Massive Benefits Coming from PoE

Enabling a single cable to provide both data connection and electrical power to low voltage systems is not a new idea. Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology has in fact been around for decades. But recent advances coupled with LED lighting are now exploding its potential.

While early PoE systems could only support 7.5W of power, they’ve since evolved to handle up to 60W. With today’s more efficient LEDs requiring only 30-35W, PoE can take the place of traditional Class 1 AC wiring for qualified applications. In facilities that already have multiple WAPs and CAT 5 cabling over thousands of square feet, powering new or expanding systems via existing infrastructure offers tremendous value.

In a nutshell, PoE not only extends sufficient power to low voltage appliances like security cameras and dimmers, but each LED fixture also becomes a standard RJ-45 connector plug & play device—with its own specific IP address. If sensors are added, these LEDs transform to smart hubs and become part of the overall IT network. They can then efficiently gather and report details on things even beyond lighting, like humidity, temperature and generic room-occupancy, providing an overall view for management staff. In some scenarios, LEDs can essentially become a li-fi system replacing traditional wi-fi, even delivering targeted information to nearby smartphones (see IIoT article).

On the construction side, structured cables like CAT 5 are considered Class 2, which is under 60 volts and less of a shock or startle hazard than Class 1 wiring. According to IEEE 802.3 standards, Class 2 installations don’t require licensed electricians, conduit or metal cladding. PoE’s more efficient power usage, quicker , safer, simpler installations, lower labor costs and smart-compatibility make a real impact to the bottom line.

Of course there are limits such as power and efficiency loss when high powered appliances are run at the end of long cable spans. But when used right the benefits far outweigh these issues. According to industry experts, facilities can expect a minimum of 15% savings in total cost of ownership over a 10-year period when using LED lights, controls and PoE together. On top of all this, PoE  offers a perfect fit for the IoT (Internet of Things).

If you’re interested in maximizing PoE technology, contact structured cabling experts that provide value added solutions to your industry.

7 Ways IIoT Will Boost Your Business

There’s no doubt that the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), is one of the most exciting and revenue-driving innovations to hit the industrial electrical and manufacturing markets in years. It takes PoE and the IoT one step further, delivering unrestrained evolution in Enterprise IT and Operations. Simply put, IIoT allows industrial “things” to not only talk to each other, but evolve together intelligently. By using far more data (aka big data), much faster and more efficiently than ever before.

In most industrial plants you’ll find sensors, software and controls that are outdated and hard to work with, making it very difficult to add new parts or upgrades. Data from various sources like plant devices, management applications and 3rd parties allow only basic integration. Aging operational systems aren’t easily replaced, and open up security risks as capabilities become less viable.  Whether at the device, product or plant level, there is very little embedded computing or intelligent control.

Early adopters of IIoT can expect significant opportunity and growth as their scope of abilities increases drastically. And while being on the cutting edge is never easy, security concerns being one of the biggest hurdles to overcome, the reasons to take the initiative with IIoT are clear:

  1. See the whole picture – with a real-time, big data view of machines, entire systems and overall activities
  2. Respond faster – with more timely and accurate data
  3. Increase quality and production – when problems are detected and resolved earlier and more precisely
  4. Boost revenue – when systems and operations management are at peak speed and efficiency
  5. Drive innovations – as machines learn, adapt and improve as an intelligent production team
  6. Refine the workforce – as more complex tasks become automated and new positions like data science, software development, hardware engineering and other specialists emerge
  7. Expand business models – as product-service hybrids and digital services open up unexplored areas of revenue

With IIoT, all communications and operations technologies will work cohesively with IT, meshing in the cloud and likely accessing a hoard of future software-enabled services to further refine productivity. There is even more to be imagined and defined as this technology takes off.

Find out how to grow with this technology and reach out to a qualified electrical or communications contractor that’s pioneering its potential.

Finally! Energy Storage Tax Credits

Soon businesses may have more ways to save on taxes when it comes to energy.  Storage is a large expense, but until now there’ve been no tax incentives. Proposed legislation by U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Dean Heller (R-Nev.), would extend the same tax incentives as solar to all energy storage technologies. This means batteries, thermal energy, flywheels etc. would be included, whether grid-connected, consumer-owned, or off-grid applications.

In general, the rebate amount is 30% for solar, fuel cells and small wind turbines, 10% for geothermal systems, microturbines , combined heat and power (CHP) and Protection Tax Credit (PTC) eligible technologies. The most return will likely be in the utility sectors, although large industry can benefit as well.

Homeowners would also reap the harvest with this ITC. The bill provides for residential tax credits that are again the same as solar, but extended to battery storage of 3kWh+.

For specifics on the legislation, visit http://energy.gov/savings/business-energy-investment-tax-credit-itc and watch for updates from your electrical contractor.

Arc Family Flips the Switch

A family business goes through many changes, with the times, with the people, with the marketplace and economy. It’s the nature of the game as we all know. And big changes are here for October, as Greg Judd takes the reigns from Elaine Judd as President and Owner of Arc Electric.

Greg started at the company with his father Bob in 2000, with a background in communications and low voltage applications. Working his way up through estimating, project management and operations, he became COO in 2011. Now Greg is making the switch—and leading the company with the same experience, response and quality work clients have relied on for decades.