Electric fencing has long been relied on to protect land, livestock and property. From faraway farmyards and fields to home gardens and orchards, sometimes the only way to ensure your animals, land and produce remain safe is to enclose them in an electrified fence. however, electric fences can often require many hundreds of feet of expensive wiring, plus a generator that constantly requires expensive fuel to run.
Solar-powered electric fences are relatively inexpensive to purchase and easy to install. The solar panel that charges the electric fence only needs sunlight to generate electricity; a resource that is infinite and free. Here at semprius, we break down step-by-step how to install solar-powered electric fences.
Reading: How to connect solar electric fence
installing a solar electric fence can dramatically reduce the costs of running your farm or home, eliminating the need to purchase gas to power a generator, while remaining as efficient and reliable as a fossil fuel powered electric fence . When looking to install a solar electric fence, there are several important considerations to make and steps to take. Follow our complete installation guide below to install your own solar powered electric fence.
step 1: choose your fence
This is undoubtedly the most important step in the entire process. Solar electric fences come in various lengths and strengths, and with different intended functions. Choosing the right solar powered electric fence for you depends entirely on how you plan to use it. if you’re looking to seal off an orchard from nuisance rabbits and rodents, then you’ll need a much shorter fence and a much lower voltage solar charger than if you were protecting a large field of cattle, say, from bears, wolves, coyotes, and the like. /p>
Solar-powered electric fences are designed to work effectively (and humanely) against a variety of animals and over a variety of distances, but it’s critical that you make sure the animals and distances you want cover are within the range of the capabilities of the chosen solar electric fence.
step 2: post the boundary
Having purchased a solar powered electric fence that best suits your needs, it’s time to set the boundaries around which the fence will run. if you are keeping foxes out of a coop, the boundary will be the coop; Similarly, if you have horses in a field, the boundary is the perimeter of the field. pretty self explanatory, but it’s worth making sure you know the limit you need to cover and have enough materials to do it.
The first step in setting up the boundary is to plant wooden corners or end posts at the corners or ends of your boundary, around which the electrical wiring will loop, to line up with the t-posts between each corner. .
Dig holes for end posts or corner posts with a post hole digger, digging about 2-3 feet. Having placed your post in the hole, you can backfill your excavations with cement to secure the post firmly. Before letting the cement set, be sure to use a level and tape measure to make sure the corner posts are all level and at the same height. Your cement should take 24-48 hours to fully set before you can move on to the next stage of installing your solar powered electric fence.
Next, it’s time to attach the metal or plastic t-posts. T-posts should be spaced at intervals of about 15 to 20 feet, with shorter distances between them on steep, hilly sections, and longer distances between them (if desired) on flat, open spaces. you can use a rope tied to a post and pull it to mark the location of the next one.
To install t-posts, use a t-post driver and tap the posts into the ground, down about 2 feet (on 5.5-foot t-posts), making sure the post brackets are oriented to the opposite side of the terrain you are on. electric fence. it is on these brackets that you will hang your electrical wiring in step 3.
step 3: hang the cable
Now, it’s time to hang the actual wiring, which will be electrified by the charger you connect in the next step. To do so, unspool your wiring as you go around your corner and T-posts, hanging the wiring on the brackets of the T-posts at an equal height, the entire way around your perimeter. You may be installing a single wire, or many at different heights, depending upon your requirements, and the height(s) of the animals you seek to control or keep out.
When you get to the corner and end posts, you can attach the cable to the posts with u-pins, or simply wrap the cable around the post and use the tension from its connection to the next t-post to hold it in place. place. you can start and end your wiring wherever you want on the perimeter.
You can use turnbuckles and insulators to fix the wire firmly in place, and you can install plastic safety handles at intervals if needed, which would allow you to safely disconnect the electric fence for you or your machinery to pass through. . . once you’ve covered the entire perimeter with your wires, you can move on to the next step.
Step 4: Install the Solar Powered Charging Unit
Now that the perimeter has been marked with posts and the wires connected to those posts, forming a tight boundary around the chosen area, it’s time to set up the unit that will electrify the fence: the Solar Electric Fence Charger.
While some solar fence chargers differ in installation methods, they are typically designed to mount to t-posts. so to start with, we’re going to need to plant a t-post next to the fence at a point along the line. however, the most important decision to make here is exactly where to mount the charger. The solar panel built into your charger requires as much exposure to sunlight as possible to keep your electric fence powered at the correct voltage at all times. To ensure that it receives the necessary sunlight, you should choose a mounting position for it with a good, solid exposure to the south, and with no surrounding obstacles that could cast shadows on the panel during the day.
