Nowadays, PoE technology has been widely used on networking infrastructure deployment due to its numerous advantages surpassed traditional ways like telephone lines, coaxial cabling to deliver power and network for various IP devices, such as IP cameras, wireless access points, and other non-PoE networked devices. Its installation tends to be an easier plug-and-play job for the majority of end-users to handle, however, for those applications requiring a large coverage PoE, the design and deployment are generally more difficult because several challenges occasionally occur. This post is going to elaborate on challenges that may encounter, and go through special ways that help to set up a large coverage PoE networking system effectively, and this guide is also easy to be understood by beginners.
PoE, stands for Power over Ethernet, which makes power networking deployment safer, easier, and more flexible. Because it enables Ethernet cable to carry power, that being said, power and network are transmitted simultaneously over a single Ethernet cable, eliminating an extra power source close to the powered devices. Therefore, it gives flexibility on the placement of IP devices, as you know that it is not always happened to find AC outlets around the mounting point.
PoE technology is commonly used to supply power and network for low voltage IP devices, and PoE IP cameras suppose to be the most common one. As mentioned previously, PoE can be regarded as a way to get power to be centralized at a relatively safe place where can be monitored and managed directly and simply. Moreover, a large coverage IP surveillance system is a regular measure for businesses in different fields to achieve effective protection for properties and human safety.
Like what we talked about at the beginning, large coverage PoE networking system is not an easy work rather than common applications like a point-to-point connection within 100 meters between the main network device and the edge IP device for the reason that this work is potential to face some challenges or issues, in the following, we are going to look into the detail.
Long Distance Cabling
In a large coverage networking system, the distance between the main network and the edge powered devices should be long, and it is quite common for the networked devices to be installed over 250 meters away. And long distance cabling can be the main challenge when utilizing PoE to build the connection. The inherent shortage of Ethernet or PoE, namely transmission distance limit within 100 meters(328ft), accounts for why using Ethernet cable to finish long distance cabling won’t make sense in essence. It is known that power loses inline and is transferred to heat, so power will drop dramatically with the increasing distance. In other words, only running a long Ethernet cable to accomplish the deployment that is beyond 100 meters can’t make a success. Consequently, to realize a long distance cabling, installers are supposed to find out proper solutions to get Ethernet or PoE extended so as to reach a longer transmission distance.
Multiple IP Devices Installation
If only one network device is ready to install at the remote location, it is less likely to be classified such installation to the field of large coverage. Take the IP surveillance system as an example, if the system tends to cover a large area, apart from using PTZ camera for wide monitoring range, there are more than one location need to install cameras to get properties and human secured from all direction with less blind spots. Thus, a large coverage PoE camera system suppose to have multiple IP cameras that are planned to install and require more than one long cabling. Except for consideration of the cost on cabling, two crucial factors need to be considered before the implementation, one is the total power budget, and the other is output power.
Total power budget simply means the total power that the main network devices provided, PoE NVRs, routers, network switches are some types of main network devices applied universally. People may wonder how much power budget is suitable? It can be judged easily by making clear how many cameras will be connected to one main network device and calculating the total power consumption of all those cameras.
While output power indicates the maximum power can be transmitted to the edge IP device from a single PoE port of the main network devices, or midspans like PoE injector, PoE splitter or PoE extender. This simple tell from what PoE standard the main network device is complied. There are IEEE802.3 af/at/bt, or so-called PoE, PoE+ and PoE++ available by now. Each standard supplies different wattage of output power.
Outdoor Harsh Environment
As a rule of thumb, large coverage PoE network deployments generally refer to outdoor deployments for most of the applications. Outdoor implies a harsh installation environment to some extent, as there a number of elements may threaten the stability of the whole connection, including water, bad weather, extreme temperature, dust, or surges, and so on. Active electronic devices that are installed under such environments are bound to experience damages, which result in frequent maintenance or replacement if there is no specific consideration when choosing products or extra protective measures during installation. Power could be a big headache in the large coverage deployment, especially for outdoor types, because it is quite hard to find or install AC outlets. And this is one of the reasons why people are inclined to choose PoE networking.
