question

pezmc avatar image

Orion Smart compatible charging of starter battery

We’re using an Orion Smart 30A to charge the leisure batteries while the engine is running in our van. However, we also have 500w of solar (real world output up to 30A) connected to a SmartSolar.

We’re finding after long periods stationary, particularly with use of vehicle accessories like the radio, that the starter battery can be a little low. Despite having completely full leisure batteries thanks to the solar. And had even failed to start the engine once (fixed by manually connecting leisure to starter to get engine on).


Is there a way to trickle charge the starter, with any excess power but without allowing any leisure accessories to drain the starter? And without “waking up” the Orion and creating a loop?

MPPT - Solar Charge Controllerorion-tr smartsolaralternatorcampervan
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1 Answer
kevgermany avatar image
kevgermany answered ·

I'm using a votronic trickle charger. Does the job perfectly. Cheap. However it's running off an Orion 24/12 with constant output voltage of about 13V. There's no adjustment on it, it relies on the house charge overcoming the forward voltage of the diodes in it to turn on. Then limits current with thermistors. I tweaked the input voltage to keep it on constantly, but with very low current. My house bank is on constant charge.

I'm about to fit an isolated Orion 12/24 to charge the 24V house bank when the engine's running, but waiting for better weather. I'm going to set the trigger voltage above what the Votronic gives. I'm seeing about 12.6V from the votronic at the starter battery, will set the 12/24 to kick in at 14V.

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