Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) technology, which integrates standardized power and data over a single cable and native power monitoring, has evolved significantly in recent years, particularly the increased amount of power that can be delivered alongside high-speed network communication over a single Ethernet cable. Several PNNL studies addressed market confusion and specification needs for this emerging technology, highlighting the impact of system architecture and cable selection on energy performance. Lessons learned from these studies are being incorporated into current work focused on developing and demonstrating design tools for building DC electrical distributions systems.

Power-over-Ethernet System Architectures. A preliminary study looked at the ability of PoE systems to report their own energy consumption, and an in-development study will explore the impact of different system and technology choices on energy performance. Multiple cable types, switch types, and system architectures will be explored, and actual energy consumption will be compared to reported consumption.

Power-over-Ethernet Cables. Completed studies explored the impact of various PoE cable characteristics (e.g., make/model, wire gauge, bundle size, conduit presence) on energy losses.