The discovery of the electric fence was one of the greatest innovations for farmers. It did not only help farmers to keep their animals within defined spaces, but it also helps to keep out intruders. However, to keep the perimeter fence charged at all times, you need a steady supply of electricity. This can lead to a spike in your electricity bills. To solve this problem, many farmers are turning to solar fence chargers. However, with many products on the market, choosing the right one can be a serious challenge. 

With a solar fence charger, your perimeter fence will never run out of power—even when there is power failure from the national grid. The best solar fence chargers don’t require a lengthy and confusing installation process. We know that not everyone is electronic savvy. That is why we are here to help you to make a choice. We have grouped the different solar fence chargers on our list according to different criteria and specifications to further make your choice easier. 

What is a solar fence charger?

Before talking about the use of a solar fence charger, it is important to explain what it is. Solar fence chargers are the backbone of a fence system. They provide a steady stream of electricity that flows through the fence wire. They usually vary in power source and current output. The higher the current output, the larger the area they can cover.  

Review of the Best Solar Fence Charger

All solar fence chargers are not created equal. Some cover larger areas while others can only be deployed to smaller areas. Also, the type of animals you can restrict with the solar fence chargers differ. We put all these into consideration while creating this list. Therefore, irrespective of intended use, you will certainly find the right product on your list. Without further ado, let’s get down to our list. 

Parkman Magnum Solar-Pak 12 – Best overall

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 30 miles 
  • Portable and weatherproof
  • Low impedance
  • Performance meter
  • 12-volt rechargeable battery
  • 3.1 joules power

If you have large pastures like horses or cattle, you need a solar fence that sends strong impulses to keep them contained. The preinstalled solar panel on the fence charger taps the sun’s energy and stores it in a 12-volt battery. This stored energy continues to power the fence wires even at night to keep your pasture within a confined space. 

Perhaps, the most impressive feature of this device is the over 3.1 joules energy output. This should cause enough jolt that will make large pastures stay off the perimeter fence. This device offers low impedance for maximum power and longer life. Three indicator lights (green, yellow, and red) tells you the level of charge of the battery. Another smart inclusion is a performance meter that allows you to monitor the condition of your fence. 

It is not all rosy with Parkman Magnum. Firstly, you need to pay a premium to get this device. Also, when making your purchase, be mindful of the retailer because you may be sent a refurbished product for the price of a new one. The durability is questionable too. Many complain that it doesn’t hold a charge for up to 8 hours. Nevertheless, this is still a great unit with a 2-year warranty cover from lightning damage. 

Pros

  • Covers up to 30 miles of fence
  • Low impedance means maximum power and longer life
  • Handy performance meter for monitoring fence condition
  • Weatherproof and suitable for outdoor use
  • Great for large pastures

Cons

  • Highly expensive
  • Battery doesn’t hold a charge for more than 8 hours

Gallagher S16 Fence Charger – Best solar electric fence charger for calves

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 30 acres or 10 miles single wire 
  • Low impedance
  • Performance indicators
  • 6-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.16 joules power

The Gallagher S16 lives up to the hype as it contains some cool features that will easily catch the interest of anyone looking for a solar fence charger. It can power up to 30 acres or a single wire fencing of up to 10 miles. All this is possible with the help of a 6V battery. This device outputs 0.16 joules of stored low impedance power to keep your calves contained within the desired space. 

One of the most unique features of this solar fence charger is the use of special battery-saving technology. While the standard battery life of a solar fence charger without sun is two weeks, Gallagher S16 can last up to three weeks. While the price is not the most affordable, it is also not the most expensive on the market. 

It is important to mention that this may not be the ideal device for large pastures like horses and cattle. However, it should be able to hold back calves. It appears the energizer is not waterproof enough to withstand heavy rain. To be on the safe side, take them in when the rain comes. This can be a stressful experience. Nevertheless, it is not surprising that the majority of these solar electric fence charger reviews are glowing.

Pros

  • Last up to 3 weeks without sunlight
  • Charges up to 10 miles of single wire fence
  • Real-time performance indicators
  • Suitable for medium pastures

Cons

  • Slightly expensive
  • Prone to damage by rain

Zareba ESP10M-Z – Best solar electric fence for dogs, rabbits, and roosters

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 10 miles 
  • Low impedance
  • Performance monitor
  • 6-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.15 joules power

Zareba can be used to electrify a fence of up to 10 miles. It is one of the easiest solar fence chargers to mount, thanks to the accompanying mounting bracket for round-wood posts, Y-posts, and T-posts. This device can work for two weeks without sunlight. It is versatile and can work with steel, aluminum, poly rope, poly wire, and poly tape. Although it uses a 6 VDC battery, low-impedance technology lowers the rate of battery drain. 

