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Five Steps to Help Mitigate Excessive Heat Caused by PoE (Power over Ethernet)

As with any developing technology, PoE may only reach its full potential after unique questions are answered. A main concern with PoE is that it tends to generate a higher temperature due to running larger amounts of power through fewer cables. This higher temperature can weaken the cable’s infrastructure and potentially cause long-term damage.

However, installers have found some techniques to minimize the risk higher temperatures bring to PoE applications. Here are five steps to help mitigate excessive heat caused by PoE:

  • Use higher category cables.
    • Generally, CAT6A or CAT6 cables generate significantly less heat than CAT5e cables.
  • Use cables with bigger copper conductors and shielded cables instead of unshielded options.
    • Cables with larger conductor diameters can reduce more “resistances” and lessen the heat being generated. Usually cables with metallic or foil shields dissipate more heat than UTP unshielded twisted pair cable and shielded twisted pair cable.
  • Avoid running cables in conduits or cable supports that are enclosed. Also lower the fill rate in cable trays to encourage better air flow.
    • Run cables in open air to encourage heat dissipation. Keeping cables in large bundles or running cables in conduits or any small areas will result in heat being trapped from dissipating into air. 
  • Lay cables loosely in trays rather than bundle them together.
    • Keeping cables loose in containments such as cable trays or J-hooks will maximize the surface exposure of cables to air, promoting heat dissipation. 
  • Use metal cable supports.
    • Material of containments can affect heat dissipation. Compared to plastic, metal is a much better heat conductor and dissipates heat better.

Addressing these potential dilemmas allows for users to maximize PoE’s full potential.