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Victron DC to DC Charger install
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Northern, Utah
State or Province: UT
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C-Dory Model: 22 Cruiser
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:52 am    Post subject: Victron DC to DC Charger install Reply with quote

I bought a Victron Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30amp DC to DC charger to install in the C-Dory 22. The plan is to put it in the port lazerette They don't want you to install it on any flammable surfaces. So I plan on mounting it to a piece of 1/4" aluminum and using stand offs to mount the aluminum to the side of the lazerette. They want it vertical with the terminals facing down. I want it as close to the house battery as possible for the shortest leads. The unit has a buck boost feature so longer leads to the starting battery should be ok. The leads will be 6 AWG with 60 amp fuse in both positive leads. My plan is to attach the starting battery lead to its battery switch so when it is off the charger is disabled. I also need to remove the ACR and the combiner switch. Right now my starting and House batteries are both AGM but sometime in the future I will switch the house to LiFePO4 to get the faster charge times and the increased capacity. I will be carrying a battery booster on the boat for emergencies. This unit can be configured from your phone for all of the charge profiles. Is there anything that I am missing or do I have my bases covered.
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smckean (Tosca)



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 12:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm no expert, but it seems to me that you need not be quite so conservative. First, in a marketing strategy I strongly disagree with, when charger manufacturers claim, say, they have a 40 amp charger with 2 outputs, what they really mean is that each output will have a max amp rate half the rated charger output (i.e., 20 amps in this example). OTOH, some chargers will direct their entire output capacity to a single output and none to the other output if the battery(s) on the other output are near full charge. So you might not need as large a cable as you are planning on for most chargers.

Next, I suspect the manufacturer is being overly cautious when they say "flammable surfaces". I will assume the charger has no fan in which case it can get a bit hot when doing full output, but not hot enough to set fire to plywood or fiberglass etc.

I presume when you talk 60 amp fuses, you are talking about the starter battery hookup, and that the charger somehow outputs 60 amps when in "boost" mode.

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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Northern, Utah
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Photos: Voyager (JK)
PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The charger only has one output at 30 amps it is a 3 stage charger. The input is 12 volts dc and the output is 12 volts dc. The manual calls for 7 AWG for less than 6 feet and 8 AWG for less than 15 feet. These are round trip numbers. The 60 amp fuses just protect the wire. Not that the charger could produce 60 amps. I see them mount these on carpet in the big rv's. I only have the manual to go by. It does have a rather large heat sink on the back of it.
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Northern, Utah
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks like this.
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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody, You are doing basically what I did with the Sterling 12 v 30 amp battery to battery charger. If the Victron had been available I would have used it, since all of the other components are Victron. (Inverter charger, and monitor)

I did put a switch in the line to isolate the battery from the charger in case I didn't want to use it. I ended up with 30 amp circuit breakers at both end of the #6 wire, but there is about a 12 foot run. You want miminal voltage drop. I find that the 30 amps gives a decent charge to my two Battle Born 100 amp 12 volt LiFePO4 batteries. Usually a day's run replaces the amount used by the two chest freezer/refrigerators each 24 hours. My alternator puts out max of 44 amps, so this leaves about 15 amps for charging other batteries and the use of the Honda engine electronics. We also run the induction burner and the micro wave off the inverter. Some days I run the generator during dinner prep to cut out the microwave power and give some top off on the Li battery charge. I also put my Li batteries up forward close to where the inverter/charger is located.

I agree with the jump start unit. Right now my boat still has group 27 for the normal house bank.

I mounted mine with velcro eventually because of access issues. It does not get overly hot, but probably a little better ventilated than the Victron unit.

Just for other's information, most of the Li Fe batteries do not recommend for starting. Too much rapid current draw down--should limit to 100 amps per 100 amp battery. Beauty of these batteries, is half the weight, good for many thousands of cycles, can be left at partly discharged state, and almost all of the power is useful, vs about 50% with any lead acid battery.

