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Victron smart Orion: voltage too low when charging while driving (Mercedes sprinter)


I'm having a hard time figuring out the right settings for my Victron Orion to charge my Victron 200Ah smart lithium battery. I have a 2013 Sprinter with a smart alternator.

The issue is that when I'm pullings amps to charge the battery while driving (about 28 amps) the voltage is around 12.4 volts. With the engine switched off the voltage is also around 12.4 volts. So in my situation the 'engine shutdown detection' doesn't work. The alternator doesn't kick in, or at least not in a way that makes the voltage go up to 13+ volts.

I have read that the Sprinter keeps the battery charged around 80% (12.4 volt) to leave enough room to charge while braking (the voltage jumps to 14+ volts).

When I switch on the lights while charging the voltage jumps up to around 13.3 volts and remains there, it seems that the ECU decides to let the alternator work harder when the lights are switched on.

While driving without charging and with the lights switched off the voltage is around 12.6/12.7.

One option would be to disable the 'engine shutdown detection' and simply use the inut voltage lockout at around 12.3. This would mean that I will be emptying the starter battery while the engine is switched of. A bit crude..

Another option would be a switch or a D+ cable but I actually want to use the 'engine shutdown defection' but it doesn't seem to work for me.

Another option would be to use the default smart alternator settings in the Victron app and switch on my lights when I want to charge.

Any suggestions? Is this a common issue or am I doing something wrong?

yourithie asked
John Wilson commented ·

2 Answers

Orion smart et EBL

Question pour branchement d'un chargeur orion smart DC/DC 12v/18A dans un fourgon Elios avec un EBL Schaudt 211. Faut il le brancher en classique c'est à dire de batterie porteur à batterie cellule ou passer par l'EBL comme j'ai pu voir dans certains commentaires dans des forums ? Je vais aussi modifier l'installation solaire qui passe actuellement par l'EBL (fusible 15 A ) avec un régulateur mppt victron 75/15 par une installation plus puissante avec un victron100/30 mais là en directe car le fusible de l'EBL ne sera pas assez puissant. Le fait de ne plus passer par l'EBL est il un problème? Merci pour votre aide

pascal-b asked

0 Answers

Orion 12/24 Non Isolated Bulk Voltage

Hi All,

I have connected an Orion 12/24 to my van power system as shown in the diagram using 10mm2 cabling as recommended with 30A fuses:


I am using the factory default charger settings for Smart Lithium with Absorption voltage set to 28.4V and Float at 27V.

My leisure batteries show 26.1V before I turn my engine on and afterwards it only increases to 26.4V. The app shows that it is in bulk charge however my leisure batteries don't appear to be charging enough.

Should the bulk charge voltage be higher?

How do I change this value?

malbecormerlot asked
kevgermany answered ·

3 Answers

Orion DC-DC overheating

My Orion Tr Smart 12/12-30 Charger runs hot, and the output current folds back considerably. Anyone else with this problem? When cold, it will output 33A. When hot, it will fold back to 26A or less. Parts of the case may exceed 134dg F, in a cool (60dg F) environment. By adding a 80CFM fan above the fins, the case temperature is lowered by 20 degrees F, and the unit will continuosly output 30A. It would appear that the heat sink is undersized. Comments?

mdbrown asked
rock2ya commented ·

7 Answers

Orion-tr 24/12-30 charger or Orion 24/12 converter in RV/Caravan

Adding a 24 volt system to a 12 volt fifth wheel RV/Caravan. Leaving existing 12v system intact including battery adding 24v system for multiplus and smartsolar. Better to use tr smart charger to keep 12v battery charged from 24v battery?

