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Old 07-21-2021, 09:02 PM   #1
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Has anyone installed the Victron Orion?

Currently both alternators are wired to charge the Starting batteries (FLA) only. Since I have installed several Victron pieces in our DP Motorhome with good results, I turned to Victron’s Orion (DC TO DC) with bluetooth, to charge the house batts from the starting batts while underway.

I read a general statement on the Victron community that one needs the isolated model since house & starting batteries on fiberglass boats do not have a common ground. I thought the 2 systems connect but I am now doubting myself if they share a common ground. I spoke with a Victron dealer in San Diego before ordering from them and they indicated a non-isolated should be fine as the 2 battery system share are likely to be connected.

During the installation, I could not get the Orion to energize. They allowed me to return the unit, but I wanted to get some feedback from the forum if someone has any experience with the Orion before ordering the isolated version. I think the key is sharing a common ground.

Any input would be very appreciated.

Streff
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Old 07-21-2021, 09:51 PM   #2
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I installed three units this year to charge my starting battery and two thruster banks from the house bank.

I have heavy cabling connecting negatives across the 4 banks, and used non-isolated models.

Others here know far more than me about these things, but I think that's a common configuration.

Have you already sent back the non-isolated model? And confirmed that there is no common ground between start and house banks? Isolated models will work, but require additional cabling to carry the negative. I'd want to know for sure why it didn't energize before going much further.
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Old 07-22-2021, 11:12 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Streff View Post
Currently both alternators are wired to charge the Starting batteries (FLA) only. Since I have installed several Victron pieces in our DP Motorhome with good results, I turned to Victronís Orion (DC TO DC) with bluetooth, to charge the house batts from the starting batts while underway.

I read a general statement on the Victron community that one needs the isolated model since house & starting batteries on fiberglass boats do not have a common ground. I thought the 2 systems connect but I am now doubting myself if they share a common ground. I spoke with a Victron dealer in San Diego before ordering from them and they indicated a non-isolated should be fine as the 2 battery system share are likely to be connected.

During the installation, I could not get the Orion to energize. They allowed me to return the unit, but I wanted to get some feedback from the forum if someone has any experience with the Orion before ordering the isolated version. I think the key is sharing a common ground.

Any input would be very appreciated.

Streff
If you can cross connect your house banks and starter banks, or switch between banks, you have a common ground, and the non-isolated unit should work perfectly.

We went with the isolated version and it's working just fine.
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Old 07-28-2021, 01:47 PM   #4
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Hello again,

Thank you very much for the input. ��. Finally getting internet back after wild fires-induced outages for a week.

Quick question on the input side, when you all installed the Orion.. did you simply run fused wires from the battery doing the supply to the Orion Or did you run a fused cable from the alternator to supply battery then from that battery to the Orion? The manual seems to indicate a wire run from the alternator to the battery is needed.

The alternator is already connected to the supply batteries via the startor.

I also looked at the Renogy dc to dc but I think I would miss the bluetooth interface.

I would appreciate any clarification that you can offer.

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Old 07-28-2021, 04:42 PM   #5
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I looked up those instructions a while back when I was considering upgrading one of my DC to DC chargers.

I believe that you can ignore how the start battery is getting charged. You just connect the Orion to the start batteries and when the start battery sees a charge voltage, the Orion will start to charge the house bank.

FWIW, you may want to run it the other way. Send the alternators to the house bank and use th DC to DC charger to charge the start batteries.
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Old 07-29-2021, 02:46 PM   #6
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If your alternator is feeding your supply battery you're all set, and fit Victron's default assumptions.

I'm curious about your existing setup. You had a house bank that was never charged by your engines?
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Old 07-29-2021, 03:39 PM   #7
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Hello Jeff F,

Unfortunately, my house batteries are not bring charged by the Alternators. Over the last six months I connected the Port ungraded alternator directly (thru a fuse) to the house batteries but I had no idea if it was charging them, set the parameters, or how much charge is going in.

Since both alternators charge the 2 8D starting batteries, I decided to install a dc to dc charger. I really wanted a 40-60A charger. Victron is only 30A so 2 maybe needed.

I tried the non-isolated Victron but could not get it working. The isolated is on back order… I may try the Renogy 40A since the dealer has them if not Amazon can deliver in a day or so.

Underway, the boat pulls 30A/hr from the house batteries. Radar pulls an additional 10A I think. When docking the thrusters, if needed, pull a good bit for the few seconds of use. So I tend to run the gen an hour before docking or anchoring to charge the batteries.

I am looking forward to harnessing the alternator juice going forward.

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