Special Ways to Set up Large Coverage PoE
To obtain more distance for PoE transmitting to the remote edge IP devices, several ways have been commonly adopted, for instance, daisy chain a few units of PoE extenders, build a pair of wireless bridges between two locations, turn to fiber optic network for help. All these can solve the problem of long range Ethernet transmission, but remember that large coverage PoE deployment is not a thing just concerning long distance, it is also a problem related to multiple devices installation, that means, to make the whole system set up, the investment should be increased several times over. And stability sometimes is a problem that call for attention. Here we offer some special ways for an effective large coverage PoE setup.
800 Meters Ultra Long Range PoE Switch
It is worthy of replacing the original network switch with 800 meters PoE switch or adopting 800 meters long range PoE switch for future growth demands. 800m PoE switches can deem to be an advanced version of regular PoE switches that are widely used for the time being, but they are unlike common PoE switches being restricted to a 100-meter Ethernet transmission limit, which allows a maximum of 800 meters PoE transmission over Ethernet cable. In this way, the whole connection between two electronic devices can only use a long Ethernet cable, realizing a clear and safe connection as well as excellent reliability. You should aware that cable naturally is a more stable material rather than electronics, especially when encounter issues that existing at outdoor harsh deployment that we discussed above.
Like other PoE switches, 800m PoE switches come with multiple PoE ports, among these ports, some support ultra long range PoE transmission. There are two versions available by now, and two or four long range PoE links opt for the installers. Provided that there are multiple IP cameras that need to be installed at different locations with different distances, the two ultra-long-range PoE ports can fit those required 200 meters and more distance, while the other PoE ports, it is able to add one PoE extender at the middle to achieve an additional 100 meters PoE transmission.
The long range switches are designed with special chipsets, and they work together with an adaptor that helps return signal from the edge IP devices that are not able to make long run signal transmitting. In view of potential outdoor deployment, the adaptor that is placed at the remote side featuring IP68 waterproof rated to resist water and dust greatly. Moreover, network speed won’t be a big question because the 800m PoE switches provide a 100Mbps remained network speed even through 500 meters traveling. Additionally, complied to IEEE802.3af/at PoE standard, around 25 wattage power can be available at 500 meters point, which is definitely sufficient for IP cameras.
Outdoor PoE Powered Switch
PoE powered switch is the other way for large coverage PoE networking. It is also a kind of PoE switch, but it is a little bit unique as it can be powered by PoE++, which regular PoE switches don’t have such capability. Some people may lose in confusion. It is quite simple to understand, you have known that PoE can deliver both power and network over a single Ethernet cable, and the PoE powered switches are capable to be powered by PoE, which means power and network can be carried to and received by the PoE powered switches, and then pass through to the connected IP devices, so it shows its advantages when the power source is difficult to obtain. Placing this device between the main network device and the edge IP devices, 100 meters PoE or Ethernet transmission is added to the link.
Besides, PoE powered switch is a PoE-enabled device, so PoE can be supplied for connected PoE devices. Thanks to IEEE802.3bt standard, the PoE powered switch is with a maximum remained power of 71W when it is powered by 95W PoE switches or PoE injectors, which is sufficient to supply multiple IP cameras or other low voltage IP devices. Outdoor PoE powered switch is specially designed for applications that are installed outdoors or in harsh environments, because of its IP68 waterproof rated and rugged metal housing, and wide operating temperature range as well.
Daisy Chain 800m PoE switch and PoE powered Switch
In fact, if power can be accessed within the range of 100 meters from the edge IP devices, there is an optimal solution to finish large coverage deployment. It is feasible to daisy chain the 800 meters long range PoE switch and another version of outdoor PoE powered switch, actually, working with a proper external power supply unit, the PoE powered switch can also take power by plug into a local AC outlet close to edge IP devices, as a result, only one long Ethernet cable is required to connect the 800m long range PoE switch ultra long range PoE port and one of the PoE powered switch’s RJ45 port, and a maximum of 7 IP devices can be expanded to realize large coverage IP networking system.