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When it comes to protecting our animals and our land, one of the easiest things to do is engage a safe-wattage electric fence. But to keep that shape charged and ready at all times, you’ve got to have a charger.

And if you want to save money in the long run, and use renewable energy, then a solar fence charger is the way to go.

Quick-Find Table of the Best Solar Fence Chargers

ImageProduct
  • The best option for cattle and other large animals with thick hides
  • Incredibly easy to install and position just so
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • The best option for cattle and other large animals with thick hides
  • Incredibly easy to install and position just so
  • Long-lasting battery life
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  • Perfect for your small animal needs, whether keeping them in or keeping them out
  • Works for some horses and cattle (in small amounts)
  • Doesn’t drain the battery much
  • Perfect for your small animal needs, whether keeping them in or keeping them out
  • Works for some horses and cattle (in small amounts)
  • Doesn’t drain the battery much
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  • Incredibly long-lasting battery, even in tough weather climates
  • Works perfectly for large animals with thinner to medium hides – like horses
  • Easy to install and huge range
  • Incredibly long-lasting battery, even in tough weather climates
  • Works perfectly for large animals with thinner to medium hides – like horses
  • Easy to install and huge range
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  • Very portable and easy to install
  • Great for mid-sized animals like pigs
  • Great range for mid-sized properties – up to 10 miles
  • Very portable and easy to install
  • Great for mid-sized animals like pigs
  • Great range for mid-sized properties – up to 10 miles
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Cattle Silhouette Sunset

What Exactly is a Solar Fence Charger?

A solar fence charger is pretty much what the name implies: a power source or charger used to charge an electric fence. But this charger uses the energy from the sun to charge the battery and keep the battery charged over time.

How Do Solar Fence Chargers Work?

Solar fence chargers work the same way that normal electric chargers work. Both create a short, startling electrical shock that’s transferred through the metallic fence when an animal or human comes into contact with the metal. The shock is safe but it is designed to be startling and even slightly painful.

The difference, however, is in how the charger itself is powered.

A solar charger has a solar panel attached to it. This solar panel, or photovoltaic cell panel, is covered in a grid pattern of cells that collect energy from the sun. This energy is then translated into useable electrical current that then powers the rechargeable battery that keeps the fence charger working.

Circumstances in which you should use a solar charger can be many.

  • Remote locations where electric would be difficult to run
  • Someone looking to save money on electric bills
  • Someone looking to use renewable energy sources
  • Someone looking to power an electric fence without needing to do a lot of maintenance

Where to Install the Solar Fence Charger

Your fence charger should come with a detailed manual that gives instructions on placement and how exactly to install the precise model you’ve ordered.

But in general terms, you want to look for someplace with these considerations before you install the charger:

  • Someplace that will receive direct sunlight as much of the year as possible
  • Someplace easily accessible for the semi-annual check-ins
  • Someplace where the charger won’t be trampled or run over by vehicles or animals

You’ll want to mount the fence charger somewhere off the ground, using a screw or nail through the hanger hole on the charger case. You’ll then need to ground wire to the ground terminal and ground rods using an insulated ground wire. You’ll then connect the fence terminal to the wiring using 20,000-volt hookup wire.

These chargers are specifically designed to withstand severe weather conditions like rain, snow, and hail. So you don’t really need to be too concerned with placement based on weather, expect for avoiding areas that will be shaded heavily throughout the year.

If possible, install the solar fence charger outside the fence to avoid collisions or damage caused by cows, horses, dogs, et cetera.

And, finally, you’ll want to position the charger as close to the grounding rods as possible to reduce the resistive path back to the solar charger.

How to Use a Solar Fence Charger

There are a few things to keep in mind as you use a solar electric fence charger.

1. Unboxing and Pre-Charging

Before you install the fence charger, you’ll obviously need to unbox the product and check to verify all components are present. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to fully charge the charger in the sunlight before installation, to make sure it works properly.

Give the charger about three days to fully charge before installation. This will give the charger up to two weeks’ worth of power without more sunlight.

2. Mounting the Solar Fence Charger

Next, you’ll need to mount or install the fence charger. Most solar chargers come with built-in mounting brackets or even posts that work with a variety of mounting styles. Make sure you find that ideal situation where the solar panel won’t be in shade, won’t be at a level or in a position where it can be trampled or run over, et cetera.

3. Connecting the Fence to the Energizer

Now, you’ll need to connect the ground wire to the ground terminal hook of the fence charger. You’ll then connect this wire to the grounding rod system as mentioned above.

4. Turning on the Energizer

Now, you’ve got everything connected and it’s time to turn it all on. Check the fence okay light. Check the voltage with a voltage tester to verify the voltage is in the proper range. Make these checks along multiple points of the fence to make sure it’s all installed properly.

