Four Ideal Applications for Digital Electricity Cables

Four Ideal Applications for Digital Electricity Cables
Four Ideal Applications for Digital Electricity Cables

When you need to safely move power across long distances to remote locations, there are typically three options to consider: DC power, Power over Ethernet (PoE) and Digital Electricity (DE).

As buildings rely on more high-power, long-reach applications, Digital Electricity—along with the Digital Electricity Cables that support them—is rising to the top of the list as a viable way to safely and reliably transmit power and data. It enables power delivery for applications that PoE and remote DC power can’t support due to distance limitations.

Because Digital Electricity delivers electricity wherever, whenever and however it’s needed, it is often found in large venues: hospitality, higher education, enterprise, government, entertainment/sports arenas, etc. According to VoltServer, the creator of Digital Electricity, the technology is currently deployed in more than 700 stadiums, venues, hotels, airports, train stations and office buildings.

Within those markets, there are four applications that Digital Electricity and Digital Electricity Cable support very well.


1. Distributed Antenna Systems (DASs)

As outdoor wireless licensed RF signals move indoors, they have trouble traveling through building materials like low-E glass, concrete and steel. These materials can bounce, reflect or completely block signals, resulting in poor wireless performance. Connectivity issues are also caused by increasing numbers of users and the amount of data they consume.

A DAS conditions, filters and combines multiple wireless carrier signals to improve indoor wireless coverage, ensure that signals reach the people and devices inside, and increase capacity. In other words, they bring dedicated mobile capacity to a building and can be sized to meet specific needs.

Digital Electricity Cables support distributed antenna systems by running from the system’s BTS (base transceiver station) head-end equipment to the RFs/remote radio units (RRUs), which are placed in parking lots, upper decks and/or concourses.


2. Passive Optical Networks (PONs)

Passive optical networks are point-to-multipoint networks that replace traditional point-to-point connectivity where one switch port connects to one end device. This architecture relies on singlemode fiber that extends closer to the user and electronic devices, flattening the network, eliminating distance constraints and decreasing the amount of cable running to workstations.

In many environments, passive optical networks are a viable alternative to traditional distributed switching architecture. They’re often found in large facilities that have many network devices spread across extended distances. A passive optical LAN directs traffic typically over singlemode fiber across distances that can extend several kilometers.

A passive optical LAN consists of an optical line terminal (OLT), an optical splitter and optical network terminals (ONTs) to transmit voice (which are remotely powered). Digital Electricity Cables can support passive optical networks by providing safe remote power to DC power supplies that support multiple ONTs.


3. PoE LED lighting

As more building systems, including lighting, shift to the enterprise network for improved data collection, management and control, LED lighting deployment is on the rise. This technology is energy efficient, requires less maintenance and fewer lamp change-outs, integrates with controls and often costs less to install and operate than other lighting systems.

One way to power an LED lighting system is through the use of distributed or in-ceiling PoE switches, which can be powered by Digital Electricity. From there, each port on the switch is able to supply PoE power to support the operation of several lighting fixtures.


4. Up-and-coming applications

More possibilities continue to be revealed for Digital Electricity; we’ll keep you up to date as they roll out.

Right now, for example, we’re seeing Digital Electricity being used in large agricultural applications to deliver power to support vast numbers of UV lighting fixtures and harvest power from solar farms that are located far from the connection to the grid.


Digital electricity cables from Belden

Belden’s Digital Electricity (DE) Cables deliver data and power across long distances, offering 20 times more power or distance than PoE, with up to 2,000W across a reach of up to 2 km. There’s no need for two cable paths to run to network equipment; power can run side by side with data. And because DE Cable is considered the same as communications cabling, a technician can handle the installation instead of an electrician. The cables are available in hybrid copper/fiber constructions to transmit power and data over long distances in a single cable run.

About The Author


Ron joined Belden in 2016 to help define the roadmap of technology and applications in enterprise. Prior to this, he developed cables and connectivity for Panduit and Andrew Corp. Ron Tellas is a subject-matter expert in RF design and Electromagnetic Propagation. As a Technology and Applications Manager, Ron focuses on Local Area Networking. He represents Belden in the ISO WG3 committee, TIA TR42 Premises Cabling Standards, IEEE 802.3 Ethernet Working Group and served as a committee member of NFPA 70 Code-Making Panel 3. Ron is the inventor of 16 US patents. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Purdue University, a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology, and a Master of Business Administration from Purdue University.

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