Installing electric fences is a practical method of keeping your farm animals within your property. They’re also a practical security solution, warding off any potential trespassers. The only impractical aspect of electric fence chargers arises when electricity is not readily available.
For instance, it’s impractical to install one if your property location does not have accessible AC power outlets for charging. It also won’t serve its intended security function in cases of power outages.
What to Consider When Buying A Solar Fence Charger
There are various solar fence charger features, but here are the top three most important features to watch out for.
Minimum voltage requirement
The first thing to think of when buying a solar fence charger is to establish the minimum voltage you require. This value will come down to your main purpose for installing your fence in the first place. Generally speaking, here are the minimum voltage requirements for some of the most common animals that fence chargers are designed to contain:
A low voltage of around 1,000 to 2,000 is enough to keep off squirrels, raccoons, and other nuisance animals. To keep cattle and horses secure, 2,000 to 3,000V is required.
Because they are harder to keep within the fence, goats require a higher voltage between 4,000 to 5,000. To deter bears and similarly large animals, at least 7,000 volts is required.
Solar fence chargers are designed to work only for a specific range. For this reason, you have to be familiar with the length of the wires on your fence. Knowing this value will ensure you select a charger that matches the range capacity required for your fence.
Remember that if you choose a charger with a lower range capacity than what you require, your fence’s effectiveness might decrease over time.
The general formula for determining your solar fence charger’s range capacity is shown below.
Range rating = Fence Length x Number of Wires x 2.
If you’re not familiar, a joule is a unit of energy defined as watts multiplied by seconds. In solar fence charging technology, joules are used to indicate the electric shock strength an animal receives. Keep in mind that the higher the joule output, the stronger the electric shock it gives out.
It also pays to check that the product you purchase passes the UL 69 or IEC 60335-2-76 standards. These certifications ensure that the product meets minimum safety standards for electric impulse emissions.
Solar Fence Charger Frequently Asked Questions
What are the types of solar fence chargers?
There are three types of solar fence chargers:
Continuous output fence chargers are the most uncommon type of solar fence chargers. This unpopularity is because it emits constant charge on hot wires, resulting in more power consumption and greater safety risk.
Solid-state fence chargers deliver medium-level shocks for medium durations and pulses. This fence charger type makes it suitable for use with shorthaired animals and around low-weed environments.
Low-impedance chargers have less resistance in them, resulting in more power being pushed into the wire safely. They are the ideal choice because they are great for all weed conditions and most general situations.
What are weed conditions, and why are they important when choosing fence chargers?
“Weed conditions” is a term used to refer to how overgrown the land surrounding your electric fence is. It is an important consideration because it can impact your solar fence charger’s efficiency. If you have dense and tall weeds that reach our fence wires, this may lead to voltage loss, effectively draining your electric fence’s power output.
What is the optimal location to install a solar fence charger?
To maximize your solar fence charger’s energy efficiency, it is best to position them in unshaded areas. It is also best positioned off the ground but make sure they are as close as possible to grounding rods. You also want to install your fence charger outside the fence to keep your livestock from colliding with and damaging it.
Solar Fence Charger Reviews
1. Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Fence Charger – Operated 25 mile/80 Acres
Parmak is an American manufacturer of electric fencing technology for nearly a century now, founded in 1921. Their products include everything you need for setting up electric fencings, such as chargers, tools, accessories, and more.
The Parmak Deluxe is one of Parmak’s bestsellers when it comes to its solar fence charger range. Don’t let the simple appearance of this low-impedance charger fool you because there are so many features to love about this seemingly basic solar fence charger.
It may look small, but it definitely stretches a long range of up to 25 miles. It’s a suitable option for large land enclosures and smaller fields with fences requiring multiple electrical wirings.
With an open circuit fence design, this compact charger’s voltage reaches 9000. If your design is more of a closed-circuit and open fence one, then the voltage is around 2650. It can generate as much as 1.6 joules of power, making it the ideal choice for fencing small to mid-sized animals and warding similarly-sized predators.
The battery life of this Parmak solar fence charger is quite impressive. The panels are made of state-of-the-art technology resulting in over 42% more battery charger power than similar products. More than that, the battery is so efficient that it can last up to 21 days without sun exposure.