5. Cleaning the Solar Panel

Throughout the lifetime of your solar fence charger, you’ll have to do very little maintenance. The main thing involved, however, is cleaning the solar panel. You simply need to use a soft cloth to remove any debris or residue that’s collected on the solar panel.

We recommend checking this panel and doing the clean about two to three times per year, depending on your location. Also, make a check every time there’s severe weather – hurricanes, tornadoes, et cetera – to verify everything’s still in proper working order.

close-up image of a cow

Reviews of the Best Solar Fence Energizers

To provide you with the best solar fence charger reviews possible, we’ve used the following criteria to select the possible solar fence chargers.

  • Value – the cost to quality ratio
  • Reliable manufacturer
  • A variety of ranges and joule outputs to fit various needs
  • Quality of product
  • Real-life user reviews giving above average or higher ratings consistently

Below you’ll find what we truly believe to be the best solar electric fence charger options on the market, thanks to these criteria.

Gallagher S16 Solar 30 Acres

The Gallagher S16 is a solar fence charger that will work up to three weeks without a single ray of sunshine.

It’s a quick and easy model to install, thanks to its 360 -degree mounting on T-posts, with a fully adjustable face to angle towards the sun, just right to catch as much sunlight as possible.

It’s a super tough model with waterproof casing and built-in lightning protection.

  • Range: 30 acres or 10 miles of fence
  • Battery life: 3 weeks
  • Joule output: 0.12
  • Impedance: Low impedance
  • Works for: Larger type of animals with thick hide, medium or large animals with thinner hide

What We Loved

First off, we love how weatherproof this model is. Not only does it come in a heavy-duty case that can withstand wind, rain, snow, and sleet, but it’s got amazing lightning protection design as well.

We also love how extremely adjustable and easy to position this charger is. With a 360-degree mounting system that works for T-mounts, you’ve got uber flexibility for placement of the solar charger.

It’s also built to be extremely durable and tough enough to handle drops and impacts that it’s likely to face out in the world.

Plus, it lasts for up to three weeks without even the slightest bit of sunshine boosting up the power.

What We Didn’t Love

The only possible thing we could find wrong with the Gallagher S16 is that it’s probably the priciest option on our list, per power and range, at least. It’s still not crazy, though, and for the coverage, it’s well worth the cost to protect your cattle.

Our Verdict

All around, the Gallagher S16 is a pro-quality option that works for a 10-mile range or 30-acre lot. It’s capable of working with cattle and other larger animals with thick hides. It’s easy to install and use, and works just about anywhere, even in many lower light regions, thanks to the fantastic charging capabilities.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

BEST SMALL RANGE SOLAR FENCE CHARGER

#2. Zareba ESP2M-Z Solar Charger

Zareba ESP2M-Z Solar Charger

If you’re looking for a small range solar fence charger, then you’ll want to consider the Zareba ESP2M-Z charger.

It’s a reliable option that works for areas up to two miles, with a variety of wire types, including poly tape, poly wire, poly rope, aluminum, and steel.

It comes with a great one-year warranty as well, which even includes lightning damage.

  • Range: 2 miles
  • Battery life: Unknown
  • Joule output: 0.04
  • Impedance: Low impedance
  • Works for: Small animals – both keeping them in and keeping them out

What We Loved

First off, of all the best solar fence chargers we looked at, this was absolutely top-rated by reviewers and real-life customers alike. That fills us with confidence that we can genuinely submit this as a viable option for anyone with a smaller range to cover.

We love that the battery doesn’t drain quickly, too, thanks to the low-impedance and various design techniques applied, specifically to avoid weeds setting off the shock, et cetera.

We love how easy this option is to carry and position. It’s very lightweight and reasonably sized for just about anyone to make an install on their own. It’s also got a built-in carry handle, which makes it all the easier to transport or reposition, if necessary.

It’s also an affordable option for folks on a budget, which is a huge thing for many of us.

The Zareba ESP2M-Z is also extremely durable and weather-resistant, which are both critical for anything that’s facing outdoor use. After all, the wind doesn’t play nice with things that poorly made.

And finally, it’s effective for working with small animals. It has a pretty low shock, but it’s more than sufficient for small animals and some of the more sensitive cattle and horses, sheep, et cetera, that might be your focus on a smaller chunk of land.

What We Didn’t Love

We’ve seen some mixed reviews on a couple of things, so we’ll mention those.

First, it is a pretty low shock level. 0.04 joules output is pretty small. It definitely won’t work on critters that have developed an immunity to shocks at all.

Also, we’ve heard some complaints that the on and off light isn’t in tip-top shape. So, that could be a potential issue for some.

And, finally, this one is really mixed, but we’ll mention anyway: some say the battery doesn’t last very long, while others say it’s very long-lasting.

