UPOE-enabled mini serves up cost and energy savings

ELKHART, IN—Dometic has introduced the first Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE) minibar, the DM50, expanding possibilities for hotels that work with these systems.

UPOE-enabled technology enables both data and power to be distributed over a single cable, meaning both energy and cost savings for hotels.

“Universal Power Over Ethernet has been utilized in the office environments for many years now: think desk phones, security cameras and WiFi access points,” said Joe Wine, product manager, Dometic. “With the adoption of Universal Power Over Ethernet, we are able to power higher wattage products like lighting, TVs and, now, the Dometic UPOE Drawer Minibar.”

UPOE technology helps to place products in a room without the need to run high-voltage electrical outlets, providing more flexibility to the hotel, he explained.

This technology helps to save hotels on operational expenses—up to 25% on their energy bills due to the lower energy consumption of these smart devices—consolidating energy to go through a smart device, which better manages power distribution.

“When properties are looking at new-construction or remodeling and choose to integrate a UPOE power backbone for devices, they can achieve significant savings in both the capital construction cost and ongoing operating expenses,” Wine said.

The Sinclair, part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, in Fort Worth, TX—the first all-digital hotel—is the first hotel to offer the Dometic DM50 UPOE, which saved an estimated 25% on the electrical infrastructure investment cost by utilizing low-voltage UPOE vs. traditional electrical installations, Wine said.

“The Dometic UPOE minibar is able to be placed on the UPOE network, reducing the need for traditional electrical outlets,” he said.

From a guest-facing perspective, the DM50 is no ordinary minibar. The minibar has slide-out access and noiseless cooling operation, with all snacks and drinks inside visible and easy to access from above. The minibar can be stored in a bedside drawer or cabinet.

“The interior is illuminated by LED light, neatly organized by adjustable dividers and has bottle fingers for secure storage. For hotels installing other UPOE devices into their property, this is a perfect solution,” Wine said.

Wine explained that UPOE also offers more control for owners. Besides providing power, the low-voltage cable can send and receive data similar to computer networks, meaning owners can turn the ports of a UPOE network router on or off based on occupancy, saving additional energy.

Not only satisfying guests and owners, the minibar blends seamlessly with guestroom configurations, meeting the needs of designers during renovation projects.

“This is great for hospitality properties looking to save on construction or remodeling costs, and which want to have more control over guestroom conveniences,” he noted.

Wine believes this type of technology isn’t just a trend but will become a standard of how hotels do business.

“More products are utilizing UPOE—lighting, door locks, phone chargers and security devices. Mirrors with embedded TVs as these products have similar savings for properties; you will see more properties look at this cost-saving opportunity,” Wine said.