The Proliferation of Powering Over LAN Cables: The Powering of Everything (PoE)
When the data and communications industries decided to go down the path of powering devices over cabling that was originally intended for data transmission only, they entered a new realm where current handling capacity, cable heating, and the related safety issues could not be ignored. But along with the demand for, and delivery of, higher power levels, comes a mind-boggling expansion of applications for these useful and flexible powering technologies.
This presentation will briefly present a history of powering over LAN cables and explore what has changed to drive the wide-scale adoption in such a relatively short period of time. We will show that there are an increasing number of installations that use data cables to power devices that are not typically associated with data cables. These include LED lighting systems and other power consuming components including large screen television displays where the power demand is higher than the traditional power used with data cables. The technologies have also enabled the increased use of digital devices that are remotely powered and exposed to external and intra-building transients. When these devices include equipment used in critical systems related to fire alarms and life safety, new concerns arise with respect to the reliability, EMC immunity and surge resistibility of the cabling and equipment.
The presentation will explore these new safety challenges with an overview on what has been accomplished up to this point, where technology might be taking us and the direction standards development might need to go to keep up.