Operation and Control of Power over Ethernet Technologies
Lester Shen — Nov 2017
The project team has recruited two sites; an office and a classroom, to install and demonstrate Power over Ethernet technologies. Construction at both sites recently began and the project’s Technical Advisory Group held its first meeting in April 2018. Read the full update.
Why This Research Is Needed
Power over Ethernet (PoE) technologies are currently ubiquitous in offices in the form of phones, access points, and IP cameras and managed by on-site IT staff. As power capabilities have increased, PoE devices are now being integrated across additional building systems, including lighting, plug loads, and HVAC controls, as a tool to improve buildings’ energy efficiency.
PoE devices are connected to network switches, which fall under current IT services. This provides an energy management capability for sites where building automation systems (BASs) are not in place. These energy saving functions are overseen by IT staff who perform these types of tasks for current PoE technologies.
Some current challenges with PoE energy saving initiatives include helping stakeholders overcome the barriers to implementing these technologies and clearly demonstrating the energy saving benefits of these PoE systems to make adoption worth pursuing.
Project Process and Expected Outcomes
This project will demonstrate the use of IT network switches to provide energy management opportunities where they typically are not available. Researchers will look at how PoE, through the use of network switches, can power and control lighting, plug loads, and HVAC, if appropriate, at a number of sites to understand:
- The technical and economic barriers and opportunities may exist to adoption of these existing technologies for energy saving purposes
- The feasibility of implementing these PoE technologies within standard design/construction practices and under existing commercial codes
- The energy and non-energy benefits of these technologies and systems
The intended impact of the project will be:
- To guide architects and engineers on the best practices in delivering these systems to their clients and
- To enable utilities in offering programs that will encourage and facilitate their adoption
This project is supported in part by:
A grant from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy under the Award Number EE0008191.
A grant from the Minnesota Department of Commerce, Division of Energy Resources through the Conservation Applied Research and Development (CARD) program.
Co-funding by CEE in support of its nonprofit mission to advance research, knowledge dissemination, and program design in the field of energy efficiency.
Additional co-funding is provided by Xcel Energy, Wold Architects and Engineers, and LHB.