f3lds avatar image
f3lds asked

Orion causing 12v lights to flicker

I have a 24v battery system wired into an Orion 24v->12v in order to run the 12v side of my camper. So far I only have a string of LED puck lights and an Espar diesel heater running off the Orion.

I noticed that as the Espar cycles off, I can hear the Orion making a rapid clicking sound and it causes the lights in the cabin to pulsate at the same frequency. I don't measure any voltage drop at the Orion's connection to my fuse panel during that, and otherwise any other 12v device doesn't seem to care about the pulses. This also doesn't happen as the Espar cycles on (when it's at it's peak power usage).

Any idea what that noise/flickering is about? Problem with my load, or problem with the Orion?

Thanks for any insight!

Orion DC-DC Converters not smart
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1 Answer
kai avatar image
kai answered ·

I'm looking to get an Orion later on so this is kinda interesting.

At a guess the clicking sound is coming from some protection relays in the Orion which (if true) means the load is possibly doing something naughty when its turned off. Maybe an inductive transient? Hard to diagnose without more info.

If you have a small general purpose power diode (eg 1N4001) you could try putting it in anti-parallel with the espar. If there is an inductive kickback the diode will eat it rather than letting it through to the orion.

Make sure you get the diode polarity right or you'll short the orion!!

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boekel avatar image boekel ♦ commented ·

That's a good suggestion, place the diode as close to the heater as possible (or inside), probably a solenoid to keep the fuel flowing?

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f3lds avatar image f3lds commented ·

Thanks for the suggestion! I'll take some more measurements to try and narrow the problem down. A protection relay being tripped would certainly explain the noise.

I'll try adding a diode as well and report back if that works out should the Orion ever give you the same problem.

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wkirby avatar image wkirby ♦♦ commented ·

I think you have it spot on Kai. There must be an inductive component in the heater which is generating back EMF. As you suggested a diode close to the heater wired in reverse to normal polarity should solve the issue.

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