Victron’s new Orion Smart DC-to-DC converter, exciting developments

Ben Stein

Ben Stein

Publisher of, passionate marine electronics enthusiast, 100-ton USCG master.

20 Responses

  1. Robin Wessel says:

    Encouraging to see Victron offer this. Wonder if they will offer 12-24 and 12-48 models?

  2. Would love some 12-36love

  3. Dan says:

    Impressive all around in the space of a few years.

    In regard to the weight, is that correct at 0.73lbs? That is a huge reduction for a device physically three times larger.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Hi Dan,

      I didn’t actually pick one up; all the units I saw at METS were mounted to the stand and I think Victron wouldn’t have been amused if I tried to remove one. But, the new models are definitely a good bit smaller and lack all the heat sink fins of the old units, so I don’t think that’s a typo. I’ve verified what I published matches Victron’s published information.

      -Ben S.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Dan caught my mistake. I had reversed the sizes of the two units. I’ve fixed that now. The new unit is both smaller and lighter.

      -Ben S.

  4. Grant Jenkins says:

    Sounds like a great product Ben. I’m curious how they got around the heat generation issue, must be a different design altogether perhaps?
    Also, good news about the feature – now if they could just improve those tiny, brittle JST-style connector plugs that break apart if you even look at them the wrong way! Molding a large plug on the cable might make it appear more robust, but in practice just provides more leverage to crack the connector when it’s plugged into a device….

  5. Sven says:

    I get the sense that Victron enjoyed a few years while Mastervolt just languished. Now MV seems to be churning out some awesome stuff that Victron doesn’t have: 50A DC-DC Chargers (this answers that), bi directional DC charging, 200A charge capable chargers (please let this be next on Victron’s roadmap), batteries with new form factors and CanBus ( and a chance of ABYC E13), etc…

    Hopefully this means Victron feels the pressure and starts moving things forward with this as a start…since I already have a bunch of stupid VE.Direct runs, and like the other things my Cerbo is pulling in on display…

  6. Whitall says:

    This feels like a total game changer for my electrical refit. Due to the incredible efficiency jump I could charge the house bank at 24v more efficiently from the generator & alternator while keeping all the pumps and even windlass at 12v.

    Or am I missing something?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      I don’t think you’re missing anything conceptually. But, we are all missing Victron announcing converters in voltages other than 12/12. Hopefully we will see 24, 36, and 48-volt models announced soon!

      -Ben S.

    • Sven says:

      The only issue here is the Amperage. Current best Orion 24/12 does 70A @ 12v. That is not enough for many windlasses. So we’d be looking for a similar doubling, or you’d have to use the Orion to top off a separate 12v battery bank – which may be what you are hitting at here. If you have electric thrusters they would need an upgrade or their own 12v banks as well.

      On my own research, jumping to 48v is the point where changing voltages starts paying off. It’s also the direction the industry at large is heading.

  7. Matthew Salatino says:

    ( Robot voice) Error! Error!
    We use a Victron Orion TR DC-DC, 24-48 volt converter to power our Starlink.
    They do make to/from 48 volt devices.

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      I’m definitely human and happy to admit a mistake when I make one. But, although the difference is easy to miss, in this case there’s no error. Victron does make Orion-TR Converters in 48 volts, they don’t make any Orion-TR Smart Chargers in 48. At least I ‘ve never seen a charger in 48-volts and Victron’s site doesn’t show any.

      -Ben S.

  8. Tony says:

    So is it possible to charge my lithium bank when running my outboard engine (alternator) and also keep my starting battery trickle charged when I leave the boat with this one device? Is “bi- directional” the correct term I’m looking for?

    • Ben Stein Ben Stein says:

      Hi Tony,

      I believe you are asking about bidirectional capabilities. This model doesn’t yet offer bidirectional conversion, though I know Victron is aware of models starting to creep into the market with these features. So, I’m optimistic they may soon offer bidirectional units as well.

      -Ben S.

      • Dan says:

        Is a ARCO Zues like alternator regulator in Victon’s future? They have almost all the bits to do this, including VE.Direct, shunt/battery monitor products.
        Is a ARCO Zues like alternator regulator in Balmar’s future? They have all the bits to do this, just need software I believe.

  9. Robin Wessel says:

    I’m looking forward to more advancements as tech that is trickling down from the EV and storage market promising greater efficiency and performance that the marine and RV market could never justify alone. Specifically ultra-efficient bi-directional DC-DC tech being driven by V2G (i.e. vehicle to grid – the ability to have your EV car charge back to the grid).

  10. Looks like a welcome advance! Small & efficient (cooler!) is always better. I’ve been looking for a 12/24 charger that I could use to keep my 24V bow thruster battery topped up.
    What I’d REALLY like is a small unit – 5-10 amps at 24V would be fine – I don’t want to run heavy wiring all the way up forward, and the thruster is only used intermittently.

  11. Ben Campbell says:

    This sounds perfect to save my alternator from the LiFePO4 house battery conversion. But are they actually available anywhere yet?

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