Belden unveils UL-certified hybrid cable for Class 4 circuits in smart buildings

March 20, 2023
Belden notes Class 4 safely supports power at higher levels and across much longer distances compared to circuits previously limited to 100W.

Belden on Mar. 17 announced its Fault-Managed Power System (FMPS) Hybrid Cables product line, which is designed and certified for Class 4 circuits. As noted by the manufacturer, with the release of the 2023 National Electrical Code (NEC), Class 4 circuits allow the industry to support power delivery with the equivalent safety of existing Class 2 circuits, with the added advantage of higher power levels and across longer distances.

Belden recently introduced a UL-Certified Class 4 Cable, and has now added the UL-Certified Hybrid Cable to its lineup. The company’s FMPS Hybrid Cables are certified by UL for Class 4 compliance. The new cables' copper/fiber construction transmits power and data over long distances in a single cable run, saving installation time and reducing installation complexity.

As noted by Belden, because Class 4 systems are just as safe as, if not safer than, Class 2 and Class 3 systems, these cables can be installed by the same integrators and contractors that install Category and PoE cabling.

As further stated by a company press release:

Class 4 circuits provide the convenience and safety of low-voltage power, just like Power over Ethernet (PoE); however, Class 4 also offers close to 20 times the power of PoE across hundreds of meters, presenting a safe alternative to AC power.

Class 4—also referred to as FMPS, packet energy transfer (PET), Digital Electricity (DE), pulsed power or smart transfer systems—is an improved format of power delivery. Unlike Class 2 and Class 3 power-limited circuits, Class 4 circuits don’t limit power source output.

Instead, they constantly monitor for faults and control the delivery of power current available during an abnormal condition. This mitigates the risk of shock or fire by limiting the amount of energy that can go into a fault.

To verify compliance with NEC requirements, Class 4 circuits must be certified. With Belden’s support, UL recently published UL 1400-2 as an Outline of Investigation (the first step toward a standard) to define safety considerations and criteria for evaluating Class 4 circuit cabling. Class 4 cable circuits will be certified to the published document.

Ron Tellas, technology applications manager at Belden, concluded:

“Fault-managed power systems are already in use in some intelligent buildings and their use will continue to grow. The NEC recognized that these Class 4 systems are unique and specialized enough that they needed their own code section. We’re proud that Belden’s FMPS Cables are the first to be certified for use in Class 4 systems.”

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