The manufacturers clearly stated that you can use this to control cattle, dogs, pigs, and horses. However, with a 6 VDC battery, it is probably unlikely that you will have any success with bigger pastures for an extended period. When you make your purchase, you will get a 1-year limited warranty that covers lightning damage. Zareba ESP10M has easy-grip screw-on terminal knobs that make connecting to ground-rods easy. 

It comes with a ‘Fence OK’ light that tells you the status of the fence at a glance. Just don’t forget to charge it for 72 hours with the control at ‘OFF’ before first use. One of the biggest setbacks to owning this device is the huge price tag. Also, this solar fence charger is prone to damage by lightning. So, you may have to disconnect it at the sign of a storm. This is far from convenient. However, you can trust it to do the job. 

Pros

  • Charges a fence of up to 10 miles
  • Comes with a mounting bracket for easy mount
  • Works with different fencing wires 
  • Offers 1-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Pricey 
  • Prone to lightning damage

Gallagher S40 – Best solar electric fence charger for cattle

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 25 miles or 80 acres of fence
  • Low impedance
  • Water-resistant case
  • 6-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.4 joules output power

The Gallagher S40 is reliable when you are in an area with an unreliable power supply. It can power up to 25 miles of a single wire perimeter fence or 5 miles of a multi-line perimeter fence. The unit is tough and easy to install. It comes with a small solar panel that charges an inbuilt 6-volt battery. It is best for rotational grazing, wildlife exclusion, and livestock containment. 

Gallagher is built tough and is supposed to be weatherproof. Also, it makes use of a unique battery-saving technology that allows you to use your solar energizer for up to three weeks without sun after a single charge. The most innovative feature of this solar fence charger is the ability to set how it pulses. You can set it to pulse faster during the day and reduce the pulse rate at night when the livestock is less active. 

Gallagher S40 comes with 360-degree mounting capability for easier installation. Other cool features that make this energizer stand out of the pack include dual power options and an automated battery management system. However, all these cool features come at a steep price. Also, the durability is questionable. Nevertheless, the pros far outweigh the cons. 

Pros

  • Charges single wire fence of up to 25 miles
  • Built tough and water-resistant
  • Unique battery saving technology allows the battery to last for 3 weeks
  • Offer dual power option

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Durability is a serious concern

Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS – Best solar-powered electric fence for garden

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 2 miles 
  • Low impedance technology
  • Performance monitor
  • 4-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.04 joules of energy

It is not only animals that need confining. Sometimes, you need to put a perimeter fence around your garden to prevent animals from going in and ruining your plants. At such times, Fi-Shock ESP2M will come in handy. This device can energize a fence of up to 2 miles. It uses a low impedance technology to lower battery drain. This allows the device to operate for up to 2 weeks without the sun. 

You can use it with traditional aluminum or steel fence wire, poly tape, poly rope, or poly wire. Fi-Shock ESP2M has a 1-second pulse output interval. For the safety of the animal, there is a pause in between each pulse. Weeds on the fence can lead to voltage impedance. However, this device can resist that voltage drop. Once set up, this device requires little maintenance. 

There is a Fence OK indicator that gives you a real-time condition of the fence. Considering the low pulse power output, this energizer can only be used for the control of really small animals. Also, the coverage area is tiny which can be a great limitation. Fi-Shock ESP2M is pricey considering the low coverage, lower battery capacity, and limited use. Also, some customers have reported a short lifespan for this device. However, when it works, it is hard to beat. 

Pros

  • Uses low impedance technology to lower battery drain
  • Compatible with all types of wires
  • Puts the safety of the animal into consideration
  • Resist voltage drop from weed

Cons

  • Poor battery capacity
  • Slightly expensive

Patriot P10 electric fence energizer – Best budget

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 10 miles or 40 acres
  • Portable and weatherproof
  • Performance indicator
  • 0.30 joules joule energy output

The strongest draw to the Patriot P10 is the pricing. It is highly affordable and anyone hoping to secure their pen or garden for a budget will easily fall for it. According to the manufacturers, it is capable of energizing a fence of up to 10 miles or 40 acres. It is small, portable, and made of durable rubber that can withstand external elements. However, to help extend its durability, we would advise that you wrap it with a zip lock bag. 

Notwithstanding the small size, it can intermittently send 0.30 joules of energy as pulses along the fence. This should be able to give small animals a jolt that will make them steer clear of the fence. It is easy to install and seems to pay for its cost over time by being overly durable. The manufactures say it energizes the fence up to 5,000 volts. However, users have recorded volt readings of 9,600 to 10,000 volts. 