Another feature we love about the Parmak DF-SP-LI is its built-in analog performance test meter. This feature enables you to monitor your charger’s performance, such as fence voltage output and battery charge levels.
Installing the Parmak Deluxe is super easy, and you can choose from a few installation options such as T-posts, Y-posts, and much more.
Finally, the Parmak Deluxe is a completely weatherproof solar fence charger and is made to withstand extreme weather and elements. It’s also incredibly lightweight, so it also makes for a good portable fence charger.
If anything, the only thing that isn’t too attractive with the Parmak Deluxe is that it’s only suitable for small to mid-sized livestock, so if you have largish animals, it’s probably not an ideal option for you.
Overall, the Parmak Deluxe is a top choice for a feature-rich solar fence charger to use with mid-sized animals.
- Long-range of up to 25 miles.
- Ideal for mid-sized animals – 1.6 joules of power, 9000 volts.
- Impressive battery pack – even lasts 21 days in darkness.
- Easy and versatile installation.
- Compact, lightweight, and portable.
- Water and weatherproof.
- Not ideal for large animals.
2. Gallagher S40 Solar Electric Fence Charger – Operated 25 Mile/80 Acres
Gallagher is a New Zealand brand and is one of the world’s pioneers in electric fencing systems.
The S40 is a low impedance fence charger from Gallagher and has maximum impulse energy of 0.29 joules. This energy is enough to handle small to mid-sized animals such as pigs, horses, cattle, and bulls.
Speaking of power, the Gallagher S40 comes with adjustable power settings. It allows you to set it at a rapid pulse throughout the day and night. Alternatively, you can also choose reduced pulse rates overnight, when your animals tend to be less active.
In terms of range, the Gallagher S40’s 25-mile range powers 30-80 acres of land on a single wire fence. For multi-line perimeter fences, you still get a great range of 5 miles with the S40.
We also have to admire the great design features of the Gallagher S40. It has an attractive black and orange color with a rugged and tough look to it. It is built to withstand any weather condition and is easily portable with a convenient carry handle.
Other notable features of the Gallagher S40 include its built-in lightning protection and a three-year warranty. It also has a lengthy battery capacity, maintaining your fence’s power for up to three weeks even without the sun.
The only thing that’s keeping the Gallagher from grabbing the top spot on our list is its relatively expensive price. It costs significantly more than similar products on the market, but the features above definitely justify that.
In short, the Gallagher S40 is a premium option for a portable solar fence charger that can handle mid-sized animals.
- Suitable for mid-sized animals – 0.29 joules output.
- Adjustable power settings – rapid or reduced pulse rates.
- Wide range of 25 miles.
- Rugged and tough weatherproof design.
- Built-in lighting protection.
- Extended battery capacity – 3 weeks without sun.
- Relatively expensive price point.
3. Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS Solar Fence Charger – Operated 2 Mile
Fi-Shock was established in 1968 and is another American brand of electric fence products and accessories.
The Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS is a low-impedance fence charger and is our value pick for this list because the low price is accompanied by a relatively great performance.
It has an energy output of 0.04 joules, which may not be high but is powerful enough for smaller animals. It’s a suitable option for fencing rabbits, poultry, and dogs and warding off smaller nuisance animals, such as raccoons.
Range-wise, the Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS can energize up to 2 miles of fencing. Again, it may not be long-range but is good enough to fence animals within smaller properties.
In terms of installation, the ESP2M-FS was designed to be compatible with all fencing types. It is suitable for steel, poly wires, poly rope, aluminum, and other fence types.
Finally, this brand of solar fence chargers comes with a one-year warranty, with a lighting strike cover included.
An obvious setback to the Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS is its relatively low energy output and range. If you have a medium to large acreage, it may not be ideal for you.
But if you have a small land area and fence small animals, the Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS is the practical choice.
- Affordable – one of the cheapest in the market.
- Suitable for small animals – 0.04 joules.
- Energizes up to a 2-mile range.
- Compatible with all fencing types.
- One-year warranty, including lighting strikes.
- Low energy output and low joules – not suitable for mid to large land areas.
