay will control both...

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Dan Goetzman avatar image
Dan Goetzman answered ·

Been considering adding a 2nd parallel Orion Smart DC-DC here in my unit, I have one 12-12 30A unit installed now to charge my LiFEPO4 battery bank from the chassis. Is this TRUE? That they might have issues due to auto engine run detection "lag"? I assumed they could operate independently and if one detected engine on with a delay/lag that it would simply join in charging and not be an issue? Now the question about how they decide which charge mode to be in; bulk, absorption or float I am not sure about how that part works???

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They're designed to be used in parallel.

Charge mode is basically determined by what the battery is taking.

Make sure your alternator can handle the continuous extra current.



kevgermany avatar image
kevgermany answered ·

To correct some misinformation.

If H and L are junpered together, the Orion is ON. They're supplied this way. And use voltage sensing to decide whether or not to charge.

Cigarette lighter sockets may be permanently ON, or may be switched with ignition. Check on the vehicle.

If you're considering a single wire from a switched source, say to H, remember the Orion uses this as voltage sensing, not as input power. So current draw is negligible. Unless you also connect DC in to the same point.


Voltage sensing for smart alternators may need you to adjust the Orion configuration. As it's in operation normally to prevent the input battery from excessive discharge, think carefully before overriding it. In most cases you must use one of the HL options to switch the unit.

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