Filed under: Solar Products. Tagged as: electric fence supplies, electric fence wire, how to make an electric fence, solar electric fence, solar electric fence charger, solar powered electric fence.
Electric fences are one of those applications where solar conversion makes a *lot* of sense. There are also some great brands of solar electric fence charger that make the conversion a snap. Unlike electric fences that are powered by AC, these fences do not require an electric outlet to work, making them perfect for settings where the fence is installed far away from habitation or electric outlets.
How Solar Electric Fence Works
To understand the working of a solar electric fence, we should first understand how a normal electric fence works. An electric fence has two important components – the first is the electric fence wire, also known as tape, and the second is the power source that controls the flow of current through the tape. The fencing tape, as the electric fence wire is also called, is connected to the ground as well as the power source, so that if an earthed animal or individual touches the tape, they complete an electric circuit. At this point the power source, known as charger or energizer, sends an electric pulse to deter the animal or individual, thwarting the animal.
In a solar powered electric fence, the charger is powered by solar cells that convert the sunlight directly into electric potential. In almost all solar powered chargers, the solar cells are used to charge batteries, which in turn are used to electrify the tape. The batteries require to be replaced after a few years, which is not a big drawback when you consider the advantages of solar electric chargers.
The biggest advantage is that solar chargers are portable, and can be used to set a fence just about anywhere. If the animals in your farms do a lot of temporary grazing, and you find it hard to control their movement while they are grazing in different parts of your farm, you can easily use a solar charger to set up temporary electric fences.
How to make an Electric Fence powered by Solar Energy
To make a solar electric fence, you have to follow the same steps as you would follow to make an electric fence except the part where you use a solar powered charger for the electric fence. Almost all electric fence chargers come with instructions on how to use them, and how to make an electric fence using them. The salient points of the steps you should take to make a solar electric fence are the following:
- Get all electric fence supplies, which include the electric fence wire and the charger that you wish to use to electrify the fence. You will also have to buy stays, which are the rods that carry the fence and mark the boundary of the area that you wish to enclose.
- The charger should be chosen depending on the length of electric fence it can power. If you are going to create a 5 mile fence, you would need a charger with a capacity of 5 miles of fencing. Note that the range of a charger refers to the total length of wiring it can power. If your fence is made up of three wires, one mile of fence will contain three miles of wiring. Such a fence will require a charger that can power three miles of fence, not just one.
- Electric fence supplies can be easily bought online from stores such as Amazon.com. Once you have all your supplies, you can install a solar powered electric fence by installing the tape, and connecting it to the charger.
Review of three top Solar Electric Fence Chargers
Parmak, Fi-Shock and Zareba are three of the top manufacturers of solar powered electric fence chargers. The following are the top models from these three manufacturers.
It is not surprising that none of the reviewers of this charger have rated it below five stars out of five at its Amazon.com review page. This solar charger comes with a 6-volt battery, which can operate for 21 days in total darkness. The solar cells are exceptionally good, and can power the battery even on cloudy days. The Parmak DF-SP-LI model is designed and built for outdoor installation, and is completely weather-proof. It comes with a 2-year warranty, which also covers damage caused by lightning, among other types of damages. It has a performance meter that shows the condition of the fence at any time. Weighing 18.5 lbs, the Parmak DF-SP-LI solar charger can power 25 miles of fencing, which should be sufficient for most farms.
This solar powered charger is designed to be used with small animals and pets, and has limited application with horses and cattle. It has a range of 3 miles, and gives the best results when used in weed-free conditions. Zareba is one of the leading manufacturers for animal control systems, and this charger is one of their most popular models. Weighing just 3 lbs, and installed with a built-in handle, it is highly portable. If you wish to control smaller animals such as sheep and pigs, the Zareba LIS3B may be the perfect solution for you. Most of its buyers purchase this charger not to control their livestock, but to protect their property from small animals such as raccoons and deer. Some consumers have also successfully used it with larger animals such as cattle and horses. It comes with one-year warranty, including warranty against damage from lightning.
This charger from Fi-Shock can power up to 5 miles of electric fence in an area of up to 10 acres. Weighing just 3.4 lbs, and with dimensions of 6.4 x 10 x 11 inches, it is a very portable charger. By working with low impedance, this charger can push more power through the wires even as it does not overly drain the battery. The built in solar panel can recharge the 4-volt battery even in cloudy conditions. Once the battery is charged fully, it can go without a recharge for up to two weeks. This charger has been designed with durability in mind, and features damage-resistant construction and compartmental design. It has an output voltage of 8 KV, and can be used with all livestock, including sheep, goats, horses, cows, and pigs. It comes with a limited 2-year manufacture warranty.