Superior Essex Launches PowerWise Category 5e Cable for Power-over-Ethernet Applications

September 21, 2015

Superior Essex announces the launch of PowerWise Category 5e cable, a 22 gauge communications data cable specifically designed for internet-connected devices that utilize Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) and require higher levels of current. The PowerWise CAT 5e cable provides 88% power efficiency for POE+ and future 4PPoE applications over 100 meter distances. This improved power efficiency is due to the fact that 22 gauge copper wires are 59% larger than the 24 gauge copper wires typically used in CAT 5e cables. In comparison to typical CAT 5e cables (79% power efficiency) and typical CAT 6 cables (82% power efficiency), the PowerWise CAT 5e cable will yield energy savings of up to $78 and $46, respectively, over a 10 year period per powered device which draws an average of 71W over 100 meter distance.

While some PoE devices require a CAT 6A cable for its ability to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet, many devices will never need a data rate that exceeds the throughput capability of CAT 5e. For devices such as LED lighting fixtures, the ongoing cost and the initial cost of the installation are the most important considerations for POE cable selection. PowerWise CAT 5e cable combines the power efficiency benefits of 22 gauge copper conductors with the design cost benefit of CAT 5e (versus a 22 gauge CAT 6 cable or a CAT 6A cable).

Will Bryan, VP Marketing for Superior Essex explained the value of PowerWise this way. “We see the IoT (Internet of Things) market falling into 3 groups with respect to cabling needs. Group one requires 10 Gigabit Ethernet communications, such as Wireless access points, and CAT 6A cable is the only way to provide this data speed simultaneously with POE. Group two devices have low power demands and low data speed requirements, such as door locks. These devices can make use of standard CAT 5e or 6 cables without much compromise. The third group has relatively high current draw, but low data communications needs and for these devices PowerWise CAT 5e is the ideal cable design from both a cost and performance standpoint”.

PowerWise CAT 5e has been designed to support the upcoming 4PPoE standard (IEEE 802.3bt), which will permit up to 100 watts of power to be transmitted over the same copper pairs used for data transmission. The cable has an outer diameter of only 0.23 inches and is available for both riser and plenum applications. The plenum version of PowerWise CAT 5e uses 100% fluoropolymer insulation, which has been demonstrated to retain all of its original physical and electrical properties after very long durations in PoE applications.

“As the market makes plans for a world of devices that require up to 960 milliamps of current over 4-pair data cables, there is legitimate concern over the potential danger posed by the high temperature increases observed in 24 gauge wires. One solution is to use CAT 6A cables for every device that requires relatively high current, but a more cost effective solution is to use PowerWise CAT 5e cables for the devices that do not require 10 gigabit data speeds”, says Will Bryan.

For more information about this product, visit our product page.

Superior Essex International LP
Amir Sekhavat, Director of Global Product Management – Premises Copper


About Superior Essex
Superior Essex International LP is a leading manufacturer and supplier of cable, wire and accessory products serving the communications industry, energy industry and related distribution markets for over 80 years. Product lines include Indoor and Outside Plant (OSP) copper and fiber data cables, Distributed Antenna Systems (DAS) coaxial cables and accessories, Fiber-to-the-Premises (FTTP) closures, fire alarm/security (FAS) cables, and low/medium voltage energy cable products and accessories. Superior Essex International LP is a subsidiary of Superior Essex Inc.

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