Once you’ve decided on the location, plant a t-post in the ground just as you did when you placed the posts along the boundary. make sure the t-post is close to the electric fence. then mount the solar charging unit to the top of the t-post and turn it to face south (as long as you are in the northern hemisphere, thus maximizing your potential for sunlight exposure).
Remember: Keep the charger off at all times during installation, especially during the grounding process.
step 5: ground the charger
Next, it’s time to ground the charger. To do this, you’ll need to drive ground posts into the ground near the t-post you just planted. The type, number, and depth of posts you’ll need will depend on the strength of your specific solar electric fence charger, so check the manual that came with it to determine the best way to ground your charger. we’ll attach the correct clamps to the ground rod(s) in a moment.
Finally, it’s time to connect the positive and negative charger clips/clamps. take the positive wires and connect them to the electric fence wires, then take the negative wires and connect them to the ground rods, remembering to keep the device off during this process.
If you are using a battery to store and transmit solar-generated electricity, connect the wires first to the battery and then to the electric fence.
step 6: complete the initial load
Your new solar-charged electric fence will require an initial charging period of at least 24 hours before it’s ready to use, though you can leave it on for 48 hours if you have time. (Keep the device powered off or in charging mode throughout the entire process, and if you are unsure about any part of the charging process, please refer to your specific device manual.)
step 7 (final step): test
Once your solar charger has had time to charge, examine the state of charge of your battery or device to make sure your setup is working as planned. then turn on the device (carefully, taking all proper safety precautions).
Now, it’s time to test the voltage you receive from your solar electric fence charging unit. To do this, use an electric fence tester/voltage tester on the electric fence. It’s worth testing the voltage of your solar electric fence at regular intervals and adjusting accordingly (note that outage along the fence due to weeds and debris can cause fluctuations in voltage).
Once you are satisfied with the output voltage and battery capacity/state of charge, you can leave the solar charger on and consider the work to be good. You’ve successfully installed your own solar-powered electric fence, which should now run continuously and require little to no maintenance except regular line testing, weed maintenance, and occasional cleaning of the solar panel (for which the team should light up). off).
benefits of a solar powered electric fence
We’ve discussed installing a solar-powered electric fence in great detail, but what if you’re not convinced that one will actually meet your needs? Let’s take a quick look at the main advantages of solar powered electric fences, which we are sure will allay your fears and instill confidence in the capabilities of solar energy.
humane protection of livestock and pest prevention
Obvious, right? an electric fence is built to prevent your livestock, pets, and animals from escaping their assigned fields and living areas, and keep pests away; so obviously a solar electric fence would do that too? Okay, yes! However, it is a common misconception that a solar powered electric fence would not be as good at the job as a generator powered or mains powered electric fence would be. We’re here to correct that misconception!
Solar power is not only up to the task (as long as it’s installed correctly and provides enough sunlight), it’s more humane than the power sources used in traditional electric fences. Solar electric fences are engineered to deliver reliable, constant voltage specifically designed to humanely protect intruding animals and safely contain your livestock. on the other hand, “traditional” electric fences can often kill animals by delivering too high a voltage.
Solar energy products have never been as affordable and accessible as they are today. There are simply hundreds of solar electric fence chargers and kits on the market, each designed for a different user and all readily available.
free, green and renewable energy for life!
what could be more attractive than free electricity? Solar panel products generate electricity simply through their exposure to sunlight, which is not only incredibly beneficial for our planet (reducing our reliance on destructive fossil fuels), but also saves you an absolute fortune on utility bills. utilities and money you used to spend on fuel.
We mentioned it before, but we’ll mention it again: Solar panel products require very little maintenance. Just keep the panel clean and check the voltage it puts out from time to time, and your solar electric fence can work for years and years. Some of these solar panel electric fence chargers can run for two full weeks on a single full charge, without additional sunlight, so even bad weather or low light isn’t necessarily enough to stop a solar electric fence.
Many of today’s best solar electric fence chargers come with built-in ‘impedance technology’ which, in short, is designed to recognize the impedance of weed growth and debris touching the electric wire along of the fence, and ignore this (instead of electrifying the line and continually wasting electricity). also, weeds and brush will not affect the charger’s ability to send a shock down the wire when an animal comes into contact with the fence.