4. Gallagher S10 Solar Electric Fence Charger – Operated 3 Mile
The S10 is another solar fence charger product from the Gallagher brand.
Like the S40, the S10 is a low-impedance solar fence charger. It has the same weatherproof, bright orange and black, rugged design.
It has the same portability features and comes backed with the same three-year warranty period.
The difference between the S40 and the S10 comes in range and power. The S10 delivers a lower output of 0.3 joules. This energy is enough for protecting gardens, containing pets, and for use in temporary grazing.
The Gallagher S10’s range is also shorter than the S40 at only 3 miles. Although it may sound like a short-range, it is good enough to cover around 5-15 acres of land.
Installation-wise, the S10 is equipped with 360-degree mounting capability. This feature enables you to mount it anywhere and is great for positioning to gain optimum solar absorption.
Like the S40, the relatively high price is a setback to the S10, especially for a low-range and low-powered charger. The low range and low power may also deter you, especially for fencing larger livestock around a large surface area.
Overall, it’s a great choice if budget is not a problem and you’re after a high-end charger for your small property.
- Weatherproof, rugged, and portable.
- Three-year warranty period.
- Flexible installation – 360-degree mounting capability.
- 3 Joule power suitable enough for gardens, pets, and temporary grazing.
- Relatively expensive.
- Not suitable for medium to large land areas.
5. Zareba ESP5M-Z Solar Electric Fence Charger – Operated 5 Mile
Zareba is another American-made line of electric fencing systems, marketing itself as the largest manufacturer in North America.
The ESP5M-Z is Zareba’s answer to a short-range solar fence charger for smaller land surface areas. It reaches a range of up to 5 miles, so it’s ideal to use in gardens and for keeping domestic animals inside your property.
The ESP5M-Z delivers an energy output of 0.10 joules, making it best suited for small to medium-sized, shorthaired animals. It’s great for keeping in your pigs, dogs, cattle, or horses.
Another feature to love with the Zareba ESP5M-Z is its 360-degree rotation. This function allows you to rotate your charger’s position on a T-post so that it faces direct sunlight.
Speaking of installation, the ESP5M-Z also comes with easy-grip terminals that allow you to easily connect grounding rods to your property’s live fence wire. It also has an indicator light, allowing you to monitor your fence status. It’s an extremely straightforward indicator that helps determine whether solar energy is flowing to your charger or not. It works as simply as a light on indicates the unit is up and running, and the opposite means otherwise.
The Zareba ESP5M-Z’s battery performance is also worth mentioning. The battery has great efficiency, allowing you to operate it for up to two weeks, even in the absence of sunlight.
Our only issue with the Zareba ESP5M-Z is that it fails to deliver an adequate shock unless you establish good grounding. This issue is probably negligible for those with basic knowledge of electronics. But if you don’t, you may need a bit of assistance or would have to do your research.
All in all, the Zareba ESP5M-Z is a value option for a low-powered, short-range solar fence charger.
- 5-mile range ideal for gardens and keeping in domestic animals.
- 10-joule energy output ideal for shorthaired animals.
- 360-degree rotation for maximum sunlight exposure.
- Good battery performance – works for two weeks without the sun.
- Easy-grip terminals and a light indicator for easy installation and monitoring.
- Requires good grounding for it to function adequately.
6. Best Solar Fence Charger for Horses: Zareba ESP10M-Z – Operated 10 Mile
The ESP10M-Z is another solar fence charger from the Zareba brand. It has a range of 10 miles, which is relatively longer than that of the ESP5M-Z.
The ESP10M-Z is another solar fence charger from the Zareba brand. It has a range of 10 miles, which is relatively longer than that of the ESP5M-Z. Just note that this range is specific for steel wires and under no-weed conditions. The range does become lower in the presence of low weeds, ranging up to only 5 miles. Similarly, if used for poly-wire fences, the range will drop to 5 miles and only 2.5 miles if light weeds are present. Regardless, it’s still a good range for fencing your animals within a small to mid-sized property.
Speaking of containment, the ESP10M-Z delivers 0.15 joules of energy. This output is ideal for containing shorthaired and small to medium-sized livestock, like horses, goats, and pigs, for example.
