The emergence of PoE (Power over Ethernet) technology allowed the use of structured cabling to provide both data and power to network devices, thus significantly increasing the number of remotely powered devices.
With the constant flux in office buildings, network managers and installers require flexible and efficient in-building connectivity provided by a cabling design structure called Universal Connectivity Grid (UCG), a solution developed by CommScope.
What is PoE?
PoE describes a technology that transmits electric power and data over network cables. For example, a digital security camera requires an electrical power connection to operate and a network connection to communicate display and recording. However, a PoE enabled camera only needs a network connection, thereby receiving its electrical power from the same cable.
PoE enables simultaneous transmission of power signals and ethernet data without signal disruption and interference. The PoE system converts the main power supply to low voltage supply and transmits the power to PoE enabled devices over structured cabling.
What are the benefits of PoE?
The installation of PoE provides many benefits including greater flexibility, reliability, cost reduction, scalability and safety:
- The location and repositioning of devices becomes easier without tethering to the electrical outlet.
- PoE provides power from a central power sourcing equipment that is universally compatible, thereby enabling easier control to disable or reset devices, or backup by an uninterruptible power supply.
- It reduces the costs and time required for the installation of electrical power cabling.
- The distribution and installation of network devices and connections becomes easy and effective with power available on the network.
- It provides safety by protecting the network equipment from underpower, overload, or incorrect installation.
What is the Universal Connectivity Grid (UCG)?
The Universal Connectivity Grid is a cabling infrastructure that provides a common connectivity platform. It optimizes, supports and manages from the design to the operations of the various disparate communications infrastructures of a building. It divides the space into evenly sized cells and deploys consolidation points in each cell to provide connections to the core network.
The modification of wired LAN, audio/visual service, occupancy sensors, wireless technologies, building automation, intelligent lighting, and access control has become simple by running a Category 6A cable. Thus, enabling the IoT to create improved inbuilding connectivity and efficiency.
Is UCG a solution to the problem?
UCG simplifies the workstation changes and prepares your building for the current as well as future connectivity demands. It can identify the installation efficiency and product cost at the design phase. Space reconfigurations become easier with reduction in costs of labor, material and operational expenses. It deploys a grid-based layout improving the administration and maximizing the operational efficiency. Category 6A cable supports emerging intelligent building applications by providing remote power and high bandwidth.
UCG cabling can supercharge PoE
In the UCG structure, cable runs to specific building zones from the equipment room. Each zone has a consolidation point (CP) up to which the fixed cabling is installed, then drop cabling runs from the CP to the telecommunication outlet for each peripheral device. This allows cabling flexibility and provides capacity for additional needed telecommunication outlets. As this strategy is ideal for new installations, it is also helpful for retrofit installations.
The thermal load on the cabling is vital to maximize the lifespan and minimize the cooling costs of the cabling infrastructure. The cabling temperature rises due to heat generation when remote power is applied. The maximum temperature rise of a four-pair PoE standard is 10° Celsius. It’s important to use a higher category cable with improved heat dissipation and lower DC resistance to reduce the temperature rise. The increase in thermal loading can also increase insertion loss. Therefore, four-pair PoE applications should use Category 6A cabling recommended by CommScope.
The telecommunications outlet connector and connecting hardware should be capable of handling the maximum continuous current. The cabling solutions provided by CommScope meets this requirement. In addition, these cabling systems support the implementations of the existing and proposed IEEE PoE standards.
CommScope recommends the use of Category 6A cabling to improve energy efficiency and thermal performance with additional flexibility and margin. It’s suggested that each powered device should have at least two runs of Category 6A cabling to ensure diversity in power delivery and easier accommodation of future upgrades.
In industrial and commercial buildings, this improved technology of universal connectivity grid cabling is already supercharging next level PoE by facilitating and enabling more efficient high-power applications.
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