yeknom avatar image

Practicality of using two parallel connected Orion TR Smart 12/12 -30 to speed up charging.

Practicality of using two parallel connected Orion TR Smart 12/12 -30 to speed up charging of two parallel connected 100 Ah LiFePO4 batteries. Alternator of our van is not smart, 105 amp. Concerns: 1) Will this amount of load on the alternator overwork it too much? 2) Will the alternator only be able to deliver such a small additional amperage with a second Orion that the addition of a second unit is not worth it? 3) Is there a way to know how much charging amperage is available from an alternator without over-stressing it? 4) Would it be smarter to install a larger capacity alternator?

MultiPlus Quattro Inverter Chargerbattery chargingorion-tr smartalternator
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1 Answer
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA avatar image
Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA answered ·

Hi @yeknom, welcome to the Community!

A good general rule of thumb (though indeed this widely varies across manufacturers) is that an alternator is capable of safely outputting a maximum continuous current of 50% of its rated maximum output. As such, I would only consider your 105A alternator as safely capable of outputting ~50A continuous.

Given that the Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30 will pull around ~34-35A from your source battery, and also given that you still need to power your chassis loads (ie, headlights, heater/AC blower, etc), I would definitely not add a second Orion to the loads on your alternator, as there's a very real chance that it would, sooner or later, cause your alternator to prematurely fail.

In purely practical terms, yes, adding a second Orion in parallel will double the charge rate of your target battery, and that may well be desirable... but I would absolutely advise upgrading your alternator first so that you don't find yourself unexpectedly stranded with a burnt out alternator somewhere.

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I very much appreciate your feedback Justin. Your comments make total sense.

Hi @yeknom @Justin Cook - Bay Marine Supply USA

Thank you both for the question and answer. Very helpful. Could you please describe how to properly connect the two 12/12-30 Orion-Tr Smart? Sorry for the rookie question.

Thank you,

Hi @Ernesto,

The simple way to describe the connection method is, just hook up the first one, and then hook up the second one in the same way - and be sure to match the settings between both of them.

The two units don't "talk" to each other or anything, so there's no special connection method when using more than one - you just connect the second one exactly the same as you connected the first one, and program it exactly the same as well.

There are of course multiple options for the exact wiring method used, such as using one heavier-gauge wire from the battery and then breaking it into two smaller wires near the input or output of the two Orions and that sort of thing, but the best method for your particular installation will be entirely dependent on your particular installation, so I'd advise consulting with a reputable, experienced, and Victron-trained systems installer to identify the best options for your particular needs and installation environment.

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

Thanks @Justin. That’s simple enough. Really appreciate it. Cheers.