Like the ESP5M, the ESP10M-Z also has a system indicator light. This feature is labeled as the “Fence OK” light on the unit. It is useful in establishing proper charging and activation of your fence charger. A flashing light indicates these functions are up and running, an extremely user-friendly feature.
Installation is also quick and easy. The ESP10M-Z comes with a built-in mounting bracket, allowing you to quickly set it on top of T-posts, round-wood, or Y-posts. The unit also comes with mounting holes around the handle, so you can simply hang the charger wherever possible.
A drawback to the ESP10M is it’s only suitable for shorthaired animals. It may not be for you if you’re wanting to fence cattle or other animals with longer hides.
All in all, it’s a good choice for a short-ranged, low-powered charger that can be mounted almost anywhere.
- 10-mile range suitable for small to mid-sized properties.
- 15 joules of energy suitable for shorthaired animals.
- The system indicator light for performance monitoring.
- Built-in mounting bracket and holes for easy installation.
- Not ideal for animals with longer hides.
7. Best Solar Fence Charger for Cattle: EFL Solar Fence Charger – Operated 100 Acres
Silver Streak is an Amazon retailer of solar fence chargers.
The Silver Streak Solar Power is a low-impedance solar fence charger that works with any 12-volt battery.
It features an impressive 2 joules of output energy, making it an ideal fencing option for medium to large-sized animals. It’s strong enough to deliver shock through grass and weeds and whether your fence is steel or wire.
In terms of safety features, the Silver Streak Solar Power delivers energy in a pulse-type fashion, ensuring safe shock levels. It’s also armed with a lightning diverter, giving that added protection, especially in strong thunderstorms.
It also has an indicator light that flashes synchronously with the fence pulse to indicate a fully functional charger.
Under ideal conditions, the Solar Power powers up to 25 miles of fence area, or up to 100 acres.
It has durable built, but it also comes with a two-year warranty, in the unfortunate instance that you need it.
A drawback to the Silver Streak Solar Power is that it does not come with a 12-volt battery needed to operate the unit. Although it is compatible with any 12-volt battery, it would have been nice if this was already included in the kit, especially considering its relatively high price point.
Overall, if you’re after the powerful solar fence charger, Solar Power is among the top considerations.
- Powerful at 2 joules, suitable for mid-to-large-sized animals.
- Great safety features – pulsed delivery, lighting diverter, indicator light.
- Durably built with a two-year warranty.
- 25-mile range – enough to cover large areas.
- 12-volt batteries not included.
- Relatively expensive.
8. Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak Electric Fence Charger – Operated 30 Mile
The next entry on our list is another solar fence charger from Parmak, the Magnum Solar Pak-12.
An extensive range is the standout feature of the Parmak Magnum. It can power up to 30 miles of fencing, so it’s the perfect choice for securing large pastures. It also delivers just over 3 joules of power, the highest energy output on this list.
Another remarkable feature of the Magnum is its solar panel and battery efficiency. It was designed to utilize the sun’s energy for daytime fence charging. On the other hand, it switches to using the energy stored in the rechargeable batteries for powering up the fence overnight.
Like the Deluxe model, the Parmak Magnum also has a built-in performance meter that performs three distinct functions. First is a meter operation test to indicate if the meter is functioning well. Second, it has an indicator with various colors representing various performance indicators. A green light means the charger has good voltage and is functioning properly. A yellow light indicates that your battery level is low and needs recharging. Finally, to indicate whether the charger no voltage on the fence at all, the meter will flash a distinct red light.
This low-impedance solar fence charger is also built to last. It has a sturdy built made of durable materials and is also water, weather, and rust-proof.
One drawback to the Parmak Magnum is that it is relatively heavy at 25 lbs. This means you have to secure it onto a sturdy post, and you may also need to use more secure hardware. Another possible issue would be pricing. The Magnum comes at a higher price point, but the output power is enough to justify this.
To summarize, the Parmak Magnum is a great option for a high-end and extremely powerful solar fence charger.
- Extensive range of 30 miles perfect for larger land areas.
- High energy output of over 3 joules.