Jeff Jensen asked
klim8skeptic answered ·

1 Answer

Orion Smart Tr sizing and related questions

Similar to a few other posts, I want to add an Orion Smart Tr to my boat for running a LiFePO4 house battery in parallel with a Lead Acid starting battery. The LiFePO4 is replacing a Lead Acid that has a common ground with the two other starting batteries. My engines are Yamaha F200s that have charging systems with 50 amp max output. Through other research I've read recommendations to conservatively subtract 10 amps for engine needs (40 amps left), subtract 25% of my paralleled lead acid battery capacity for its amp draw (25% of 80 amp-hours is 20 amps). End result - 20 amps left for DC-DC charger and LiFePO4.

1. So it seems like getting the 12/12-30 would result in too much potential current draw on the Yamahas charging system, and I should purchase the 12/12-18 instead (and with little margin). Does this make sense?

2. Currently the lead acid house battery is charged through the aux connection of one of the Yamaha charging systems. Since the house will now be paralleled off the starter battery, I would connect this aux line to the same battery switch port as the the main connection from the same battery (similar to when the switch is currently in combined mode). Don't think this would help or hurt, just didn't want to leave it floating. Make sense?

3. Since there is only a 12/12-18 "isolated" model, I would do what others have done and share a common ground with both sides of the DC-DC charger. Also wondering if this is going to eliminate my desire to use a SmartShunt to capture current draw, etc of the LiFePO4 (a secondary concern). Thoughts?

I also have installed a NOCO Genius 3-Bank battery charger that has a configurable lithium profile I will occasionally use, but liked the configurability of the Smart Tr to be able to selectively turn on when I'm out in the water once the Lithium is down to a lower SoC, limiting the number of recharges. Seems like this will prolong battery life.

Thanks in advance.

skilargo asked
dc4me commented ·

5 Answers

Twin engine boat, with a battery isolator, how to wire the Orion Tr smart?

I have a twin engine boat with a 5 stud isolator, 2 alternators and 3 battery banks, I just switched the house batteries to LI, can I connect the Orion Tr smart non isolated input to the house bank stud on the isolator and the output to the LI batteries? The problem is there is no power to the isolator until the motors are running, or should I double lug the Orion to one of the start battery studs on the isolator? The boat is a 1993 Searay 370 Sundancer.

jstoneco asked

0 Answers

Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30A Non-Isolated DC-DC charger : Both green & blue light are weak and flickering rapidly

Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30A Non-Isolated DC-DC charger

My Orion-Tr smart 12/12-30A dc-dc charger stopped working. Both the blue and green LED both flash extremely fast. Faster than the flashing cycles described in the manual.

The charger does not output any voltage and is inaccessible via Bluetooth VictronConnect.

The device was installed per the manual and it has been working fine until now.

Video of the charger being powered on and the LED lights blinking nonstop at a high rate.

Thanks for any insight anyone has.

spirare asked

0 Answers

Orion 12|12-30 not charging

I have just installed an Orion 12|12-30 into my 2012 sprinter van. I’m running 3 206Ah LiFePo4 batteries (eventually plan on getting a second alternator). I am not getting a current output while driving which I believe should be around 30A. I’ve adjusted my settings but still seem to be having issues. Start voltage: 14, delayed start voltage: 13.8, delayed start voltage delay: 120s, shutdown voltage: 13.5 input voltage lockout: 12.5V / 12.8V

klf93 asked
kevgermany commented ·

2 Answers

Using Ground Solar Panels as input source to Orion-TR DC-DC charger

I have a 2016 Dodge Ram 3500 (w/smart alternator) carrying a 2022 Northern Lite 10.2. Since purchasing, I have removed all OEM solar and put all Victron products in (3000w Multiplus inverter/charger, Lynx Distributor, 100/30 MPPT Solar Charge controller, BMV 712, and Orion-TR Smart DC-DC charger). The whole thing is powered by 2x206ah SOK Lithium batteries. On the roof, I have 2x200 watt solar panels.

