Belden recently announced its Digital Electricity (DE) cables received Class 4 certification form UL. (Digital Electricity is a trademark of VoltServer.)
“As buildings become more intelligent, Digital Electricity cables can support safe and efficient emerging digital power technologies,” the company said when announcing the certification accomplishment.
Class 4 is a new classification standard dedicated to fault-managed power systems, Belden explained. These systems offer the convenience and safety of low-voltage power, like Power over Ethernet, which provides up to 100W. Class 4 offers nearly 20 times that wattage over multiple-hundreds of meters, Belden pointed out, emphasizing that Digital Electricity is a safe alternative to alternating current (AC) power.
“Fault-managed power systems are also referred to as packet energy transfer (PET), DE, pulsed power, or smart transfer systems,” Belden added. “They offer a cost-effective alternative to AC power and provide power and data in a single run, saving valuable installation time. Similar to PoE, DE cables can be installed by the same low-voltage integrators that install Category cabling. DE cables are a great complement to PoE applications, powering PoE switches that power devices including lighting, wireless access points and small cells using standard Ethernet connections.”
Belden emphasizes that Class 4 systems are designed with safety at the forefront. Rather than limiting power source output, they limit energy and power available during a fault event. If somebody touches exposed wires or splashes water onto circuits during operation, the system immediately and automatically shuts off before causing harm. To limit fault energy, a transmitter and receiver monitor for faults and control power delivery. The technology makes Class 4 systems as safe as, or safer than, Class 2 and Class 3 systems, Belden says.
Furthermore, The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) National Electrical Code Code-Making Panel 3 has proposed a new article, Article 26, Class 4 (CL4) Power Systems, to be included in the 2023 edition of the publication. The 2023 National Electrical Code is on schedule to be published in October 2022.
To support the forthcoming NEC Article 726, UL recently published UL 1400-2, which is an outline of investigation that encompasses cable requirements for fault-managed power systems, including Digital Electricity. Belden stakes its claim as the industry’s first UL-certified Class 4 cabling.
“We’re proud to help create and support standards around the safe application of fault-managed power systems,” said Roy Kusuma, product engineering manager at Belden. “It will become necessary to operate these systems with Class 4 Listed cable that complies with UL 1400-2, and Belden is the first to offer a portfolio of UL-certified Class 4 cabling.”
Belden designed its DE cables in conjunction with VoltServer, the creator of Digital Electricity. Belden says this collaboration ensures the cables support a variety of applications. The cables are available in copper-only and hybrid copper/fiber constructions.