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Bob Austin
Thataway
Thataway (Ex Seaweed) 2007 25 C Dory May 2018
Thisaway 2006 22' CDory November 2011 to May 2018
Caracal 18 140 Suzuki 2007 to present
Thataway TomCat 255 150 Suzukis June 2006 thru August 2011
C Pelican; 1992, 22 Cruiser, 2002 thru 2006
Frequent Sea; 2003 C D 25, 2007 thru 2009
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 2:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bob I bought a switch to do that and then I was thinking that I could just hook to the start battery switch and when I turned off that battery it would shut it down too. Maybe the second switch is still a good idea I could just use the buss bars from the combiner switch. I could see a time when you wouldn't want the charger to be running.

I sure could stand to lose 30 lbs off my rear end the battery weight is real appealing, maybe I'll switch to lithium sooner than I think. I have one of the Battle Born batteries for my off road battery pack it's new I'll be testing it this winter out in the dessert. They have been doing some amazing solar install in the RV world. 4000 to 8000 dollars just in batteries Wow.
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smckean (Tosca)



Joined: 18 Jan 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 04, 2020 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The charger only has one output at 30 amps it is a 3 stage charger.

Ah, I thought when you said "Victron Orion-Tr Smart 12/12-30amp DC to DC charger" that the "12/12" part meant it had 2 outputs.
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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City/Region: Northern, Utah
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Photos: Voyager (JK)
PostPosted: Thu Nov 05, 2020 12:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I setup a couple batteries on the bench to test it. Here are some images off of the phone.






Middle photo input voltage is lower and the boost function is working. I will need to put a switch in the input leads so it can be turn off.
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Knipet



Joined: 11 Nov 2018
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody,
I'm thinking of your same setup with the same Victron DC-DC charger on a 100ah Battle Born lithium battery. However I am concerned about overheating the Suzuki's 40 amp alternator since lithium batteries can take a tremendous amount of amps when charging. I know the Victron is limited to 30 amps, but wouldn't this rate possibly damage an outboard's alternator for prolong periods? Do you know if these "smart" chargers are smart enough to recognize this and protect the alternator?
- Steve

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robhwa



Joined: 04 Dec 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knipet wrote:
Jody,
I'm thinking of your same setup with the same Victron DC-DC charger on a 100ah Battle Born lithium battery. However I am concerned about overheating the Suzuki's 40 amp alternator since lithium batteries can take a tremendous amount of amps when charging. I know the Victron is limited to 30 amps, but wouldn't this rate possibly damage an outboard's alternator for prolong periods? Do you know if these "smart" chargers are smart enough to recognize this and protect the alternator?
- Steve


This seems a very real potential issue, but maybe not at only 30 amps. Alternator heating is why I finally went with a 50 amp DC/DC charger in my truck camper lithium system with 3 100 amp LiPO4 Renogy batteries. When I had heavily used the batteries, the truck alternator could run >100 amps and tend to heat up charging at idle (I installed a temperature guage/alarm). It didn't seem to happen when moving, probably due to the cooling provided by moving air cooling the alternator. However, burning up your alternator could be a real distaster in a remote location.

I would suggest you install a simple temperature indicator attached to the alternator, maybe with an overtemperature alarm. This is still in place on my truck system, and is a comfort and assurance that all is well more than a necessity now. You might also include a monitor for how many amps the batteries or DC/DC charger are receiving. Knowing the status of your system is actually fun, and how many amps and watts your system can discharge and how quickly it can recover becomes as much a routine as knowing how much gasoline you have in your tanks and estimating range.

