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Old 18-08-2022, 17:38   #1
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Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

I have a Sterling charge controller but I am considering using the Victron Orion B-to-B chargers to charge a house bank of 400 ah lithium using a yet-to-be-sized alternator for a Beta Marine 28
I know they can be daisy-chained but how many can handle a high power alternator output? Do they get hot? Do they recognize when the ignition is turned on? Is there any kind of surge protection & alternator protection? Do they play nice with Victron or other brand MPPT though I can't imagine an issue...

I am considering at least 2 for the house bank for a combined total of 60amps, which should suffice for a 200 ah Lifepo4 system? Then 1 more Orion for the electronics (nice clean power, no spikes) and maybe one for the starter battery though I don't think this is necessary (boat system is 12v not 24v)
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Old 18-08-2022, 21:07   #2
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus Safdari View Post
I have a Sterling charge controller but I am considering using the Victron Orion B-to-B chargers to charge a house bank of 400 ah lithium using a yet-to-be-sized alternator for a Beta Marine 28
I know they can be daisy-chained but how many can handle a high power alternator output? Do they get hot? Do they recognize when the ignition is turned on? Is there any kind of surge protection & alternator protection? Do they play nice with Victron or other brand MPPT though I can't imagine an issue...

I am considering at least 2 for the house bank for a combined total of 60amps, which should suffice for a 200 ah Lifepo4 system? Then 1 more Orion for the electronics (nice clean power, no spikes) and maybe one for the starter battery though I don't think this is necessary (boat system is 12v not 24v)
Not daisy chaining, you simply put multiple units in parallel. You want the Smart versions to do what you want (detect alternator etc.). They do not eliminate a (start) battery that still needs to be connected to the alternator. You must use an AGM battery that wont disconnect.

The alternator is happy charging the AGM, while the Orions take their share. They get warm but are fully protected and will derate themselves to prevent overheating. They work great. They also play nice with any mppt or whatever other charger.

I have a dc-dc converter for clean electronics power too. You can use a Smart unit programmed as power supply, or add a small (like 12Ah) AGM battery as buffer and program the Orion with AGM charge algorithm to keep it in float. IMO registered ships must have it this way so that their electronics keep working on a power disruption.
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Old 19-08-2022, 09:06   #3
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Keep in mind the efficiency losses - I use the 30 amp to charge my lifepo4 house bank (from the isolated agm start battery). Have not measured the alternator current required, but guess about 85-90% efficient. I have mine (Victron orion smart) improperly mounted (does not meet the ventilation requirements) and it does get warm.

Solar is our primary charging method (alternator charging via dc-dc is switched off - unless needed) Have a 100amp balmar alternator.

I use a multiple bms lifepo4- set the alternator charging up under the fear of a lifepo4 disconnect killing much more costly items than an alternator. Lifepo4 has been 100% reliable, however. Often questioning the setup…

Also of note, the delayed start of the Orion makes the cold engine much happier and smoother (no need to raise idle unless the charger is on).

I don’t think power spikes are a concern, plus further efficiency losses. Your boat your money…
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Old 20-08-2022, 16:33   #4
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Thanks for the tips luv idea of backup AGM for instruments
So if each unit carries 30 amps and you have a 170 amp alternator s
and each unit has say a 3% loss ... hmm that adds up
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Old 20-08-2022, 18:29   #5
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Im have my boat setup the other way. Alternator charges my Lithium bank, and then I use an 18A Orion to keep my starter battery on the float. Works a treat, and I can drive 60+A into my house bank without hassle. (Or ramp it down to 0A when I drop the engine below 1100 rpm such as when ticking through the marina.
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Old 20-08-2022, 18:42   #6
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus Safdari View Post
Thanks for the tips luv idea of backup AGM for instruments
So if each unit carries 30 amps and you have a 170 amp alternator s
and each unit has say a 3% loss ... hmm that adds up
I come to these numbers as I have this combination and the alternator gets nice and toasty doing 60A to the converters plus whatever the start battery takes, which includes all 12V high power circuits like electric winches and autopilot.

When sailing (no engine), I have a single converter going to the start battery to provide power to these systems.
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Old 21-08-2022, 15:34   #7
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Who do you think gave me the idea?
If I dont use the Orions as battery charge controllers because my alt may be too big they are certainly useful for instruments esp if combined with a small back up battery in-line
Learning new things all the time!
If I remember right you use one as a step down converter to charge your AGM start battery because you run at 24v but is one necessary on a 12 volt system? The start battery can just connect to alt without one of these or maybe a smaller one
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Old 21-08-2022, 18:38   #8
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Re: Experiences with Victron Orion battery charger daisy-chained to house bank?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrus Safdari View Post
Who do you think gave me the idea?
If I dont use the Orions as battery charge controllers because my alt may be too big they are certainly useful for instruments esp if combined with a small back up battery in-line
Learning new things all the time!
If I remember right you use one as a step down converter to charge your AGM start battery because you run at 24v but is one necessary on a 12 volt system? The start battery can just connect to alt without one of these or maybe a smaller one
The converter is there to keep the 12V in float while at anchor and never running any diesel engines, all energy coming from solar

If you only use the start battery (for me also 12V bank) for starting then itll be just fine because a decent AGM has a very low self discharge.
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