10 Best Solar Electric Fence Chargers in 2020 (Review)
To control livestock and domestic animals, you need an electric fence that creates a low but quick damage shock when touched. This keeps them contained inside the fence. Moreover, you might also need to keep pests and wild animals including wolves, wild dogs, or foxes outside of your property to protect your livestock.
However, on many occasions, AC outlets are not available to install an electric fence charger in a nearby location. Besides, under a blackout or power outage, your animals won’t be protected or contained.
The best solar electric fence chargers in 2020 will never run out of energy or require long installations for AC wiring across medium or large pastures. In this guide, you will see many solar electric fence charger reviews from the top products in the market, and we will show you how to buy a good solar powered charger for your property.
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The Best Solar Electric Fence Chargers
1. Parmak MAG12-SP Solar Electric Fence Charger
The Parmak MAG12-SP Solar Electric Fence Charger is the state of the art solar powered product from Parmak.
The Parmak Magnum model is designed and manufactured entirely by a 100% American brand that has years of experience in the electric fence market. The kit component includes a small solar panel that daily charges a 12V sealed lead-acid solar rechargeable battery that powers the fence system during the night.
After turning on the solar electric fence, the built-in performance meter will offer you three main functions.
The first one of them is the performance meter operation test under which you will verify if the meter movement is smooth and if it’s able to indicate voltage output at full scale.
The second is the solar battery level test, which will indicate three options (red, yellow and green) if the battery is discharged or if it’s suitable for operation.
Finally, the third function that will offer is the voltage output test, which after performing the battery level test, will indicate the exact level of voltage available on the fence.
The Parmak Magnum 12 volt solar electric fence charger is a low-impedance charger fence with an open circuit voltage of 11,000 volts with a range up to 30 miles and that is suitable for medium to large pastures.
The Parmak MAG12-SP is the perfect solar electric fence for cattle, horses, deer, predators, dogs, pigs, bears, and sheep.
2. Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Electric Fence Charger
The Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Electric Fence Charger is the second option available from Parmak for small to medium pastures.
Designed with solid state circuitry, computer precision, and laser trimmed, the Parmak DF-SP-LI provides a powerful low impedance shock up to the electric fences. This electric fence charger uses a small solar panel that constantly powers a 6-volt battery with over 42% more solar battery charging. It has enough energy as to cover up to 25 miles of fence.
Moreover, the Parmak DF-SP-LI has 3 years of warranty covered by the brand and is a good solar electric fence for horses, cattle, pigs, and dogs. The energy discharged during the shock reaches between 0.75 and 1.6 joules and the voltage of the fence at 500 ohms goes up to 9,000 volts.
Among other things, the Deluxe Field Solar-Pak 6 is totally weatherproof, perfect for outdoor use and also includes a built-in performance meter which shows the condition of the fence at all times.
Just as with the Parmak Magnum solar-pak model, the performance meter features three operation tests: meter test, solar battery charge level, and voltage output test.
3. Zareba ESP10M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger
The Zareba ESP10M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger is a great choice to consider as it is another amazing brand focused on designing and manufacturing electric fencing systems.
This 10-mile solar electric fence is perfect for animals such as bulls, goats, cattle, and horses as well. This product provides up to 0.15 joules of energy shock that is designed to keep short-haired animals contained inside their fence system.
Zareba systems recommends charging the 6-volt battery for nearly 3 days in the off position in order to completely charge the rechargeable battery. Once it is fully charged, these solar powered electric fence chargers will be able to last up to two weeks without a charge (providing remarkable reliability based in solar power).
Moreover, the Zareba ESP10M-Z is able to reach up to 10 miles of electric fence with no weeds if it’s steel wire and 5 miles if it is a poly wire with no weeds. Heavy weed conditions reduce the range to zero while light weed can reduce it to 5 miles (steel wire) or 2.5 miles (poly wire).
4. Patriot SolarGuard 50 Fence Energizer
The Patriot SolarGuard 50 Fence Energizer is a small solar electric fence charger intended for residential yards or even vegetable gardens. It is also great for applications such as containing domestic animals or keeping pests outs.
Among some of the interesting features that you will find about this product, it includes an intelligent battery management system that maximizes battery life for up to two weeks without a charge.
This is a fence charger suitable for multiple animals including dogs, pigs, rabbits, squirrels, roosters, cattle and horses.
