Why Do You Need CAT 6A Cables for Power Over Ethernet?

Whenever you want to supply electricity to different types of networking, computing devices and AV without an adapter, Power Over Ethernet (PoE) technology works the best. Also, it lessens the number of building materials needed to connect and power a device through a single cable which takes care of both the services.

As the powered devices of today are no longer restricted to security cameras and VoIP phones such devices utilize Power over Ethernet connections. These devices also need high power levels. A new Power Over Ethernet (PoE) standard called – IEEE 802.3bt, supports up to 100W of power per cable.

Sometimes, if high power is running through a cable, it can cause performance issues by making the cable hot leading to high insertion loss. In order to curb this phenomenon from affecting productivity, Ethernet cables like CAT5 cables and CAT6 cables are used. But the best cables to use during such times are CAT 6A cables. Here’s why:

1. They cause less power loss

If you use 24-gauge CAT5E cables, you might lose nearly one-fifth of the total power. Now this is a lot of power loss. Doing the math, you will notice that it will cost you around $7/year. Count this per year for every PoE device used across your facility including all surveillance cameras and wireless access points. Hence, if you don’t want high operation costs, go for 23 gauge CAT 6A cable which has the potential to maximize the power running through itself and boost the energy efficiency. It will ensure that the power which is transferred through the cable is utilized at its best by decreasing the operation costs.

2. They have large gauge diameter

CAT 6A cables offer a large gauge diameter that lowers the resistance and controls power waste. This is because the tendency of temperature to increase is much low as compared to small gauge CAT 5E and Category 6 cables. Using 6A cables, you can get larger bundle sizes, higher ambient temperatures and flexibility. Try to compare a 23-gauge cabling with a 24-gauge one and you will see a huge difference in how the power is handled. Nearly 20% power through the cable gets “lost” in a 24-gauge CAT 5E cable which leads to inefficiency.

3. They can handle heat emitted from tightly packed cables

Usually if your cables are compactly packed in pathways, the heat will definitely increase as it cannot dissipate away from the cable. Most of CAT6 A cables have an insertion loss margin which is capable to handle the heat generated from tightly packed cables without affecting the performance of device. However, this is not applicable to all types of Category 6A cables.

Although most of these cables offer a 100 m solution, some of them also might have an 85 m solution if temperature rise is too much. So make sure that you go for a cable that helps you maintain its full 100 m performance.Now that you have known the importance of CAT6A cables and its advantages for Power Over Ethernet, you can make the right choice!


Keywords: CAT6 cables, CAT 6A cables, CAT 5E cable

By: Jennifer Truong

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