Power Requirements for Access Control

Power to readers is often provided by the access control system. To ensure there is an adequate supply of clean and efficient power, an installer needs to calculate the total load for the installed access readers as well as their controller modules.

If required, it is necessary to select one or multiple power supplies based on a few important criteria:

  • Type of power supplies for system infrastructure (PoE or analog)
  • Operating voltage of readers (AC or DC)
  • Total power requirement of the readers system-wide
  • Locations of the power supplies
  • Number of power supply outputs needed to handle all the devices
  • Agency listings required for compliance
  • Battery back-up needs for the readers, and whether UPS back-up has been specified for the system
  • Cable thickness and length

Networked IP access control systems often use PoE midspan injectors like NetWay from Altronix which ensure adequate power delivery to networked IP system components. For analog infrastructure, expandable power systems that are custom-configurable address the specialized needs of access control. For example, Maximal Access Controllers from Altronix provide distributed power and are expandable with the addition of field-installable UL listed sub-assemblies. This allows installers to customize units to provide Maximal power when and where they need it for their specific access control devices. The sub-assemblies include power distribution modules and access power controllers that allow for a selectable fire alarm disconnect and other features feature.

The bottom line is that power plays a crucial role in your system and should not be overlooked.