Power over Ethernet, often referred to as PoE, has been around since the early days of landline telephones in homes and offices. Today PoE can be found in almost any commercial building. PoE is a cost effective solution for powering low voltage devices throughout a building or campus.
What is PoE?
Power over Ethernet refers to a system that safely delivers DC power and data to remote devices such as IP telephones, network cameras or wireless access points. The power and data is transmitted over standard data-com or Ethernet cabling. Commonly known as Cat5eor Cat6 cables.
How Does PoE Work?
PoE requires that a Powered Device (PD) and Power Sourcing Equipment (PSE) be present within the solution. This ensures that the solution is a complete circuit. A PSE is located at the originating end and generates power and data. This is then transferred though cat5e or cat6 cable and is delivered to the PD. The PD is an end device that accepts the power and data from the PSE and is typically a IP telephone, network camera or wireless access point.
Is PoE a Safe Method to Deliver Power? Yes, power and data will only flow through the cabling if there is a PD present. When a PD is removed or the channel continuity is interrupted, power is no longer provided to that particular cable channel.
In addition, PoE follows guidelines set in place by the National Eclectic Code (NEC). This code regulates the threshold for low voltage cabling.
Why Choose PoE?
This method of power delivery is able to use pre-existing Ethernet data lines. These cables are commonly used in office settings to provide quick and reliable access to the internet. Because these cables are already in place, it eliminates the need to run additional cables solely for the purpose of powering numerous devices individually.
Are There Cost Benefits to PoE vs. Alternative Power?
Yes! PoE allows both data & power to be delivered through a pre-existing Ethernet solution.
- An AC power outlet does not need to be cabled to the PD.
- Using DC power allows the user to eliminate AC power and DC transformers at the device location, reducing power infrastructure requirements.
- Supplying PoE power from a central location (e.g. wiring closet), offers simplified and central control of power distribution by the Ethernet switching device.
- Centralized power sourcing offers the opportunity to provide lower cost, uninterrupted back up power supply (UPS).