An Industry First: UL-Certified Class 4 Digital Electricity™ Cables from Belden

April 28, 2022
UL-Certified Class 4 Digital Electricity (DE) Cables allow end users to take advantage of DE to safely provide significant power across long distances.

Belden, a leading global supplier of specialty networking solutions, is proud to announce that its Digital Electricity (DE) Cables received the industry’s first Class 4 certification from UL. As buildings become more intelligent, Digital Electricity Cables can support safe and efficient emerging digital power technologies.

Class 4 is a new classification standard dedicated to fault-managed power systems. These systems offer the convenience and safety of low-voltage power, like Power over Ethernet (PoE), which offers up to 100W. Class 4 offers close to 20 times the power of PoE over hundreds of meters, offering a safe alternative to AC.

Fault-managed power systems are also referred to as packet energy transfer (PET), DE, pulsed power or smart transfer systems. 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 like lighting, wireless access points and small cells using standard Ethernet connections.

Class 4 systems are designed with safety at the forefront. Instead of limiting power source output, they limit energy and power available during a fault event. If someone accidentally 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. This technology makes Class 4 systems just as safe—if not safer—than Class 2 and Class 3 systems.

National Electrical Code (NEC) Code-Making Panel 3 has proposed New Article 726, Class 4 (CL4) Power Systems, in the 2023 edition of the standard, which has an expected publication date of October 2022.

To support NEC New Article 726, UL recently published UL 1400-2, an Outline of Investigation that encompasses cable requirements for fault-managed power systems, including Digital Electricity. As the industry’s first UL-certified Class 4 cabling, Belden’s DE Cables allow end users to take advantage of Digital Electricity to safely deliver significant power across long distances using small conductors.

“We’re proud to help create and support standards around the safe application of fault-managed power systems,” says Roy Kusuma, product engineering manager at Belden. “It will become necessary to operate these systems with a 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’s DE Cables were designed in conjunction with VoltServer, the creator of Digital Electricity, to ensure that they can support many types of applications. DE Cables are available in copper-only and hybrid copper/fiber constructions to transmit power and data over long distances in a single cable run. 

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