What is Power over Ethernet (POE)? POE Applications Introduction

2020-11-06

In an era where businesses rely on technology more than ever before, your company needs to gain control of all power and connectivity issues. Power over Ethernet, otherwise known as POE, is one of the most useful technologies that can help transform your operations and truly bring your company into the digital age.

Our guide to POE will explain everything you need to know about the technology and its possible applications.

Overviews

 

What is POE?

 

Power over Ethernet is, in its most basic definition, a technology that harnesses the capabilities of network cables to carry electrical power to a device. Traditionally speaking, devices would require a network connection AND a power connection but POE means that only a network connection is required as the power is provided by the network connector.

 

The technology enables businesses to power their devices without the need for additional power outlets, which is particularly beneficial when companies are in the process of a technological expansion but can serve many benefits for those wanting to update their systems too.

 

One example of transferring both data and power through a single cable would be to install a new telephone unit in an office space where no more electrical outlets are available.

 

POE uses Cat5e and Cat6 ethernet cables, and is capable of transmitting either 10/100/1000 Mbps of data in addition to 15/30/60/90W of power over a distance of up to 100m. It additionally adheres to the IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at standards as set by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

 

 

Why use POE?

 

POE has become an increasingly popular solution for offices, schools, stores, and a wide range of alternative working environments where reliable connectivity is needed in areas where traditional methods may be unviable. This is especially noticeable for companies that are in rented spaces and may not be in a position to make structural changes.

 

A long list of additional benefits to be gained from POE and open source include, but are not limited to the following:

 

 

Cost

 

All business decisions should be made with financial implications in mind. POE cabling allows you to avoid the installation of additional power sources while labor costs are also removed due to the fact that your employees can fit the cables without a trained engineer.

 

While some equipment is needed, it is far more affordable than expanding the power supplies in a more traditional manner. Moreover, the added convenience saves valuable time.

 

 

Safety

 

Cat5e and Cat6 ethernet cables are far less hazardous than traditional solutions, not least because the voltages are restricted. Meanwhile, there are fewer cables to consider, which also lends itself to safer working environment with fewer hazards.

 

The technologies also incorporate automated safety mechanisms to prevent overheating, overloading, and a range of related issues that could harm users.

 

 

Scalability

 

The fact that your business no longer has to worry about power outlet limitations can facilitate future growth and adaptation. Distributing power and data from the network is a very easy task while installations of new POE devices are equally fast and convenient.

 

POE-enabled devices can also be repositioned due to the 'plug and play' features. In turn, this encourages businesses to create flexible and responsive workspaces.

 

 

Performance

 

Flexibility extends to the performances of the POE devices. For starters, the central power supply is far better while it can also be backed up by an uninterruptible source for optimal reliability. Data analytics can be used to improve working situations too, not least with regards to costs.

 

In addition to the upgrades for equipment, the analytics can subsequently provide an adaptive setting that promotes employee alertness and wellbeing.

 

POE is the future of power and data connectivity in commercial settings, delivering a convenient and cost-effective solution that unlocks the full potential of equipment and employees alike. When supported by the capability to evolve to reflect changing situations, it's no wonder that the tech has taken the business world by storm in recent years.

 

 

The potential applications of POE

 

POE is a powerful technology that can change the entire landscape of your business. However, one of the big questions that company decision-makers must ask is: where can it be used?

 

While an extensive range of products and devices can be made POE-enabled, the most common (and beneficiary) applications are:

 

 

VoIP telephony

 

Voice over Internet Protocol telephone systems are an increasingly popular solution for office spaces and other commercial settings due to the reduced operational costs and increased reliability of calls over long distances. In call centers and other spaces where there may be a fight for power supplies, the combination of POE and VoIP can make a significance and immediate impact.

 

VOIP was one of the original intentions for using POE and continues to play a significant role to this day.

 

 

Access points

 

WiFi and Bluetooth APS and RFID technologies are now utilized by virtually all modern businesses, and POE-enabled access points create a cost-effective and versatile solution that facilitates the potential for remote access even when AC units aren't available. Likewise, it allows for easy relocation after site surveys and related assignments.

 

In addition to cost and convenience, access points supported by POE technologies encourage better reliability throughout business premises.

 

 

IP cameras

 

The use of surveillance cameras that record and store data via an internet-based connection delivers a secure and stable solution by losing the need for video recording equipment. Crucially, it also opens the door to positioning cameras on external walls where traditional cabling fittings would not offer a suitable configuration.

 

Through a faster deployment and versatile solution, your company can protect itself with a 360° coverage of both permanent and temporary workspaces without impacting the structural elements.

 

Other devices to use POE technologies include Point of Sale terminals, Smart clocks, LED lighting, external signage, and a range of products that utilize the power of Internet of Things (IoT) features.

