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POWER OVER ETHERNET – PLUG & PLAY POWER SOLUTIONS FOR DATA-BASED AUTOMATION SYSTEMS

2010-10-11

Power over Ethernet is a cost-effective system for simultaneously delivering data and power over a single cable. A prominent advantage is ease of installation, due to the reduced time, effort and cost compared to building a separate data and power infrastructure, as would otherwise be required.

For system manufacturers, the top priority, of course, is to provide customers with optimum usability of the hardware and software. However, it is equally important to offer a cost-effective overall package that takes into account the installation phase, to mean installing systems without the need for costly structural alterations. That’s why Power over Ethernet (PoE) is especially attractive for applications that rely on remote peripheral systems operating with up to 90W of input power to capture/record data – and, perhaps, to also perform mechanical automation tasks.

What specific advantages does Power over Ethernet offer?

Any existing Ethernet system that uses CAT5 or higher cabling can be retrofit with PoE technology – at any time! This can be done by simply connecting a PoE power sourcing equipment (PSE) device between a switch and the powered device (PD), in any desired location where AC mains voltage is available.

Safety and protective functions that have been standardized in IEEE802.3af/at ensure overall system stability by protecting new components having PoE functionality, as well as existing devices having no power function. The standard also defines the detailed requirements that must be met for supplying (“injecting”) power into an Ethernet cable. Accordingly, a microcontroller controls communication of the defined signature (dependent on the power class) between the power supply and load side, upon which up to 95W – in safe voltages of 57V max. – are distributed through standard cables by the power sourcing equipment (PSE). Due to the PoE system’s use of electrical isolation and safety extra low voltage (SELV), as well as RJ-45 connectors for interconnection, even non-expert personnel can safely install the system without the need for additional protection measures.

Power Source Equipment (PSE) & PoE Extenders
Power Supply Modules & Extender Units for 100m+

The following types of PoE power supply solutions may come into play, depending on the situation:

A.) Adequate existing infrastructure: The switch is by itself able to simultaneously supply enough channels (ports) with adequate power. This solution largely satisfies the requirements of the lower power segment up to 12.95W, but especially power classes 1 and 2 (see table above).
B.) Multiport solution: When a series of ports needs to be supplied with power but the switch is unable – or only poorly able – to do so.  A common solution is to use multiport MIDSPANS, which are able to simultaneously supply 4, 8, 16 or 32 ports with power in accordance with the requirements.
C.) Single-port “boosting”: In addition to the aforementioned solutions, individual ports frequently require significantly more power. To boost power to such ports and their high-power loads, separate supply modules called POWER INJECTORS are used.
D.) Line extenders: When remote Ethernet “satellites” exceed the maximum cable length of 100m, a PoE EXTENDER is used to process the signal for transmission over another 100m. Such extenders can potentially be used to simultaneously supply the required electrical power.

POWER SOURCING EQUIPMENT (PSE)

IEEE802.af/at-compatible modules couple power into CAT5 data cables and communicate the required signature procedure with the load.

PHIHONG supplies a wide variety of external devices that are approved for “Stand-Alone” use and meet all of the above mentioned requirements.

SILVERTEL supplies build-in modules that function as a single inline module for integration in dedicated central offices, with integrated switch and power injection functionality.

POWER/DATA SPLITTER: Draws power from data line on the load side (PD)

On the load side, to mean at the powered device (PD), the available power is drawn from the data line using a power/data splitter. In systems using up to 36W per port, data pairs suffice for transmitting power, whereas the cable’s “reserve wires” must be activated at 45W plus.

The external splitters offered by PHIHONG, a Taiwanese-US manufacturer, come in plug & play-ready packages designed for wall mounting. SILVERTEL, a European manufacturer, for its part supplies a wide range of build-in modules that vary in design, power class and output voltage to meet an equally wide range of requirements. Like PHIHONG solutions, the latter are also designed to communicate a “smart protection” signature to the power sourcing equipment.

The different solutions available include:
o Compact SMD modules with high efficiency
o Single Inline modules with or without integrated bridge rectifiers
o 38mm and 42mm PCB modules with connectors for building into cameras
o DIP modules with 30W or 60W output power
o Additionally: Battery charger modules for a secure power supply

We would be pleased to provide you with data sheets and any additional information!

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PHIHONG: Splitter
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SILVERTEL: Open Card Module
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