Question: I also have ground panels (2x160 watts) with a GoPower 30 PWM solar charge controller that has a lithium charging profile. When not connected to the truck battery/alternator, is there any reason I can’t leverage the connection already in place to the camper for the Orion DC-DC charger using my ground panels as my input source? I’m not seeing why not, but sometimes the devil is in the details that I may be overlooking. TIA

ourtimetorv asked
kevgermany commented ·

1 Answer

How to connect Orion-Tr Smart 12/12 30a in parallel

Hi. I have one victron orion-tr 12/12 30a in my van and I'd like to install another to give me 60amps,total charging. Can anyone advice my how I'd need to wire the 2 units many thanks

moonhead911 asked
kevgermany commented ·

4 Answers

Monitor Orion DC-DC with Cerbo GX

I have a 360w Orion-Tr Smart DC-DC Charger Non-Isolated in my system.

Is it possible to see the Orion like a MPPT module in Cerbo system?

Or at least a separate charge value for just the Orion?

Carl asked
wildebus answered ·

3 Answers

Orion DC-DC to SmartSolar Configuration

Problem: My engine battery drains while camping because of all the door lights staying on when doors are open.

Solution: Use Orion-Tr to trickle charge the engine battery when SmartSolar nears complete charge on my house battery.

How to hook this up?


Image 1: Direct to Load output of MPPT. I understand this might not work due to high in-rush of Orion. I plan to de-rate the Orion to 8 amps or something small to trickle the engine battery.


Image 2: Use the Remote on/off (LH) switch ports of the Orion. Is this how it is configured? " the H terminal (right) of the two-pole connector can be switched to battery plus, or the L terminal (left) of the two pole connector can be switched to battery minus"

So, then the load output of the SmartSolar triggers the switch of the Orion.

*If it's not clear in the diagram, the L port is connected to nothing, the H port to the Load+ port of SmartSolar. Orion input + to house battery.


Image 3: The Orion isolated 12/12-18 is cheaper than the non-isolated 12/12-30, is it fine to use the isolated 12/12-18 in a non-isolated environment? I suspect it's fine. I really don't need 30 amps either, and 30 amps is the smallest non-isolated smart Orion.

Thanks for your feedback.

darrendesilva asked
darrendesilva commented ·

2 Answers

Orion Smart 12/12 30 Not Charging

Maybe I’m missing something here and I’m hoping somebody can help. I have the Orion smart charger 12/12 30 connected to charge my 170 ah lithium battery. I have noticed that the charger seemed to be tuning down the output to approximately 15 amps after running for 15-20 minutes and I assumed this was because of the over temperature protection (the unit was quite hot). Now when monitoring the output via my BMV712 I’m not seeing any current coming through at all. I’ve checked my fuses/breakers they’re fine. When I open the app it tells me the charger is in the bulk stage and charging yet I see no current coming to my lithium battery anymore. Am I missing something here. Could I have a defective unit? It was working since I installed it until now.

leighsjor asked
billgib commented ·

3 Answers

Charging setup for LiFePo4 and Lead Acid: ArgoFET and/or Orion Tr Smart

I have three Lead Acid battery banks installed on my boat (house bank, starter battery, bow thruster battery) which are charged by the alternator (let's only focus on the alternator and ignore other chargers)

All three battery banks shall be strictly separated which is done with an ArgoFET (B+ --> ArgoFET --> 3 Battery banks).

Now I want to replace the house bank by a LiFePo4 battery. In order to protect the alternator from overheating I am planning to insert an Orion Tr Smart between the ArgoFET and the LiFePo4 battery. A great solution for me, because it's a minimal change in wiring.

In other forums I've read that this solution might not work out, because the hungry LiFePo4 will draw all the current from the alternator with the Lead Acid batteries left with next to nothing. What do you guys think, is this correct?

An alternative could be to connect the starter battery directly to the alternator, and to charge the LiFePo4 and the bow thruster (LA) battery via two separate Orions from there. But shouldn't the problem with the hungry LiFePo4 occur there as well?

Are there good reasons why this is the better setup? Well, for me it means more work and more cost.

Or is there another solution that is even better?



meester1-de asked
meester1-de answered ·

3 Answers

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