Running power to your Raspberry Pi networking setup can become a messy and expensive task, especially if you’re using multiple Pis or want to install your Pi in a remote area. The solution? Run networking and power from a single Ethernet cable. Now with 802.3at support, the upgraded PoE+ HAT lets you do just that.
Power over Ethernet (or PoE) is a technology that lets networking cables carry electrical power, eliminating the need for extra power cables or outlets. The technology is commonly found in VoIP phones and security cameras, as it reduces clutter and makes running power to areas without outlets easier, cheaper, and safer.
The Raspberry Pi Foundation announced its first PoE HAT in 2018. After a few revisions, it became one of the Foundation’s best-selling accessories, though it’s getting a bit outdated. Most notably, the original PoE HAT only supports the 802.3af (15.4-watt) PoE standard, which struggles to handle a Pi with USB accessories and doesn’t provide enough power to run the Raspberry Pi 4 at its maximum load.
But the new PoE+ HAT supports both the 802.3af (15.4-watt) and 802.3at (25.5-watt) PoE standards. When paired with compatible networking equipment, it can power the Raspberry Pi 4 at maximum load over a single Ethernet cable. While it will still have trouble with demanding USB accessories, the new PoE+ HAT is a major upgrade from its predecessor and a necessity for some networking projects.
Along with its increased power capabilities, the new PoE+ HAT offers improved thermal performance thanks to a new planar transformer (replacing the old wire-wound transformer) and a new Microchip PD70224ILQ “ideal” diode rectifier. This new diode rectifier should also make the PoE+ HAT more power-efficient than its predecessor.
Orders for the PoE+ HAT will open in June through select retailers. Like its predecessor, it only costs $20 and works with both the Pi 3B+ and Pi 4. The Raspberry Pi Foundation says that it will continue to manufacture the original PoE HAT.