Solar electric fence energiser

Apr 23 2014 0 Comments Tags: cattle, fence, solar

Since we first experimented with electric fences, we are gradually using them more with our cattle and finding how useful it is to be able to quickly create temporary fences when and where we need them. We have also made some semi-permanent fences, around a dam at Cheslyn Rise and around the hugelkultur at Eight Acres. We leave these in place and just hook them up to an energiser when the cattle are in the paddock (but we might replace them with a permanent fence one day). The only problem we have had with electric fences is when the batteries go flat.



Some of our cattle refuse to go near any electric fence no matter if it is connected to an energiser. This is very convenient as we don’t actually have to remember to attach an energiser. Bella and Molly (the dairy house cows) will not even step over a non-energised electric fence wire if I put it on the ground for them and call them over. I think they are superstitious. The braford cattle respect electric fences when they are energised, but if not, they are happy to just bust them down and walk where they please. As we are not at Cheslyn Rise with the brafords every day (more like once a week), it is important that the energiser keeps working.

We do have one energiser that plugs into mains power, which is very useful if you happen to be close to mains power. This is fine at Eight Acres, we can usually get power to the energiser somehow, but on 258 A at Cheslyn Rise you would need quite a long extension cord! For remote fencing we use a collection of old car batteries which Pete has on rotation on a trickle-charger, there are always a few ready to swap when the batteries go flat.

Late last year we decided that we wanted to try using a solar energiser, because one thing that we have plenty of in QLD at the moment is sunshine! I bought a really cheap solar-powered energiser from an importer of cheap things. We haven’t used it much, I have to say we don’t really trust it and should have just bought an expensive one (i.e. decent brand) that we would use, we probably will next time we see one on sale.

Around the same time, we also bought a couple of solar panel trickle chargers from a camping shop. They were cheap and very easy to use. We basically have the same set up with the energiser and the battery, but we also mounted the solar panel facing north (for Southern Hemisphere) and connected this to the battery. So far if we use a good battery, it doesn’t go flat, and it gets charged constantly for free!

The biggest change to our set up is to realise that the best place for the battery, energiser and solar panel might not be at the end of the fence, where we usually put it, as there is often too much shade, its probably better out in the middle of the paddock catching maximum sun. Out of habit we tend to set everything up near the end of the fence and then remember that the solar panel needs sun and have to change it around, but we are getting used to our new system.

We are so happy with our solar system we are now looking at a solar powered pump for our bore, I’ll tell you all about it when we get it running.

Have you tried solar energisers? Any recommendations? Anything else solar at your place?




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