Moreover, its compact design provides up to 0.05 joules of energy and allows it to reach up to 1 km (0.62 miles). The model is designed to generate an output voltage equivalent to 4.7kV (open-circuit) and 2.2kV at 1,000 ohms with an electric current consumption that is lower than 15 mA.
Among other things, you will love its portability and its integrated solar panel that is designed to charge a 6-volt battery with the Sun’s energy.
The solar powered electric fence charger includes a red flashing light that will indicate the state of charge of the battery and will let you know if the fence is properly working or not.
5. Zareba ESP2M-Z
The Zareba ESP2M-Z mile solar electric fence charger is perfectly suitable to keep domestic animals outside of your garden or any other restricted area.
The solar powered electric fence works completely using a built-in solar panel that charges a 4-volt battery that has a 0.04-joule output. It also features low impedance for maximum performance.
Depending on weed conditions, the distance range varies between 2 miles for steel wire and no weeds, or 1 mile for light weeds and steel wires. If you are using poly wire, the distance range reduces to 1 mile (no weeds) or 0.5 miles (light weeds). The product works with high tensile steel or aluminum wire, poly rope or poly tape as well
Moreover, the Zareba systems product is able to operate day and night using its 4-volt rechargeable battery which features a battery life of two weeks without sunlight after a full charge based on solar power.
The product is designed with a durable case that protects the internal circuitry and also the integrated mount solar panel for extreme weather conditions.
6. Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer
The Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer is a fully portable solution (with handle included) from the brand that features an all-in-one compact design that also makes it easy to install on wood posts or on a T-post.
This model is designed with an integrated solar panel and battery (12 volts and 7Ah capacity) that allow a complete off-grid solution for your electric fence system. Among other things, the range for the fence charger reaches up to 2km or 1.2 miles in distance. Besides, you will also find that at 2,000 ohms, the portable fence charger provides a peak joule output of 0.15 and a voltage output that reaches 5.4kV at 2,000 ohms as well.
The amazing performance and storage capability of this electric fence energizer allows it to keep working (after full solar charge) for 21 consecutive days without receiving any extra power. This offers one of the longest and reliable performances among solar electric fence chargers.
Among other things, the Patriot SolarGuard 155 also features an intelligent battery management system that enhances battery life, and the monocrystalline solar panel is also secured by a strong aluminum frame that protects it from any damage.
7. RED SNAP’R ESP6V-RSS
The RED SNAP’R ESP6V-RSS solar fence charger is a small to medium size solution to keep the animals contained inside a relatively considerable area.
Moreover, the Red Snap’r features a 100% steel case for maximum protection and suitable for weather protection as well. The solar-powered electric fence charger generates a 0.2-joule output with an indicator light that shows if the charger is working or not.
Regarding the distance ranges for customers that use steel wire, the fence charger can reach up to 15 miles (assuming no weed in the landscape). The contact with weeds will reduce the performance of this solar fence to control livestock as light weeds will only allow a 7 miles range. Under heavy weed conditions it could even be reduced to 3.5 miles. Poly wires can also be used with this solar powered fence, but using them will reduce the range distance to the half in every case.
Among other things, the Red Snap’r also features an 8.7 kV voltage output and is covered by a 2-year warranty even against damages caused by lightning strikes.
8. Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS
The Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile Solar electric fence charger is mainly used to control domestic animals (dogs and rabbits) and poultry. At the same time, it can also be used to exclude annoying animals that you want to keep out from your property. This solar electric fence is perfect for those who do not have an AC outlet close to the fenced area.
Among other things, the Fi-Shock ESP-FS model has a range capacity that is able to power up to 2 miles of electric fence using a solar charged 4VDC lead-acid battery. The joule output of the charger reaches 0.04 joules.
Moreover, this solar fence charger is compatible with steel, aluminum, poly rope, poly tape and also with poly wires, covering all the options for fences. The Fi-Shock ESP-FS has also been designed using low impedance technology, which enhances performance by reducing battery drainage, allowing it to resist short-circuits when the electric fence is in contact with weeds.
Regarding warranty terms, the product is guaranteed with a 1-year protection that includes damages caused by lightning strikes.
9. Silver Streak 12 Volt Lightning Diverter
The Silver Streak 12 Volt Lightning Diverter solar fence charger is perfectly suitable for containing large animals.
Providing up to 100 acres of contention (about 400,000 m2 of fence area), this is a good solar electric fence charger with over 2 joules of output (one of the strongest in the list). This low impedance technology charger works with a 12volt deep cycle battery (lead-acid technology) which is not currently included in the product, but can be simply installed using clips to get the terminals connected.
