The juice is in the Ethernet

SSN Staff  - 
Tuesday, March 1, 2005

As more and more security systems move onto the network and rely on the Internet to transmit information, the possibility for power over the Ethernet has also increased.

Some manufacturers have started to keep their eye on this latest trend, since it enables the power supply used for a digital camera or access control reader to connect to the Ethernet, as well.

“Power over the Ethernet is probably something that’s growing,” predicted Jerry Baker, vice president of engineering for Electronic Security Devices. “It’s already being used and it’s used heavily in other industries, like the computer industry.”

To prepare for this trend, Electronic Security Devices has already begun developing a power supply product that enables a systems integrator to run power over Cat5 wiring. The product is slated for release sometime this year.

Thought it’s a trend to be watched, Gene Pecora, general manager of Honeywell Power Products, said there are currently limitations on the amount of power that can be used over a communication network.

While power over the Ethernet could work for powering a small camera that uses just a few amps of power, he said, it is not sufficient for an outdoor camera.

“For small, highly efficient devices, there might be an opportunity to do that,” said Pecora. “We’ll probably see some limited use of power over the Ethernet in the security industry, but it will mostly be for low-power devices.”