Connecting the Internet of Things with Power-over-Ethernet Cabling

May 20, 2016

The Internet of Things (IoT) continues to bring people, processes, data and things together in a variety of environments. From enterprise spaces to entertainment venues, the IoT is expanding to include a host of intelligent devices such as LED lighting, security cameras, and WiFi access points.

As our environments become smarter, more adaptive and more unified, building managers, IT professionals, and contractors are turning to Power-over-Ethernet cabling as a means of not only powering, but also controlling the myriad of intelligent devices connected to their networks.

What is Power-over-Ethernet?

Power-over-Ethernet is a means of carrying power and data to a device using copper communications cabling. This is accomplished by running a twisted-pair copper cable, such as a Category 5e cable, from a device to a mid-span or endpoint, where the cable can be connectorized using standard RJ-45 or similar modular connectors.

Connecting the Internet of Things with Power Over Ethernet Cabling

In what types of applications is PoE used?

Power-over-Ethernet is used to power and control many types of intelligent devices including LED lighting, HVAC and climate control systems, IP security cameras and access controls, IP televisions and displays, and WiFi access points.

How common is PoE?

With the considerable growth of the Internet of Things and the sheer volume of interconnected, data-driven devices within an enterprise space, Power-over-Ethernet cabling has become increasingly popular. In 2014 alone, PoE saw an uptake of 80% in VoIP applications. In the same year, a reported 30% of CCTVs, 20% of access controls and WiFi access points, and 10% of lighting were powered by PoE.1

Why is PoE important?

The ability to support both power and data transmission eases the pains of building and Why is PoE important? The ability to support both power and data transmission eases the pains of building and network managers by maximizing interoperability between intelligent devices—a critical component of the Internet of Things. By enabling intelligent devices to connect to a single IP network, PoE offers a cost-efficient cabling solution in that it reduces the amount of cable necessary to power and control those networked devices. Similarly, it can improve installation efficiency by eliminating need for multiple cable runs—one for power and another for communications—and the need for multiple contractors to install them.

How is Superior Essex addressing the demand for PoE cabling?

Superior Essex continues to push Power-over-Ethernet beyond its limits with leading-edge PoE cabling solutions, partnerships and initiatives. This includes the launch of its PowerWise™ cable family, and its partnership with Cisco in designing and deploying solutions for the IoT.

What is PowerWise?

PowerWise is the Power-over-Ethernet cable solution from Superior Essex, and includes the PowerWise CAT 5e+ 4PPoE cable and the PowerWise Fiber cable.

PowerWise CAT 5e+

PowerWise CAT 5e+ 4PPoE cable is first cable of its type to deliver up to 100 Watts of power to a device with 88% power efficiency while also supporting 1 Gigabit data speeds. This unparalleled power efficiency offers significant economic advantages for any enterprise relying on PoE cabling technology, yielding an energy savings of thousands of kilowatt hours per year in environments with numerous PoE devices, which translates to thousands of dollars in saved utilities costs. With its unique thermoplastic insulation and flame-retardant jacketing, PowerWise cables also maintain the lowest temperature rise in large cables bundles. Additionally, PowerWise cables are also the only PoE cables that are manufactured utilizing sustainable processes in a Zero Waste to Landfill facility, ensuring that it maintains a limited environmental impact over the course of its life cycle.

PowerWise Fiber

PowerWise Fiber is a small, flexible and durable hybrid cable specifically designed for applications that exceeded the 100 meter reach limitation of Power-over-Ethernet and twisted-pair category cables. The composite power and fiber cable design is ideal for IP security camera applications where the reach often exceeds 100 meters and the device is often located far from a traditional power source. With this extended reach, PowerWise fiber enables more freedom of location for IP devices throughout an environment. Additionally, using G.657.B3 single mode fiber assures that the signal will not be attenuated even with bend radii as small as 5 mm.

How is Superior Essex working with Cisco?

In an effort to enhance network capabilities, performance and management, Superior Essex has joined Cisco’s Partner Ecosystem to participate in its Digital Ceiling initiative. The Digital Ceiling initiative unites Cisco with third-party independent hardware and software vendors to deliver integrated solutions for smart grid technologies.

What is the Digital Ceiling?

The Digital Ceiling is where different building networks such as light, air, physical security and more are combined onto a single IP network.

Connecting the Internet of Things with Power Over Ethernet Cabling

What are the benefits of the Digital Ceiling?

Combining your building systems onto a single network can not only increase security, but also increase efficiency. Building systems become easier to manage, and allow for more control of your building environment, improving productivity, safety, and overall occupant experience.

What does this partnership mean for Superior Essex?

As a Solution Partner, Superior Essex offers a complementary product offering, its PowerWise CAT 5e+ 4-pair Power-over-Ethernet cable, and has started to collaborate with Cisco to meet the needs of joint customers. This partnership not only offers Superior Essex the opportunity to work with Cisco in designing and deploying solutions for the Digital Ceiling, but also access to new customers and marketing channels, visibility in the Cisco Solutions Marketplace, and association with the world’s leading provider of network technologies and solutions.

“Superior Essex is proud to partner with industry-leader Cisco in providing innovative solutions for the ever-expanding Internet of Things (IoT),” says Will Bryan, Vice President of Marketing at Superior Essex. “Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) is fast becoming a key technology for providing power to the wide array of intelligent devices connected to the IoT. We offer a range of cables, such as our PowerWise Category 5e+ cables, specifically designed to balance the varied power and data demands of PoE applications such as intelligent LED lighting. Partnering with Cisco offers us the opportunity to strategically advance our position as the leading designer and supplier of PoE cable solutions that not only support these intelligent LEDs, but also the full range of IoT capabilities.”

The Future of Power-over-Ethernet in the IoT

Looking at the bigger picture, Power-over-Ethernet opens up tremendous possibilities in terms of its overall impact on the IoT. “As the Internet of Things continues to expand, we see nearly endless cable applications,” says Bryan. “From unique four pair cables to suit a variety of bandwidth and power requirements, to hybrid fiber and copper cables, we will continue to innovate and develop solutions to match our customer demands and industry trends.”

1 BSRIA (2015). Convergence and Big Data: the Impact on Structured Cabling.