This seems to be a batch related issue. It does have a fantastic one-year full warranty, however, so if you have an issue with the battery not doing well, return within that window for an exchange from a different batch.

Our Verdict

Overall, the Zareba ESP2M-Z is a fantastic option for anyone with a small chunk of land they’re working with if smaller animals or very limited cattle or horses are your control point. This is a very effective option for a low impedance charger in a sunny location.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

BEST SOLAR FENCE CHARGER FOR HORSES

#3. Parkmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6

Parkmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6

If you keep horses, then you’ll need to check out the Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6. This is a low impedance, battery-powered, solar fence charger that comes from a well-trusted brand.

It features a solid-state circuitry and has a powerful solar panel that will absorb the sun’s energy, convert it, and store it for long periods of time, even without further exposure to sunlight.

  • Range: 25 miles
  • Battery life: Three weeks without sunlight
  • Joule output: Up to 1.6
  • Impedance: Low impedance
  • Works for: Horses, some cattle & mid-sized animals

What We Loved

There are loads of features and benefits we love about this one.

First off, it uses a built-in analog performance meter that lets you monitor the state of the fence electrification.

Second, it’s powered by a reliable 6-volt battery that comes included with the solar charger kit. It can then generate up to 1.6 joules of power, with a fence voltage of 9000 volts in open circuit design or 2650 volts in a closed circuit open fence design with wires that combine for resistance of 500 ohms.

The Solar Pak 6 is compactly designed and lightweight, making it a super portable fence charger.

It’s a weatherproof model that’s laser-trimmed and ready to go for just about anything nature can throw at it.

Plus, it uses a solar panel capable of charging on cloudy days, not just the brighter sky days.

We also love that this model actually can handle a fence system covering up to 25-miles around a large pasture. This makes it great for larger operations or smaller ones that use multiple electrical wires throughout the fences.

Finally, this one has a two-year warranty from the manufacturers, which means if there are any issues – even lightning damage – in those two years, you can get it replaced for free.

What We Didn’t Love

The only potential negative on this one has already been noted: it’s suitable only for animals with thinner or more sensitive hides. That means some cattle will respond, but many won’t. But it is perfect for horses who can feel the jolt and respond easily.

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a solar fence charger for your horse pen or for a fence enclosing mid-sized animals – like pigs – then this is a strong contester.

It’s powerful enough to keep just about any animal in line while not providing too strong a shock that could injure. It’s extremely portable, easy to install, effective, and has a pretty large range, too. It’s just not particularly suited to use with cattle.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

BEST SOLAR POWERED ELECTRIC FENCE CHARGER FOR MID-SIZE LAND

#4. Zareba ESP10M-Z 10-Mile Solar Fence Charger

Zareba ESP10M-Z Solar Charger

For anyone with land up to 10-miles in border, you’ll want to consider this model from Zareba, the ESP10M-Z 10-Mile Solar Fence Charger.

This is a low impedance, solar option that’s battery-powered using a solid-state circuitry design. It’s capable of 0.15 joules of power, meaning it works well for mid-sized animals and offers 7500 volts in open circuit or 20% less in closed-circuit fence designs.

  • Range: 10 miles
  • Battery life: 2 weeks without sunlight
  • Joule output: 0.15
  • Impedance: Low impedance
  • Works for: Mid-sized and smaller animals

What We Loved

We love that the Zareba ESP10M-Z comes in a single unit option. The solar panel is integrated into the design of the charger, rather than separate. This is nice in many circumstances where having a single unit just makes more sense. This also makes the installation exceptionally easy for the whole system.

We also love that the design allows it to be fitted easily and quickly onto flat surfaces, including the sides of buildings.

It’s also exceptionally portable and lightweight and compact.

The charger is designed to withstand intense weather, which is important, especially for remote locations. And it has two ports for power output, and an off and on switch for easy management.

We also love the long battery life of two weeks without a recharge from sunlight.

It comes in a fully assembled system with a 12-month warranty, in case there are any issues.

What We Didn’t Love

The only potential issue that you may find with the Zareba EPS10M-Z is that it’s just not suited for thick hides on animals or long-haired animals. So, if you’re going for protections for your Shetland or your cattle, you’ll need to look for a stronger model.

Our Verdict

This is a really great option for anyone looking for mid-sized land protection with a solar fence charger.

The charger covers 10 miles all around, works with mid-sized animals, is easy to transport and install, and lasts a pretty decently long time without another recharge. It’s just not going to do it for shaggy critters or cattle with thick hides.

>> Tap Here to Read More Reviews and See Today’s Price on Amazon.com <<

Benefits of Solar Fence Chargers

There are many benefits to using a solar fence charger over a standard electrical charger.