 

 

Terms to consider

 

Before even looking at potential POE systems, it's vital that all company directors and decision-makers familiarize themselves with the key terminology that will help form more calculated decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

How to upgrade your POE system

 

The process of upgrading a network to accept a POE configuration is a relatively simple task but needs to be planned effectively. First and foremost, you need to consider the equipment used to support your FSP POE PSU application. The most likely solutions are;

 

 

POE Switches

 

POE switches are network switches that already have the POE facilities incorporated and will, once connected, detect all other devices to decipher which ones are POE-compatible. POE switches are available in a range of setups, including multi-port rack-mounted units, and deliver power to POE-enabled devices along with a two-way data connection.

 

 

POE Injectors

 

POE injectors, otherwise known as midspans, are used to turn existing LAN equipment into POE systems. It can be thought of as an intermediary between the network switch and the POE devices, such as IP cameras. While midspans do require power connections themselves, they subsequently power a range of POE devices through simple patching.

 

 

POE Splitters

 

POE splitters are clever devices that are used to 'tap off' the current POE power before delivering the reduced but sufficient voltage level to the POE-enabled device. While they are far less common than both POE switches and POE injectors, decision-makers should be aware of their capabilities before committing to any POE infrastructure.

 

 

Keys of power supply design consideration in PoE devices

 

In addition to the main POE power equipment, it is essential for all businesses to consider the contributing factors of power supply and network design.

 

 

Power supply to remote devices

 

The IEEE 802.3af standard states that there are four power classifications. A powered remote device can use u to 12.95W of power, but POE switches should deliver 15.4W due to potential power loss over the distance of the cables. However, that needs to be multiplied by the number of POE devices connected to the power supply. So, if you have a 10 port Ethernet switch, that'll be 154W.

 

There should always be a little power leftover too. Checking that the power supply is large enough should be a priority.Type 3 (60W power budget per device) is the current mainstream POE spec. For POE PSU demands, however, will often call for Type 4 (90W) and the even more powerful POE+.

 

 

Uninterrupted power sources

 

POE devices typically need to show reliability at all times. You cannot, for example, afford to drop calls or Internet Ticket Entry (ITE) applications due to power outages. As such, connecting the POE switch or equipment to an uninterruptible power supply is vital for maintaining strong connections across the site at all times. This is crucial for both internal and external matters.

 

Uninterruptible power sources (UPS) include standby systems that kick in once the main power source is lost.

 

 

Compliance

 

When cabling and other features fail to comply with IEEE 802.3af, businesses can expect to see costly damages. Verifying compatibility prior to any installation is essential for immediate performances and long-term expansion alike. The Cat5e and Cat6 cabling compliance elements should be taken into account too, or else performances could suffer.

 

There are also various standards that must be adhered to in the name of safety, such as limits on the number of connectors linked to the POE switch.

 

Further issues to consider include the costs of equipment and installations, along with any future upgrade or maintenance requirements.

 

 

FSP POE Power Solutions

 

Connecting with the right partner is another key step towards unlocking the full potential of POE. FSP delivers the ultimate solutions, including the most complete wattage selection adapter series for PoE switches available with solutions ranging from 30W to 270W to meet all modern applications, as well as the requirements of 5G technology. In addition to compliance with IEEE 802.3af (POE), our services extend to users wanting to embrace the possibilities of IEEE 802.3at (POE+) and EEE802.3bt (POE++) systems.

 

Our POE facilities can be altered to suit the infrastructure of your business setting, making it a suitable solution for networking access points, ITE applications, surveillance networks, IPC systems, VoIP facilities, and more.

 

FSP also offers a range of six open frame 420W power supply units, which can be exposed to elements, across multiple output wattages ranging from 200W to 550W, as well as the 3Y POE series of networking and telecom switches that range from 300W to 1200W.

 

In addition to POE Switches, POE Injectors, and POE Splitters, our catalog of products extends to POE adapters like the FSP030-DWAN3 that can deliver up to 99% efficiency and 54V output. IPCs and a range of other products can add further support to your systems.

 

 

Advantages of choosing FSP POE power solutions

 

When partnering with FSP to satisfy your POE power connectivity and data transfer issues across the entire business setting, the following benefits can be enjoyed.

 

 

For the sake of value, convenience, and performance, FSP is the only solution needed for POE switch installations and integrations. Not least because all Power over Ethernet equipment can be found in one place.

 

 

Conclusion

 

If your business is based in a busy venue that doesn't have the power facilities it required for ongoing expansions, or if you simply want your business to gain increased reliability, versatility, and cost-efficiency in relation to its telephony or IP surveillance systems, POE is the answer.

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