Patriot P10 is offering a 1-year warranty on this product. This should give you some level of calm when shopping. The most-reported problem with this unit is products that fail to work on arrival. We always advise that you shop from reputable retailers to avoid similar stories. Also, Patriot needs to step up its customer care services. 

Pros

  • Highly affordable
  • Offers 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Impressive energy output
  • Portable and easy to use

Cons

  • Customer services could be better
  • Inconsistent volt reading on the fence

Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer – Best for power duration

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 30 miles 
  • 12-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.15 joules of energy
  • 2 years warranty

One of the first things you will notice with this device is the large and solid appearance of its solar panel. In addition to that, it exudes creativity. It has a carrying handle that makes it easy to move the device from one place to another. The solid construction is further backed by a 2-year manufacturer warranty. It is important to mention that majority of the solar fence charger manufacturers only offer a 1-year warranty. 

Another area that this product shines is durability, and this is not surprising. Amazon solar electric fence charger reviews for this product show that some customers have used this unit for over 3 years without a single problem. It makes use of a 12-volt battery and sends out 0.15 joules of energy across the length of the fence. 

It is easy to install, thanks to the built-in mounting device that easily slides onto a T-post. If you follow all the instructions, this should be up and running in no time. What would seem like a setback for this product is the huge price. Also, several users have complained that the battery doesn’t last long. For those who can afford it, it pays the price over time. 

Pros

  • Up to 2-year manufacturer warranty
  • Solid construction with carrying handle
  • Comes with high quality monocrystalline solar panels
  • Built-in mounting device for easy installation

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Battery doesn’t last

Silver Streak 12V Lightning Diverter – Best lightning protection solar fence charger 

Key Features

  • Charges a fence up to 100 acres of fence 
  • Low impedance
  • Lightning diverter
  • 12-volt rechargeable battery
  • 2 joules of energy

Lightning is one of the elements that mostly lead to the damage of solar fence chargers. However, this solar fence charger can withstand lightning. It comes with a free lightning diverter and 5J-Lightning fuse. You will never have to worry about an impending storm. Also, this is one of the most powerful devices on this list. You can rely on it to keep large animals within a confined space. 

The energy output of this solar fence charger is 2 joules, making the other products on this list look like a joke. Although it doesn’t have an inbuilt battery, you can connect it to a 12-volt battery—deep cycle battery preferably. The low impedance design minimizes the draining of the battery. The manufacturers are offering T-Post Mounting Bracket for easy mounting on t-post. 

Nevertheless, the Silver Streak lightning diverter has its unique challenges. Firstly, the price is on the high side which automatically lowers the number of people that can afford it. The absence of an inbuilt battery will further shoot up your initial cost. This is something you need to consider before making a purchase. Another thing you may not get when you purchase this product is customer support. If these are not deal breakers, you have one of the most powerful solar fence chargers to flaunt. 

Pros

  • Energy output of up to 2 joules
  • Comes with free lightning diverter and 5J-Lightning fuse
  • Solid build and durable
  • Superior monocrystalline solar panel

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Customer support is absent
  • Lacks inbuilt battery

Patriot Garden Kit – Best solar electric fence kits

Key Features

  • Wires and 10 stakes included  
  • Contains ground rod connectors
  • 9-volt rechargeable battery
  • 0.10 joules power

If you are new to solar fencing or just trying to test the water with a foot, solar electric fence kits can be the best direction to go. This is because they come with every piece of equipment you will need for setting up your perimeter fence. The pricing of the Patriot Garden Kit is fairly on the low side making it ideal for this type of adventure. 

It comes with 10 stakes, wires, ground rod and connectors, 100 inches of green poly wire, and PE2 fence energizer. This allows you to build a quick electric fence for your pets or gardens. This fence is most suitable for rats, dogs, and cats. It can also work to keep out ground squirrels and raccoons from your gardens or pools. The 0.10 joules power output by the plug-in energizer that comes with this kit may not be enough to contain larger animals. 

One of the biggest challenges with this device is that the controller is not waterproof. So, you may need to put it in a battery box to keep it dry. Also, it takes a long time to install. Inasmuch as the manufacturers say it can contain dogs, your best bet is that it won’t. The shocks work only a quarter of the time and when they do, they are so weak that you can hardly feel them. Nevertheless, it is still not a bad idea for a starter. 

Pros

  • Fairly affordable
  • Comes with all you need to set it up
  • Suitable for small animals

Cons

  • Controller is not waterproof
  • Shock is too weak

Buying Guide for the Best Solar Fence Charger

When shopping for the best solar charge controller, you need to consider the power source, type of animal you want to control, the weed condition of the area (due to impedance), the range of the fence and the number of wire strands, and the type of fence line. Peradventure, you don’t like any of the products we have listed and want to do your own research. There are key features that you must consider. 

