question

jfhbc avatar image

Orion-TR Smart - input and output to same source

Background: I'm considering a boat setup where an Orion-TR non-isolated would charge a Lithium house battery from the lead/acid starter battery (standard setup, per Victron docs). The house battery is also charged by an Victron MPPT Controller/solar panels. I would like the solar/mppt to charge my starter battery in an emergency. I think I can achieve this by (a) disconnecting the Lion House batt and (2) setting my 1-2-both connector to "both". These two steps together would connect the MPPT to the starter battery and isolate the house battery, giving the starter battery the full solar charge.

This emergency setup would leave my Orion in-line and out-line both connected to the same battery terminal (the starter battery positive). Is this safe to do? The manual says that all models are short circuit proof, so I'm thinking yes, but I'm not sure this situation is actually a short circuit.

setup.png

Battery Protectorion-tr smart
setup.png (34.7 KiB)
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2 Answers
d-winterburn avatar image
d-winterburn answered ·

You won't hurt the Orion at all by having the input and output connected to the same battery terminal but it will not do anything but sit there since the input and output potentials are identical. This is not a short-circuit condition but rather a 'null' condition.

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That's what I figured, thanks for confirming. I will test once I have the charger in hand and follow up here for posterity.

To close this out:

Had a chance to finally install the concept. It does work: when I flip the 1-2 switch to parallel ("both") and disconnect the house, the solar begins charging the starter battery. This has the effect of turning on the Orion, since the voltage from the MPPT triggers the engine-auto-detect. The net-net is nothing, as d-winterburn notes - the Orion in and out are at the same voltage, and though it *is* on and it says "charging", it's not really charging anything.

However I didn't like this effect, and worried it might have a negative impact on the unit. So I ended up adding a signal wire to the Orion's H pin, wired to my starter switch. This way, even if I do set up the starter battery to charge from solar, the Orion won't turn on.

pepe1395 avatar image
pepe1395 answered ·

If you connect the solar regulator permanently to the engine battery you can have both batteries charged. When the engine battery is full (i.e. reaches a predefined voltage) the Orion TR start charging the house battery.


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I thought about that, but the MPPT is a more efficient charger. If I hooked it up to the starter battery exclusively, I'd be leaving the charging of my house battery to the Orion, which is a straight 3-step charger. With only room for a 100W panel, I'd like to wring as much efficiency out of the panels as possible for the house bank.