Technological capabilities have increased exponentially over the last twenty years. In an increasingly connected world, your business has fewer individual devices operating in isolation. Instead, you run a company with interconnectivity among individual computers, tablets, smart devices, and even building infrastructure.

As the technology leaps ahead, though, a fundamental problem has emerged: how to power everything effectively and efficiently. Power over Ethernet, or PoE, provides one set of solutions. The PoE++ standard, recently ratified, describes a standard power output to any devices on the other end of an ethernet port. When implemented, it allows businesses to achieve sufficient power in an energy-efficient way.

How the POE++ Standard Works

Installing a system that meets the PoE++ standard begins with laying out the wiring required. A system only meets power delivery standards with that infrastructure in place. For a smart building, cables installed in a smart ceiling or even under a raised floor enable connection among all of the devices, workstations, lighting systems, and everything else using power.


Setting it up requires a substantial up-front investment, but one that pays dividends over time. Devices may be changed out easily as technological updates emerge, but the cables themselves should remain for a long time. Just as a surgeon can do a heart transplant but not a circulatory system transplant, it is much easier to swap out new devices than to overhaul the entire system when you need updates.

Unified looks to install copper cables that conduct power and are rated up to 90 degrees Celsius. In addition, they are in 500-cable bundles rather than the traditional 24-cable bundles. This allows greater distribution because you cannot overlap the bundles for the system to operate properly. The thicker cable bundles are spread through the smart ceiling and connect throughout the building.

POE++ and Green Energy

This infrastructure allows your company to achieve greater energy efficiency in several ways. First, it provides energy conservation. When the lighting systems connect in a fully smart building, work areas not in use can automatically shut off. Switches and sensors installed through the building give you automated control to avoid wasted energy output.

Second, with the cables built in the thicker bundles and with higher load capacity, they avoid overheating or wasting energy in the energy transmission itself. Much of the energy waste in an electrical system comes from overheating, and other output that can be limited through better insulation and transmission capacity, so proper wiring in a PoE++ standard system saves energy costs and provides greener energy usage.

Who Should Use POE++

Because the system requires significant up-front labor and cost, it does not serve the needs of all organizations equally. A small business, a start-up, or a growing company that may need to expand beyond its current space would not be ready to do this. A company should have space that will serve its needs for an extended period of time so it can recoup its costs.

A large, established company that owns its building or maintains a long-term lease can benefit over time and save money in the long run. It should be a company looking to capitalize on the most modern technology, with a large number of employees utilizing the space involved.

Ideally, the company would perform a great deal of collaborative work. An interconnected workplace can still provide energy efficiency and long-term cost savings when employees work in isolation, but the benefits accrue much more quickly if you are taking full advantage of the connected environment. Using a PoE++ infrastructure without using its capabilities is like buying a robot vacuum cleaner and pushing it around.  It still gives you something, but it misses much of the point.

Installing a PoE++ System

Unified has developed broad expertise in installing systems suited to its clients’ particular needs. It is brand agnostic, focusing instead on identifying and creating the best solutions for the job at hand. For larger, established companies, the PoE++ standard delivers a powerful, efficient energy output and delivery solution. Installing it today can help your space meet long-term needs, even in the face of evolving device technology.

Contact Unified today to see if your facility is right for POE++

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Brian McKinney

Author Brian McKinney

Brian McKinney brings over a decade of business development and consulting experience in the structured cabling, VOIP, precision cooling and power (UPS) markets. Known for his high level of technical expertise, Brian is a member of the Building Industry Consulting Service International, Inc. (BICSI).

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