BEP CZone #1, “distributed power”?

Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

11 Responses

  1. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    I didn’t get into the NMEA 2000 aspect of CZone in this entry, but note that it’s just “compliant” (which means little), not certified. I’m reserving judgement, however; I don’t think NMEA has even published a set of power-related PGNs yet (though imminent), and, besides, this sort of system is out there on the very tip of the bleeding edge. It may turn out that a network including this level of control and complexity is best done with only brands which promise compatibility.

  2. Patrick says:

    Nigel Calder was pretty into this as the future of power distribution at the Seattle Boat Show 2 years ago.

  3. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    In addition to the enourmous weight savings and great ease at adding adding additional devices in your boat, what I also like about these systems is that they constantly monitor the power draw of each circuit and use that for some specialized functionality.
    Example #1: when you turn on your navigation lights, by watching current draw, it can be determine that your bulb has burned out.
    Example #2: by counting the run time of your bilge pump, it can be determined that its abnormally high and set off an alarm

  4. Adam says:

    Don’t keep us in suspense, Ben! Why must we be darn careful about getting into a 3-wire system?

  5. robert says:

    It appears this BEP system uses N2K as the primary data buss? If so this it the first distributed switching system that does so (that I have seen at least). Seems all the others have their own data wire requirement. I like that.
    Networked distributed switching IS the future. Its been around for a while (just new to marine industry).

  6. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    Adam, A significant distributed power system NOT MENTIONED in this entry is purportedly going out of production in a few weeks, possibly leaving a bunch of boats without spare parts and customer support. I know this to be at least partially true, but am giving the company a couple more days to come up with “the rest of the story.”
    If the worst is true, it’s bad news for the owners of those systems. A full on distributed power system is everywhere in a boat and may require very specific parts and expertise to troubleshoot and repair. And must be a bear to replace.
    For the same reasons, I’d also be quite cautious about a system that isn’t well proven in the field. Distributed power is very seductive, but I’d sure want a solid product from a solid company.

  7. robert says:

    Not sure if you have mentioned here before, but Mastervolt has quietly released its own distributed switching systems.
    Mastervolt has always been regarded as high quality and very good support. And the brand has been around for a while.
    I’d be interested to hear any information you may have on their system.

  8. Lightning strikes???

  9. Dan Corcoran (b393capt) says:

    In the event of lightning strike (disabled electronics but electrics work), most (or maybe even all) of these products let you manually operate the power switches. Instead of being at a centralized panel, you need to go to the individual hubs where devices are individually wired, to operate a manual switch lever on each electronically controlled switch.

Join the conversation

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *