question

vanlifer007 avatar image

Non-Isolated vs Isolated Orion-Tr

Can anyone kindly give me a straight forward explantion to what is the difference between Non-Isolated vs Isolated Orion-Tr. I am trying to regulate the current coming from the starter battery/alternator to charge my 720AH 12v battery bank. at the moment they are connected via VSR which is not healthy i think :)

Many thanks

orion-tr smartalternator
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2 Answers
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA avatar image
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA answered ·

@Vanlifer007, the isolated version has a separate, galvanically isolated input and output NEG while the non-isolated uses a common negative return. If both your source and target batteries share a negative return (ie chassis ground) then you do not need the isolated version.

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vanlifer007 avatar image
vanlifer007 answered ·

Thank you @Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA for the prompt response. I accept your answer.

can you elaborate more please on the implication of having a common negative when batteries are disconnected, for example at night when the MPPT is off or when the vehicle is stationary? the positives are disconnected but not the negative.

or if I can reformulate my question, when does one need to isolate the negatives?

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@Vanlifer007 there are no particular implications; if the positives are disconnected then it doesn't matter that the negatives are connected: DC requires both to complete a circuit.

Generally speaking, one only needs to isolate the negatives when the installation does not share a common negative return path, such as may be the case on many fiberglass boats that don't have a chassis and may not have a common grounding bus to which all their battery banks connect.

vanlifer007 avatar image vanlifer007 Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA ♦ ·

Awesome :) thanks a lot. I learned something today

Also, the isolated Victron ones are adjustable in voltage, the non isolated have a set voltage. Charging batteries generally calls for adjustable voltages, supplying stuff and ancillary equipment likely doesnt.

In your case neither is the correct choice. You want a battery booster or the new Victron smart charger with several charging phases.

This is not true. This product is non-isolated but has adjustable voltage output. https://www.amazon.com/Victron-Energy-Orion-24-10-Converter/dp/B01BF5BT6M/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8&th=1


Also, in the case of lithium batteries, a multi-stage charger is not necessary; a converter is generally acceptable, although one should pay attention to voltages at the high end of the charge curve to avoid over-charging.