Neptune Systems Energy Bar 8 Expansion Unit (EB8)

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Neptune Systems

Neptune Systems EnergyBar 8

The EnergyBar 8 module from Neptune Systems features 8 independently controllable outlets. With power failure detection, active electrical current monitoring, and failsafe features make this power bar far better than any competing units.

Product Highlights

  • 8 independently controllable 120V Outlets (Max 5 Amps, total current must be less than 15 Amps)
  • Plug and Play
  • Built-in 6 Port hub so that accessories can be easily added
  • Less than $20.00 per controllable outlet (Best in Industry)
  • Active electrical current monitoring and logging
  • Fail-safe features. On communication failures outlets revert to user settable default settings
  • High reliability direct wired connection to the Apex System(does not use X10)
  • Completely Silent Operation on 6 of the solid state switched outlets
  • Two of the outlets use mechanical relays for switching
  • "Soft-Start" for reduced pump wear
  • Up to 240 EB8s can be daisy chained together for up to 1920 switched outlets
  • All 8 outlets independently controllable
  • Built-in circuit breaker Protected
  • 4 Mounting Holes for easy installation
  • Compact custom aluminum enclosure (10.0" x 3.75" x 1.8")

So Much More Than Just a Power Strip!
The Energy Bars available for Apex systems are much more than a glorified power strip. In fact, this component of your aquarium controller equipment is far more important than most people realize – and not all systems are created equal! It is obvious that this component is key to controlling things on your aquarium, but what is not so apparent is how it is critical to preventing catastrophe in your aquarium. Here’s how:

Let’s Start with Construction
Neptune Systems put a lot of thought into the construction of their Energy Bars. Unlike their competitors and simple power strips, Neptune Systems Energy Bars are made out of 16 gauge, powder-coated aluminum. They are built to be bullet proof – almost literally! Other controller companies use slick, inexpensive plastic enclosures, but they do not provide you with the best protection against catastrophic failure. You see, plastic timer powerstrips and power bars can easily catch fire should saltwater enter them and cause a short. With Neptune Systems solid metal Energy Bars, if such a short did occur, it would be far less likely to spread to the tank or your home.

Controlled Outlets
Each of the independently controlled outlets on the Energy Bar is independently switched and easily carry the current load specified on the label. In fact, Neptune Systems intentionally underrate their outlets just to provide that extra level of security. So, depending on which Energy Bar you purchase, each outlet is rated from 5A to 10A at 120V AC or 8A on our 240V European model.

Current Sensing Device
The Energy Bars continually send their information on their present current drain to the Apex controller. This is incredibly useful information for a number of reasons. First, it enables you to recognize what the overall power consumption is on any Energy Bar so that you can better distribute the load across your multiple Energy Bars. Also by having this feature you can accurately determine the power utilization of your tank to compare different lights, pumps, protein skimmers, etc. (Not available on Energy Bar 6)

Soft-Start Extends the Life of Pumps
Imagine revving the engine in your car and dropping the shifter from P to D. That is exactly what happens when many controllers turn on the power to your pumps. Just like in a car, this kind of instantaneous application of power to your return pump after a feed cycle or to your powerheads will certainly lead to early failure. With the Energy Bar, power is slowly ramped on so that every motor is safely brought up to speed without the damaging torque.

Power Failure Detection, Communication Error Protection and Pre-programmed Failsafe State
Each Energy Bar outlet can be configured to be either in an off or on state if the power were to fail and then come back on or if there was a communication failure with the Apex base unit. This means that if, for instance, your heater was on when the power went off, you could have it programmed to be off until control was reestablished with the Apex base unit. Or, as another example, you could program your main return pump to always be in the on position in case of failure.

This feature is very important as many other controllers on the market may leave the outlet in its last position or possibly default all of the outlets to off or on. This is even true if they simply lose communication with their base unit due to a system failure, software bug, communication issue, lightning strike, etc. Not good! Imagine if you were away from home and a storm took out your Apex – the Energy Bar would just fall back to the Failsafe state you had programmed for such an incident. No worries.

One additional advanced feature is that when you use an additional Energy Bar on a UPS (uninterruptible power supply) you can have key lifesaving devices (low-power powerheads and bubblers) on there that will automatically go into their Failsafe State once power failure is detected. This can keep your tank alive and healthy for hours on a good UPS until the power comes back online. This will run completely unattended and is ideal to give you peace of mind when you are away from home whether out for the evening or on a two-week cruise!

It is easy to see the importance of this one small feature that differentiates the Neptune Systems Energy Bars from the rest and how once again Neptune Systems is looking out for every possible way for you to avoid catastrophe in your aquarium.