Range

Different solar fence chargers have different ranges. While some can only cover a fence of up to 10 miles, others can go over 30 miles. Firstly, you need to consider the size of your farm or pen and make sure the energizer can go all the way around your fence. Otherwise, it will be a total waste. 

Battery life

It is important to consider how long the battery can last on a single charge. Since solar fence chargers get their energy from the sun, you need a unit with good batteries to store up energy for use at night or during the winter season when the solar radiation is low. Some of the best solar fence chargers can operate for 2 weeks on a single charge. 

Weatherproof

Weatherproofing may not add to the performance of your solar fence charger but can save you inconvenience and money. Keep your climate in mind when making your choice. If you live in an area that sees lots of rainfall or snow, you need a weatherproof unit. You don’t want to be uninstalling your device whenever a storm is approaching—because failure to do that will result in irreparable damage. 

Type and size of the animal

The aim is to contain your animal and not to kill them. If the jolt is too high, it can cause harm to your animal and if it is too low, the aim will be defeated because they will cross the fence and go where you don’t want them to. Consider the animal you want to confine and find the solar charge controller that gives out the right jolt. 

Joules output

The amount of energy that your solar charge controller can give out will determine the size of the area it can cover. Make sure you are getting a device that can cover your farm. 

Impedance

Impedance refers to the opposition of electric flow. You need a solar fence charger with low impedance technology. This prevents interruption of energy flow by vegetation. Low impedance ensures the shocks on the fence only last for 0.003 seconds. Thus, energy loss to plants is minimized.  

Warranty

It is a smart idea to go for a product with a good warranty. The majority of the best solar fence charger manufacturers offer a one to three years warranty. This often varies depending on range and brand. Considering the unpredictable nature of solar systems, this can save you lots of headaches. 

How to hook up solar fence charger

Solar fence chargers come with one or two batteries that need to be charged. To ensure optimal performance, place the fence charger under the sun—making sure that it is turned OFF and facing towards the sun for three days.

Image source: Zareba Systems 

Make sure you install the charger in an area where it gets direct sunlight. Also, make sure shadows are not cast on the panel. Occasionally clean the panel of dust and debris. You need to keep your solar charger near your grounding rod setup to minimize the length of your hook-up wires. Also, this helps to maximize power throughout the fence. Position the solar charger in the middle of your fence. This ensures that the end of the fence wire is never too far from your charger. 

Image source: Zareba Systems 

Before turning on your charger, connect the ground wire to the ground terminal. Next, connect the wire to a ground rod system using ground rod clamps and insulated wires. Finally, connect the fence wire to the fence terminal. You can now turn ON your unit.

Image source: Zareba Systems 

Look for an LED indicator on your solar fence charger that shows it is working. Finally, use a fence or voltage tester to confirm that there is adequate voltage. Do this regularly to detect voltage loss on your wire either through objects pulling the fence power down, weed growth, or weather-related events. 

Image source: Zareba Systems 

How to store solar fence charger

When the solar fence charger is not in use, it is important to store them properly. Firstly, turn it off and disconnect it from the fence. Face the panel towards the sun (south) to let it charge for one to two days. Disconnect the leads from the battery terminals. Keep the unit in an environment where you can control the temperature. For extended storage, make sure that you charge the unit once every three months.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the best solar fence charger?

Parkman Magnum Solar-Pak 12 is one of the best solar fence chargers for several reasons including up to 30 miles of coverage and low impedance for maximum power. It is also portable and weatherproof. 

  • Do solar fence chargers work?

The right solar charge controller should be able to provide enough pulse that will keep your animals within the garden space allotted them. 

  • How long do solar fence chargers last?

If your solar fence charger is fully charged, it can last up to two weeks of continuous use without the sun. A good solar fence charger should come with a battery that can last this long on a single charge. With proper care, the batteries should last 3 to 4 years before they will need replacement.

  • How does a solar fence charger work?

Solar fence chargers are equipped with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels. Which converts the sun’s energy to electrical energy. 

Image source: Zareba Systems 

This electrical energy is stored in a 4V, 6V, or 12V battery that serves are a supplier of current to the grounded energizer. 

Image source: Zareba Systems 

With a steady supply of energy, the energizer sends one pulse of electric current down the fence every second. 

Image source: Zareba Systems 

Conclusion

Since your solar fence charger draws its energy from the sun, its performance will likely vary from one season to another. Nevertheless, it saves you a lot of money on utility bills. Interestingly, a solar fence charger setup is a low maintenance system. Once set up, it can last for years without you having to do anything at all. While you think about keeping your animals safe, also think about keeping predators away. Make sure your choice of energizer is powerful enough to keep predators away. 

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