Here is a cheap temperature monitor I use for a lot of things, though no alarm.

https://www.amazon.com/Organizer-Thermometer-Temperature-External-Refrigerator/dp/B07VNVL8HG/ref=sr_1_7?dchild=1&keywords=temperature+monitor+wired&qid=1606756509&sr=8-7

and amp/volt/watt meters to monitor battery charging and status
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07KPXVNY5/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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thataway



Joined: 02 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 30, 2020 11:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know Jody will have an answer fo the Victron, but with the Sterling you can adjust the input to the Bat to bat charger with the charging profile. No problem with the Honda 150 and 44 amps output. I run it all day long and no over heating air issues over 2 years using this. The input you will read off of your Victron monitor..and it will be lower than 30 amps because of the lead to the Li battery. You can put a cheap monitor between the start battery and DC charger, or use a Digital Volt Meter which reads over 10 amps, (loop around + wire) to see what the amperage is.

Looking at The Victron manual, it appears that you can buy a 12 V DC to DC in 18 amps which might be a better match if you are concerned about the overheating.

The answer will be in the program. The DC to DC charger is 87% efficient it may be pulling more than the 30 amps from the start battery (could be 34.5 amps). The resistance of the start battery is sort of a buffer to some degree. If you set the voltage lower, on the Orion it probably would decrease the current. Make the Bulk period short or eliminate it, and go to adsorption directly in the program. You could also put a temperature monitor on the the alternator, or just measure the heat with an IR thermometer when "normal" and when the DC to DC is working. The high amperage output is an issue with the RV when not running the DC to DC, which is addressed with the (Battery Isolation Manager) " BIM will connect for 15 minutes every 35 minutes. That means that the BIM will connect for 15 minutes, disconnect for 20 minutes, and repeat this cycle until the coach battery is charged"

For example my RV has a 200 amp alternator. So if it were running full time at 200 amps, there could be an issue. But with the BIM, you can get more into the Li battery than a 20 or for 60 amp Bat to bat DC charger. (I have golf carts on my RV, not the Li as I have on the boat)
Edit: Rob above links to the cheap meter I use for test projects. It is not really good for constant monitoring because of the difficulty to reset and not water resistant.
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jkidd



Joined: 23 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knipet wrote:
Jody,
I'm thinking of your same setup with the same Victron DC-DC charger on a 100ah Battle Born lithium battery. However I am concerned about overheating the Suzuki's 40 amp alternator since lithium batteries can take a tremendous amount of amps when charging. I know the Victron is limited to 30 amps, but wouldn't this rate possibly damage an outboard's alternator for prolong periods? Do you know if these "smart" chargers are smart enough to recognize this and protect the alternator?
- Steve


Sorry for being a little slow spent the weekend out in the desert riding dirt roads and counting uranium mines.

I won't know the answers till I hook mine up and run some tests. Generally I use about 10 percent off of my batteries during the night and move the next day. My thinking is it won't stay in bulk charge mode very long. If the 30 amp is to big I will switch to the 18 amp. I already have a place to use the 30 if it doesn't work. I do have a Victron battery monitor in place and I have a DC clamp for one of my oscilloscope's. I can monitor temp with an IR thermometer the charge coil sits just under the flywheel. Suzuki doesn't want you to use anything lead acid with there motor's. they also don't like you to parallel charge them. I have been using agm's since 2007 haven't had any issues. I'm sure there just covering there bases so they can deny a claim. I changed out my first set of batteries at 10 years and still use them for other tasks. My thinking is the 40 amp should be able to deliver it's capacity for a reasonable period of time without causing a problem. What I don't know is am I going to be using more amps than the charge coil can deliver and is that going to cause a problem somewhere else. I can test for that.
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hardee



Joined: 30 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jody
"Sorry for being a little slow spent the weekend out in the desert riding dirt roads and counting uranium mines."
No wonder you give such glowing reports Wink

I am following this thread, but much of it is well over my head. But, thanks for it, I am trying to learn.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon


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Knipet



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

hardee wrote:
Jody
"Sorry for being a little slow spent the weekend out in the desert riding dirt roads and counting uranium mines."
No wonder you give such glowing reports Wink


Can we speculate that perhaps Jody has something to do with the appearance and disappearance of the of the Utah Monolith? Shocked
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hardee



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PostPosted: Wed Dec 02, 2020 3:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hummmm, He does have a drone.

Harvey
SleepyC Moon

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