They Help Keep Animals Safe

Obviously, the purpose of an electric fence starts with the purpose of keeping animals and property safe. This technically applies to either standard or solar fence chargers. But because solar chargers are so reliable, even during power outages, they’re especially helpful for keeping your animals safely kept in.

Horse Looking Over Fence

They are Easy to Find

Solar chargers are easy to find. They can be purchased online, at hardware stores, or at farm supply stores. While this isn’t necessarily a greater benefit over using a standard charger, there is at least the fact that you can obtain them just about anywhere.

They Help You Avoid Using Dangerous Fences

Many electrified fences out there are also barbed wire fences that can actually harm or even kill animals. This is often the choice because if a power outage occurs, the animals could cross the fence line otherwise and become lost or injured. With a solar charger, you know the fence will give that gentle, startling shock rather than tangle up your critters in nasty barbed wire.

They Don’t Require a Power Source

All right, so technically they require the sun for their power source, but they don’t have to have any kind of electrical connection apart from the solar panel and grounding system. So, instead of running long, sometimes dangerous wires all around the property, you’re good to go with the general setup.

They Use Renewable Energy

And instead of working in the grid power, solar chargers use energy from daylight to keep powered day and night.

They are Perfect for Remote Area Use

If you have land that’s pretty far from the house – or, heck, in a different state – you can use solar-powered chargers to safely and efficiently power your electrical fences.

You’ll still need to check them reasonably often, but it’s not nearly the constant guard over these as standard chargers.

They Move Easily

If you need to move the setup, solar powered electric fence chargers are much easier to move than standard electric setups. No messy wires that run for long distances.

They Are Easy to Install

Finally, solar fences are easy to install, even if you don’t have an electrician’s license. If you have no experience at all, however, you may need to consult someone to help with the first setup, just to ensure you know what you’re doing for the rest of the chargers on your property.

Drawbacks of Solar Fence Chargers

While solar fence charger battery setups are fantastic, there are some drawbacks, too, of course. Nothing is perfect, after all.

Solar Electric Fence Controllers Can Be More Expensive

The initial cost of the setup package is probably going to be higher than that of the same kit with a standard electric power base. This can be prohibitive in thought for some at the front.

However, it should be kept in mind that the cost for the whole setup – unless you’re an electrician – is probably going to wind up being less.

The reason? You won’t have as much wiring to do, you won’t need to hire an electrician, and, in the long run, you won’t be paying for the power grid energy to run the setup.

But that up-front cost may be too much for some starting out.

Solar Energy is Quite Weather Dependent

If you live in a low light area, you may find that a solar energy kit isn’t the best option for you, despite the many benefits. This is due, of course, to the lack of sunshine in those areas.

This can also be a problem in spots that receive a lot of inclement weather during certain seasons as well. If you live in one of these low light regions, you may simply discover that solar power isn’t a solid option for powering your devices like solar electric fencing.

How to Choose the Best Solar Fence Charger

Of course, as you shop, there are some things to consider about potential solar power electric fence kits. Here are the things we’d recommend looking for, based on your personal needs, to ensure you’ll get the best option possible.

Battery Life

One of the most important things for your solar panel electric fence charger is going to be the battery life. During the summer, this isn’t such a huge deal, but in wintertime, you’ll need something with a capacity that can charge and hold enough power for at least a couple of days to make sure your critters are safe.

Joule Output

And the amount of power your solar fence charger puts out is pretty darn important, too. The joule output is dependent on the fence size you have, so be sure to study up on this aspect to ensure you’re getting the right power for your fence.

Range of the Charger

Different charges have different levels of charging capacity – it’s just a fact. So be sure to find a charger that has the right amount of oomph for the size fence you’ve got. Check the coverage in reviews and manufacturer websites before purchasing.

Impedance

Low-impedance basically describes that shock that’s emitted by the fence lasts for only .003 seconds or less. This means no excess energy is wasted on things like plants. High-impedance models often shock plants which can ground the shocking action of the fence, which isn’t particularly helpful.

Weatherproof

Since your solar charger is going to be outdoors at all times, it’s important to make sure the one you’re getting has a high weatherproof rating. Keep your terrain and climate in mind as you look into this aspect.

Type of Fencing

The type of fence you keep also has an effect and should be considered when choosing your charger. A steel wire fence, for example, needs less power than a tape rope or poly wire type of fence will.

Animals You Keep

And finally, the types of animals you keep affect the usefulness of the specific charger as well. Larger animals are harder to keep with an electric fence because, well, they’re stronger.

This means they need a stronger shock than if you’re trying to keep small animals. Or you may need a fence that keeps out predators like foxes, bears, and wild cats. This also means a much stronger current is needed than something used to keep sheep in a pen.

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