New developments and innovations are changing the way we send data and power to remote devices at further distances and at higher power levels than ever before. Today we cover one of the latest trends in energy management as we address the question: What is the future of Class 4 fault-managed power systems?

We are on the threshold of an energy distribution revolution. The National Electric Code (NEC) Class 4 classification standard for fault-managed power systems is a new designation that will be defined in the 2023 release of the code.

The Class 4 designation for power systems will describe and define standards for a line powering system. These types of power systems are also known as fault-managed power (FMP), packet energy transfer (PET), smart transfer, or digital power technologies. These new technologies will improve the way we distribute energy.

Find New NEC Class 4 Power Distribution Cables

At Remee, specialty applications are our specialty. When it comes to Class 4 power systems, you can trust that Remee has done the legwork for you to develop and manufacture purpose-built hybrid cables for the future of power and data distribution.

The PowerPipe™ product line is the newest addition to the Activate™ line of Powered Cabling Solutions. It is Remee’s answer to the demands of the new power distribution cable revolution. But to understand what makes PowerPipe cabling ideal for these next-generation systems, we first need a solid understanding of what Class 4 Power Systems are.

What Are Class 4 Power Systems?


remee powerpipe cables for future of class 4 managed power system

In a nutshell, Class 4 power systems are circuits that are fault managed. In a fault-managed power system, a transmitter located at the power source and a receiver near the load constantly monitor the circuit parameters and can shut off the circuit in the event that a fault is detected. This is in contrast to traditional wired systems, where circuit breakers, fuses, or other overcurrent devices typically protect the circuit from an overload condition.

But a fault-managed circuit can do more. By constantly monitoring the circuit for any fault condition, not just overload, Digital Electricity* or pulse power systems can provide high-power delivery, up to 300 volts, with safety that is comparable to a low-voltage or Power over Ethernet (PoE) system. Class 4 fault-managed power systems are essentially electrical power with nearly perfect safety built-in.

Fault-managed power systems can immediately sense faults such as:

  • Out-of-specification voltage, current, or load conditions
  • Shorts
  • Failure of self-test
  • Overcurrent
  • Ground fault
  • Arc fault
  • Contact with a person or animal

*Digital Electricity is a trademark of VoltServer, Inc.

Advantages of Fault-Managed Power Systems

There are many benefits that come with a new Class 4 fault-managed power system. Safety, to tradespeople as well as end users, is a major advantage of Class 4 fault-managed power systems. But it isn’t the only advantage. Most Class 4 systems are direct current (DC), taking advantage of the many inherent advantages of local power distribution in a safe and simple package.

These Class 4 fault-managed power systems can provide:

  • Smaller wire gauges (DC systems)
  • High efficiency for many types of equipment, such as digital and lighting systems
  • Protection from high-level electrocution and fire
  • Opportunity to monitor loads for advanced diagnostics
  • High power delivery
  • Power that’s free of surges and irregularities

Applications of Power Distribution Cables

One of the most exciting things about the new NEC Class 4 standard for fault-managed power systems is that it means pulse power can be used for nearly any power distribution application. Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smart building systems, electronics, appliances, and nearly any other electronic or electrical device could potentially utilize Class 4 fault-managed power systems.

A Class 4 fault-managed power system is available for deployment wherever its advantages will save money, increase safety, or simplify installation. One of the most significant areas of immediate application for Class 4 systems is in the efficient powering of electronics that might otherwise employ PoE or require traditional AC wiring.

The Right Power Distribution Cable for the Job

So what does it take to make a line powering system like this work? Remee understands that designers and installers need cables that are designed for the unique requirements of this revolutionary technology to fully take advantage of it. PowerPipe™ cables from Remee are available in various configurations rated for 300 volts. This new product line is designed with the unique requirements of Class 4 fault-managed power systems for powered electronics in mind.

Leveraging Remee’s proven capabilities to design and manufacture composite and hybrid cables, the PowerPipe™ line also offers the protection needed for a variety of applications and installation methods.

The Activate™ PowerPipe™ line includes:

  • Multipair cables: 18, 16, and 14 AWG; unshielded; in Plenum, Riser, and Direct Burial versions
  • Multipair cables: 18 and 16 AWG, unshielded, wet location, LSZH insulation, and jacket
  • Multipair cables: 18 and 16 AWG, overall shielded, Direct Burial
  • Microfiber distribution hybrid cables: 18 and 16 AWG, SM OS2, FR-PVC jacket
  • Hybrid cables: 18, 16, and 14 AWG; SM OS2; CMP/OFNP with Remguard™ jacket; CMR/OFNR with FR-PVC jacket
  • Hybrid cables: 16 AWG, SM OS2, wet location, LSZH insulation, and jacket

The PowerPipe™ line simplifies the installation of complex systems with multipair cables that can serve multiple circuits with one cable pull. Hybrid cables feature copper paired with high-quality optical fiber. Explore the entire Activate™ line of Powered Cable Solutions to learn more about PowerPipe™ and Remee’s other best-in-class powered data cables.

Why Choose Remee?

Remee Wire & Cable is a leading manufacturer of electronic wire and cable, including the power distribution cables mentioned in this article. Customers can order nearly any cable needed from Remee – standard, modified standard, and custom engineered, including complex designs – with the most flexible service terms to meet your specific requirements.

Remee strives to provide customer care and quick decision-making that comes with a small business. Yet, Remee is among the best wire and cable manufacturers globally. We are large enough to manufacture a vast selection of standard fiber optic and copper cables, modified standard, and custom-engineered cables, including a unique capability to provide complex cable constructions, such as those needed for Class 4 fault-managed power systems.

We provide one reliable source for all types of cable solutions. Explore our full line of cable product offerings to find the right cable for your next project, or ask an expert to help you find the right cable for your application.