- Efficient energy management – utilizes panels during the day and the battery at night.
- Built-in performance meter.
- Relatively heavy, requiring reinforced installation.
- Price is on the expensive side.
9. Gallagher North America Solar Fence Charger – Operated 10 Mile/30 Acres
The S16 is another low-impedance solar fence charger from the Gallagher brand. If you find the S40’s specifications too high yet the S10 too low, the S16 may well be your pick.
The S16 can reach a range of up to 10 miles or 30 acres on a single wire fencing area without vegetation. For multiwire fence setups surrounded by typical grass and weeds, the range is up to 1 mile or 10 acres. In terms of energy output, the S16 lets out 0.16 joules.
Like the rest of the Gallagher products, the S16 comes with a tough make with a drop-resistant and weatherproof casing. It also has integrated lighting protection, so it’s really a solar device safe for extended periods in the outdoors.
We also have to admire the battery efficiency of the Gallagher S16, lasting up to three weeks without sunlight exposure. This is achieved by delivering slowed pulse rates delivered at night and a quicker pulse pace during the day.
Like the S10 and S40, the S16 comes with a 360-degree mounting capability. It is a great feature for keeping the solar panels properly aligned with the sun for maximum energy absorption.
Price may be a deterrent for purchasing the Gallagher S16, as it isn’t generally cheap. Another is that the design makes it unsuitable for mounting onto a flat board.
All in all, the Gallagher S14 is a good option to consider if you’re after a mid-range solar fence charger.
- Mid-range, suitable for areas up to 10 miles or 30 acres.
- Tough and durable design.
- 360-degree mounting to allow optimum sunlight exposure.
- Excellent battery efficiency.
- Not suitable for flat board mounting.
- Relatively expensive.
10. Patriot SolarGuard 50 Solar Fence Charger – Operated 3 Mile/12 Acres
Patriot is a brand of core farm infrastructure products, such as fence systems, fencing tools, and pasture monitoring equipment. They fall under the umbrella of Datamars, known for their technological solutions for the animal and textile markets.
The Patriot SolarGuard 50 is a compact solar electric fence charger.
The range covers a distance of only 1 km and an output power of 0.05 joules. It was deliberately designed this way, as they were intended for residential yards, small farms, and gardens. They’re also intended for use in keeping pets within a small property.
Because it is compact, it is fully portable with an accompanying carry handle. It’s also super lightweight, and the battery is located internally, adding to its portability.
Despite its compact size, the SolarGaurd has an intelligent battery management system. This feature maximizes the battery life, allowing it to work for up to 14 days without charge.
It also has an indicator light that alerts you of your charger’s performance. It flashes a bright red color if your fence charger is working well and adequately powering up the fence.
Mounting and installation are super easy with the SolarGuard 50, provided you have the posts and rods. The SolarGuard 50 was designed so that it simply slides on to a steel post; no complicated installation techniques are required.
Speaking of posts and rods, this is our only issue with the Patriot SolarGuard 50. It does not come with grounding rods nor T-posts, so you need to purchase these separately. However, this is not a major issue because you’d also have to do the same with most solar fence chargers.
If you’re looking at charging a large surface area and larger animals, you’d also probably be shying away from getting the SolarGuard50.
Overall, the SolarGuard 50 is a good option to consider for a small and compact solar fence charger. It’s ideal to use for a small farm, backyard, or to keep small animals within the property.
- Small, compact, lightweight, and portable with a convenient carry handle.
- Intelligent battery management system – lasts up to 14 days without charge.
- Performance indicator light.
- Easy mounting and installation.
- Only suitable for small land areas and small animals.
- Grounding rods and T-posts are not included with the kit.
Fence chargers are security necessities for farm owners who have animals to protect and keep within their property. While traditional electric fence chargers are can be expensive to maintain, solar fence chargers are cost-efficient and practical alternatives.
Our top pick for the best solar fence charger is the Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Fence Charger. It has just the right range and energy to power up small to medium-sized fields and keep mid-sized animals at bay. It’s also packed with other features and is durable enough to ensure a long lifespan. Best of all, the price is mid-range, making it generally affordable. It’s a good example of a product that combines affordability and impressive functionality.