Moreover, the EFL solar fence charger includes a lightning protection diverter which has been specially designed to protect the internal circuitry from a lightning strike. Lightning fuses are also included in the product which maximizes protection against this phenomenon unlike any other fence charger.
The product includes a polycrystalline solar panel that is powerful enough to charge the selected lead-acid battery (ideally AGM type). Notice that it is easy to install by using T-Post mounting brackets.
10. Gallagher S100 1.0 Joule
The Gallagher S100 1.0 Joule is one of the best portable solutions for solar powered electric fence chargers in the market.
This product features a built-in solar panel and battery along with a handle that makes it easy to install and transport.
The Gallagher S100 has 1 joule of stored energy and 0.74-joule output that is able to power a fence system up to 10 acres. Moreover, by fully charging the battery of the product, the energizer will be able to continue working for up to 3 weeks without sunlight.
The case is also water and all weather resistant (against rain, hail, shine or snow) and has installed a very convenient lightning protection, which is crucial for open-wide areas with important lightning activity.
An innovative and unique integrated feature is that the solar fence charger has two operating modes. One under which the product operates at half power but with fast pulses for day and night, and the other one in which the charger runs at full power (but pulses are much slower at night when animals should be less active).
How to Choose a Solar-Powered Electric Fence Charger – 5 Things to Consider Before Purchasing
Each solar fence energizer is designed to power up fence wires up to a specific or maximum length. The range capacity of the charger is dictated by the open-circuit voltage of the device and the estimated voltage drops that are suffered across the wires.
One of the first things that you must look into when selecting a solar powered electric fence is the length in the wire of your fence. Selecting a product that has a lower range capacity than required will result in a low performance over time and across the fence.
In order to find out the range capacity that you must verify with the manufacturer, it is recommended that you apply the following expression:
Range rating = Fence Length ⦁ Number of Wires ⦁ 2
This expression will allow you to safely compensate voltage drops and ensure good performance.
Type of Animal and Voltage
The second factor that you must look into is the type of animal that you want to contain or keep away from your fence.
Voltage requirements vary according to the size of the animal that you are dealing with. For instance, big animals such as deer, moose, or predators might need between 4,000 – 5,000 volts minimum to generate a good electric shock that keeps them inside or away. Meanwhile, cattle and horses would need between 2,000 and 3,000 volts available in the fence wire. You can use the Zareba systems minimum voltage chart as a reference for this purpose.
Voltage Minimum Requirements According to the Type of Animal
There is another unit that is often used and provided in electric fence chargers which is the joule output. The joule is a unit of energy which also represents watts ⦁ seconds (W⦁s).
In electric fence chargers, the joule is an indicator of the strength of the electric shock that the animal will receive. At the end, the intensity of the shock and the damage it can cause depends on the amount of energy dissipated in the body of the animal. Since Watt = Voltage x Current, then the shock received will depend on voltage, current, time of electric pulse and the electrical resistance of the animal’s body.
Fence charges are designed following standards like the UL-69 or IEC 60335-2-76 that establish that an electric pulse emitted by the charger must not occur less than one time per second. Also, standards like these establish that while there is a load of 500 ohms, the impulse duration will last less than 10 milliseconds. These standards ensure that the maximum joule output that a solar fence charger shock should provide will not be bigger than 5 joules (safety limit to avoid damage to the body).
However, as you can expect, the higher the joule output, the stronger the electrical shock. If your animal is bigger (bison, bull, predator) it will need more joules to create an electrical shock that the animal will remember that a rabbit or dog. Remember that the solar fence is only a psychological barrier, the animals must be trained to recognize the fence as a barrier.
Fence Wire Use and Weed Conditions
Manufacturers offer at least two types of voltage conditions.
The first one is the open circuit voltage. This is referred to the voltage that should be available in the fence if there is no animal or vegetation touching the fence and should be an indicator for voltage selection according to the animal under ideal conditions.
However, factors like excessive weed conditions or selection of steel, poly tape, rope, or poly wires could lead to important reductions in the effective voltage available in the fence wiring.
Therefore, you must be aware of the fence voltage that the manufacturer establishes under light, medium, or heavy weed conditions. You should also be aware of variations in voltage output according to the type of wire (steel always obtaining best results). You may also find references indicating voltage at 500 ohms or 100 ohms. These are referred to the electrical resistance generated by weeds mainly. 500-ohm voltage is referred to medium weed levels and 100-ohm voltage is referred to heavy weed.
