Abstract: Power over Ethernet (PoE) allows the transmission of both power and data over the same Ethernet cable. This technology enables remote control of powered devices such as indoor lighting and also eliminates the need of additional power wiring, saving on cost of cabling material, labor and installation. PoE is growing especially in modern building construction and there is a growing trend for even higher power need to accommodate new devices and applications. The primary challenge with PoE technology is associated with resistive heating generated by passing current through copper Ethernet cables, which leads to potential concerns in terms of aging of cable materials due to higher operating temperatures compared to a typical data cable.
Specially formulated materials are needed to ensure long term performance for PoE applications. In this work, thermal aging studies have been conducted and the performance of several insulation compounds was evaluated on wire coated specimens to represent typical cable constructions. Mechanical properties and oxidative induction time (OIT) were monitored as a function of aging at various temperatures typical to PoE operating conditions. Long-term performance of the insulation compounds was predicted at the selected temperatures by extrapolation of accelerated aging data using the Arrhenius model.