Extra AquaBus Connections
Each Energy Bar has additional connectors so that you can easily expand to other modules. This is very helpful for those that want to use one Apex to control multiple aquariums. The Energy Bar becomes an AquaBus “hub” at any location you choose – allowing you to connect more modules in that area. This is called a “star topology” and is unique to the Apex. Many other controllers require you to daisy chain together every module or they require you to buy a separate “hub” to connect everything together.
APEX Ready
When you connect Apex Ready certified products to your Apex System, many new options will unfold. How about having your LED lights dim or change color temperature at the touch of your iPad? How about programming your Tunze or VorTech pumps for some serious wave action? That’s what you get when you pair up the Apex System and an Apex Ready certified product.

Product Manuals & Documentation

Neptune Systems Energy Bar 8 Expansion Unit (EB8)

Owner's Manual available for download in Adobe PDF file format

Manufacturer Info

Neptune Systems Aquarium Supplies
Neptune Systems is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of aquarium controllers. The company was founded in 1995 for the purpose of developing affordable water quality monitoring and control instrumentation. Their engineering team has extensive expertise in computer hardware and software system design as well as a background in water quality analysis. Neptune Systems uses these finely-honed engineering skills to develop innovative monitoring and control solutions for use in reef and fresh water aquariums, aquaculture tanks, hydroponics systems and general laboratory use. Neptune Systems is best known for their AquaController line. The company is known for their innovation and customer centricity.

12 Reviews



Experience Level: Intermediate


I purchased an energy bar eight expansion unit and I had it hooked up in five minutes, very easy-to-use no issues! Love this.

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Margaret from MONTREAL, CANADA


Experience Level: Intermediate

Worked great for first week

I have three of these units - initially they were a breeze to set up and worked great. Every outlets was fully controllable. After the first week I moved my tank and had to reset all the programs and configurations. Now several of the outlets simply won't turn on, or if they do they don't provide nearly enough power to run the same equipment that ran fine earlier. So far no help from neptune systems customer service.

4 out of 4 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Beginner


I have 2 of these and it is great being able to now push one button and turn off multiple outlets so that I can feed. Instead of unplugging 5 plugs.

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Experience Level: Intermediate


The Eb8 is a great replacement for all those space taking power strips. Each outlet is fully controllable through the apex, and the apex system with the EB8 is probably the single best purchase I've made for my 120 gallon reef tank. The controlle gives you piece of mind knowing if your chiller fails the apex will turn off your lights. Customer support from Neptune systems is the best customer support I've experienced from ANY company. Well worth the money for the system no more cheap unreliable power strips. I currently have (2) EB8's for my tank each outlet is fully controllable from my computer of iPhone!!

1 out of 1 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Great Item

I'm using this with my apex controller and it works great. I already have 2

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Experience Level: Expert

superb product

As always Neptune has produced a good product here. aquabus, and removal of the dip switches are improvements for sure. Rock solid control over devices with a good power budget.

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Experience Level: Beginner

Very good, but has some flaws

Does just what you would expect it to do: it adds an additional 8 controllable outlets to your Neptune Apex system. The only caveat is that since there are only two mechanical outlets, and the remainder are solid state, you need to consider what type of equipment you will plug into each outlet. Some lower powered devices may not fully turn on or off if plugged into the solid state outlets. e.g. I had two small powerheads plugged into the solid state outlets and they never fully turned off when Apex showed that the outlets should have been off. Otherwise a great product!

1 out of 1 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Go with the EB4

Overall the Apex system is well made and reliable. The EB8 is however the weakest link in the Apex lineup. The problem lies in the six sold state switches. The issue varies between outlets and some devices will work on one plug but not others. The explanation I received from Neptune Systems is that devices with a poor power factor may not function properly. Unfortunately, the majority of the equipment I control with my apex system falls under the “poor power factor” category resulting in many outlets I cannot use reliably. The two mechanical relay outlets work perfectly and I have experienced none of the issues I have outlined above. It seems Neptune Systems is aware of this problem and their recently released EB4 uses only the mechanical relays. My recommendation is to stick with the EB4 since it comes with 4 of the more reliable plugs instead of just 2.

5 out of 6 found this review helpful

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Experience Level: Intermediate

Quality Product

Not much to say about it...it's a great addition to the Apex controller system for those that have the need for more controllable outlets than ones given on the main units energybar. The price is a bit steep, perhaps $25 less would have made it a 5 star rating, but good quality all the same. Also, the USB cable could have been a bit longer, perhaps 12 ft to ensure mounting options and distance from main unit could extend past 6 ft for those with larger tanks or limited room.

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Experience Level: Beginner

Neptune Systems Energy Bar 8 E

Great unit... the Neptune is the best thing I have used..

0 out of 1 found this review helpful

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