Finally, a warranty is an additional factor that is worth to consider. Typical ranges of warranty terms vary between 1-3 years depending on brand and range capacity.
Choose the fence chargers with the correct range capacity and the longest warranty.
What are the Different Types of Solar Electric Fence Chargers?
There are mainly three types of fence chargers that use solar power.
The first one is the continuous output fence charger. This type provides a constant charge on the hot wires, unlike pulse chargers. This consumes more power and is also less safe, which is why they are rarely common these days.
The second is the solid state fence charger, which delivers a medium amperage shock in pulses of medium duration. Good for controlling shorthaired livestock in low weed conditions.
The last one is the low impedance technology charger which is the state-of-the-art design that has a lower electrical resistance (impedance) in the charger. This means that more power can flow through the wire, which makes it the most ideal option in weed conditions and in general situations as well.
Where Should you Install the Charger to Avoid it Being Damaged?
Solar electric fence chargers are designed to withstand harsh weather conditions under the rain, hail or snow. Therefore, environmental conditions are not something to get worried about.
On the other hand, you must keep in mind that the solar panels need to receive direct sunlight in order to maximize energy conversion and charge the battery faster. Position the charger off-ground in a place where no shade covers the product (not close to trees).
Also, try to install the solar charger outside of the fence in order to avoid collision or damage caused by the animals.
Finally, among other considerations not related to safety but to improve performance, place the solar charger as close as possible to the grounding rods that you have installed. This will reduce the resistive path back to the solar charger.
The solar fence charger should also be installed in the middle of the fence or in the position where one side of the fence is not extremely far away from the product when compared to the other side. This will ensure that you will have a similar voltage across the fence and that no drastic voltage drop will be present at any point of the fence. You can also try positioning the fence charger in other points if you notice a significant amount of voltage drop across the fence. In general, you will find models that are like solar phone chargers which are easier to move and transport and will allow you to try several configurations without much effort to reach the desired voltage drop.
What are the Benefits of Owning a Solar Electric Fence Charger?
There are multiple benefits associated with a solar powered fence. The first one of them is economical.
In isolated regions or areas where an AC power outlet connection is not available, you will need to request the installation of an AC power point to the utility company, which could imply a very costly connection. The other option is to make the installation yourself and send wires through the terrain from the nearest AC power point.
However, the costs associated with wiring and the work required to make the installation safe and protected from any wildlife or terrain may not be easy. Harsh weather conditions, animals, and other factors can damage the AC cables and result in no power for your fence charger at any time.
Moreover, another disadvantage from the AC power source is that under blackout, power outage, or even short-circuit situation inside the house, the fence charger will be left out of power, resulting in possible escaping or trespassing of animals or intruders.
By installing solar powered electric fences, you will not have to worry about any of these things. Solar powered electric fence chargers have fewer chances of getting damaged by lightning strikes than AC models. Moreover, even if your farm is located close to an AC outlet, you can still achieve savings in the long term and contribute to the environment using an eco-friendly electric fence.
How to Safely Operate an Electric Fence
Unlike other home solar products, electric fence chargers are specifically designed to generate a shock or damage. Therefore, it is necessary to know the keys to safely and successfully operate an electric fence by performing several tests.
Before installing the fence charger in a wood post, you must make sure that the device is turned off. The battery contained inside the product will probably have some charge. Turning on the device before connecting it to the hot and ground terminals could lead to an unexpected electric shock.
The next step after installation is finished is to leave the product for at least 3-4 days receiving direct sunlight to allow the solar panels to recharge the DC battery. Then, you must turn on the solar powered electric fence charger and perform the corresponding tests. A performance meter or indicator light will generally be available to perform tests on the product.
The first test should be performed to verify that the meter actually works, and it will show you if the meter is able to smoothly measure the increase in voltage to the ultimate value.
The second test is related to checking the state of charge of the battery which will indicate how much energy is available inside the battery regarding its maximum capacity.
Finally, the last test should be to check the voltage output of the solar electric fence under normal conditions. The meter should indicate the open-circuit value of the electric fence.
Moreover, a voltage tester can also be used to verify the voltage output across the fence. Voltage drop will probably occur, as the fence wire is located far away from the charger.
Keep in mind that the grounding system is the most essential part of keeping the fence system in safe operation. A good grounding system will guarantee that the electrical current will rapidly find the shortest path back to the fence charger.