What are the benefits of high power PoE for access system installations?
ISJ hears from Ronnie Pennington, Director of Sales for the Americas, Altronix Corporation.
Inflation is impacting the cost of fuel, vehicles, insurance and labour, which drives up the overall expense of new access control systems and lowers integrators’ profit margins.
The good news is that new power solutions provide effective and efficient ways to reduce equipment and installation expenses while increasing capacities – and minimising space requirements.
The IEEE PoE standard, 802.3bt, perhaps best exemplifies how an improvement in foundational system power delivery can yield multiple benefits for both users and installers.
Also known as 4PPoE or 4-Pair PoE, 802.3bt PoE utilises all four pairs of wires of an ethernet cable to deliver a significant boost in power – up to 90W per port – which is an increase over the previous PoE standard of just 30W. 802.3bt is backward compatible for use with the more legacy 802.3af and 802.3at standards.
As a result, 802.3bt switches, midspan injectors and media converters can distribute more power to more devices, including both new and existing products that require more demand, such as magnetic locks and various other access devices.
Another key advantage of 802.3bt is its ability to support devices that previously required high voltage AC power. Running a single low voltage cable for both power and data connections eliminates the need for separate cables and dedicated high voltage connections.
This approach reduces installation costs, eliminates the need for additional conduits and permits and streamlines maintenance processes.
A notable safety benefit of 802.3bt PoE is ensuring that no voltage is present on the cable until it is plugged into a powered device, making unplugging and reconnecting Ethernet cables safe and convenient for technicians.
Practical access applications for 802.3bt PoE
Picture a single door access control installation that requires a card reader, a magnetic lock, a door contact and a request to exit (REX) button.
The access control panel controlling these devices is typically powered by an analog power supply (12VDC or 24VDC depending on the panel).
The access control panel sends 12VDC of power to the reader while another analog power supply powers the locks and Rex button.
This scenario would typically require as many as two power supplies depending on the voltages being used or a power supply with a voltage regulator.
It would also require a certified electrician to complete the installation and/or require the installation of dedicated conduits, adding costs and time to the project.
PoE powered access control installations work differently. An 802.3bt power source can power an access control panel that has the PoE inputs directly on the board.
These inputs can be used to power a reader, but there are more intricacies than that. The reader or the panel will have the lock connection, but then there’s the REX motion connection.
Some panels will supply power, some will not, so analog power may be required for the lock and REX motion.
This scenario allows integrators to make use of low voltage or data network cabling, but also introduces variations in power requirements and capabilities based on the type of hardware being used.
New PoE driven power supplies offer an easier option for deploying access control systems.
Under this method, the PoE power source is capable of converting PoE power to analog so all devices can be powered off a single PoE port.
These devices work by taking the 90W of 4PPoE coming from an 802.3BT power source and converting the 48VDC to a regulated 12VDC and 24VDC output simultaneously.
In this method, the wiring remains in the low voltage and network wiring trays and there is no need for an electrician.
Installers need only plug the PoE Driven power supply into an 802.3bt switch or midspan/injector at the head end to receive power.
Using a power supply capable of delivering multiple voltages is crucial because all devices at the door may not operate on the same power requirements.
Some devices can benefit from higher voltages, which reduces current draw.
This means that a greater number of locks or components can be powered by a single PoE source, thus reducing the need for additional power supplies and associated expenses.
Furthermore, the flexibility of multiple voltages accommodates voltage drop along cable runs, ensuring devices receive the necessary voltage for reliable operation, particularly over longer distances.
With advancements in access control platforms supporting higher voltage inputs, the use of dual voltage power supplies provides enhanced cost optimisation and installation flexibility in meeting diverse requirements.
Best in class PoE driven power supplies will also have integral battery backup.
When dealing with access systems where power availability is limited, integrating backup capabilities becomes crucial.
For instance, the 802.3bt standard allows for approximately 72 watts availability (six amps at 12VDC or three amps at 24VDC), which is sufficient for powering a complete access control system of four to six doors including charging for battery backup at the PoE driven Power Supply.
The second option is to utilise battery backup built into an 802.3bt multiport injector.
Opting for a centralised battery bank at the head end provides a more efficient solution, as it doesn’t consume available power from the PoE-to-analog supply.
In addition to the many benefits of using PoE driven power supplies, many advanced multiport injectors offer remote management options so security professionals can determine how much power each port is drawing from virtually anywhere.
While using an analog system requires installers to metre everything and ensure everything is up and running, advancements in remote management make it possible to gather information from a web browser.
As integrators work to prioritise personnel safety alongside budgets and timetables, the demand for efficient PoE access control deployments continues to grow.
To ensure integrators are receiving the PoE power management solutions that meet their needs, it is essential to utilise products with a UL listing.
UL certification ensures that products have undergone rigorous testing and comply with industry safety standards.
And, while most analog power supplies for access control are UL listed, it is crucial to connect PoE locks or access control boards only to UL 294 listed PoE sources as specified in their requirements.
Disclaimer – This post has only been shared for an educational and knowledge-sharing purpose related to Technologies. Information was obtained from the source above source. All rights and credits are reserved for the respective owner(s).
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Source: ISJ (International Security Journal)
Credits: Mr. James Thorpe