How to Choose the Right PoE Cabling

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Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that enables electrical current to be transmitted over standard Ethernet network cables rather than traditional power cords. By operating power and data transmission over a single Ethernet cable, PoE has achieved popularization in a variety of applications, such as IP cameras, IP phones and Wireless Access Points. However, if there is no right PoE cabling, PoE can encounter cable heating and connectivity issues which will adversely affect the transmission performance from PoE switch to these devices and in reverse. So in this article, we will discuss some considerable factors and FS product recommendations related with PoE cabling.

PoE technology applications-PoE switch connecting to IP phones, APs and IP cameras by Ethernet cable

Figure1: PoE technology applications—PoE switch connecting to IP phones, APs and IP cameras by Ethernet cable

Importance of the Right PoE Cabling

Heat generation in cable bundles is one of the biggest issues that affect PoE performance. When power is added to balanced twisted-pair cabling, the copper conductors generate heat and then temperature rises. In the meanwhile, high temperature will bring about higher insertion loss and shorten permissible cable lengths in result. Due to more power dissipation in cabling, bit error rate and power costs increase consecutively. A proper and right PoE cabling with PoE switch becomes especially crucial to the network quality and reliability.

Cabling Considerations for PoE Switch

According to the above introduction, we have known the importance of right PoE cabling. Now, some cabling considerations with PoE switch are suggested to help lower cabling temperature.

  • Category Cabling

Higher category-rated cable typically means larger gauge size. When power currents increase, these larger conductors can perform better than smaller cable. For instance, with larger gauge size, Cat6a can reduce resistance and keep power waste to a minimum degree as it has a lower temperature increase compared to smaller gauge Cat5e. This advantageous performance will create additional flexibility with larger bundle sizes, closed installation conditions and higher ambient temperatures.

  • Cable Structure

Copper cable can be divided into UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) and STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cable based on cable structure. Cables with metallic or foil shields, like STP cables are proved to dissipate more heats than UTP (Unshielded Twisted Paired) cables. If possible, choosing a Cat6a STP cable with a foil shield around each pair which can dissipate more heats than Cat5e UTP cable.

  • Installation Configuration

Cables plugged into PoE switch in the middle of the bundle always heat up more than those toward the outer layer of the bundle since they have difficulty in radiating heat out into the environment. Therefore, separating large cable bundles into smaller ones or avoiding tight bundles will help reduce temperature rise. On the other hand, enclosed conduit can contribute to heat issue. To use ventilated cable trays would get better airflow.

FS PoE Switches & Ethernet Cables Solution

When it comes to PoE cabling, we will need PoE gigabit switch and Ethernet cables to construct a network. For PoE switch, FS offers fully managed PoE switches with SFP/SFP+ ports, which deliver robust performance for increasing networks. The details of FS PoE switches are listed as below.

As for small-sized families or networks, an 8 port PoE switch is adequate, such as S1130-8T2F (130W) or S1250-8T2F (250W). While for larger enterprises or businesses, a 24 or 48 port PoE switch would be better, like S1400-24T4F, S1600-24T4F or S1600-48T4S. For Ethernet cables, FS also provides various types of cables including Cat6a, Cat6, Cat5e and Cat7 Ethernet patch cables to satisfy your cabling solution demands.

Conclusion

Choosing the right and proper PoE cabling is essential. The cabling you choose decides how fast your network can be. And whether PoE devices can operate well depend on three parameters, including category cabling, cable structure and installation configuration. For cabling equipment, FS provides varieties of PoE switches and high quality Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7 PoE cables with shielded or unshielded type. If you need to build PoE connections, FS is a good choice.

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