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Best Solar Electric Fence Charger of 2021: Top-Rated Reviews

Not sure about which solar fence charger you need?

You already know of the advantages that come with a good solar-powered fence charger. But the consequences for picking the wrong one are severe. You might undercharge your fence, meaning you’ve wasted your money. Or worse, you might overcharge your fence and end up injuring or killing your animals!

After reading our well-researched buying guide all your doubts will vanish, and you’ll be able to pick the best solar fence charger for your land. Be it a farm, pasture, or a small garden, we’ve got the perfect option for every situation.

Top 10 Solar Fence Charger Reviews

Product Name Details
Top Pick Top Pick Gallagher S40 Gallagher S40
  • Best quality – durable, powerful (0.4J), and lasts up to 21 days without sunlight
  • Weatherproof, and has a 3-year warranty that includes lightning damage
  • Portable design makes it easy to set up, even for rotational grazing
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Budget Pick Budget Pick Zareba ESP5M-Z 5-mile Zareba ESP5M-Z 5-Mile
  • Works best for chickens and small animals with a 0.1 J output
  • Durable and weatherproof construction that can survive storms
  • 5-mile range reduces to 1 mile for multi-wire fences
View Today’s Price
Most Powerful Most Powerful Gallagher S400 Solar Fence Charger Gallagher S400
  • 3-joule and 9800V output gives it a massive range of 60 miles
  • IPX4 waterproofing ensures it can withstand the strongest downpours
  • Significantly expensive compared to other solar fence chargers
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Most Popular Most Popular Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6
  • Renowned and trusted product that’s known for its durability
  • Built-in performance meter gives you real-time information on its working
  • Output current and voltage vary a lot depending on the fence type
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Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile
  • Affordable design that works well for small farms and gardens
  • Durable, weatherproof construction
  • 2-mile range is too short for some fences
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Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer
  • Solid-state design with up to 10000V output
  • Several mounting options for T-style and wood posts
  • Low joule output means it may not be effective at long range
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Best For Horses Best For Horses Fence Master 6-Mile Fence Master 6-Mile
  • Works great for horses with a 1 joule output
  • Registering the device gives you a 5-year warranty
  • Voltage output drops drastically at 6 miles
View Today’s Price
Premier Solar IntelliShock Premier Solar IntelliShock
  • Versatile fence charger that can be used with any kind of wire
  • Fully tilt-adjustable solar panel, along with a 110V battery recharger
  • Not weatherproof, so it can only handle mild rainfall
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Silver Streak Solar Fence Charger Silver Streak Solar Fence Charger
  • 10000V, 2 joules makes it very powerful and yet affordable
  • No internal battery – any 12V battery can be clipped on to it
  • Build-quality and durability are sub-par
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Dare DS 20 3-Acre Dare DS 20 3-Acre
  • Works well for cattle and chickens on a small farm
  • Small, portable, and easy to install
  • Not always reliable in its performance
View Today’s Price
A picture of the best solar-powered electric fence charger of 2020 during fall season

Harnessing the power of the sun to keep an electric fence charged is not only cheaper for you (since you just need to buy the device), but better for the environment (1). Read on to see the top 10 products that made our list of the best solar fence chargers of 2021. 

But if you’d like to check out the buying guide first, click here.

1. Gallagher S40 Solar Fence Charger – Top Pick

Gallagher S40 Solar Fence Charger

Specifications

  • Type: Low-Impedance

  • Range: 25 miles (single-wire), or 5 miles (multi-wire)
  • Output Volts: 7800 V 
  • Impulse Energy: 0.29 J
  • Solar Panel’s Wattage: 4W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 Years

Packed with plenty of power and some impressive weather-proofing features, the Gallagher S40 tops our list as the best overall solar fence charger. It’s durable enough to withstand a lot of wear and tear, but portable enough that you can easily transport it to the farthest reaches of your land – without breaking your back. 

Whether you need to keep livestock included, or wildlife and intruders excluded, this solar-powered electric fence charger does its job brilliantly. And it works well for rotational grazing too.

The S40’s exterior is water-resistant and includes built-in lightning protection, so it’s safe and easy to install just about anywhere. Depending on your setup, the S40 can power up to 25 miles of single wire fence, or up to 5 miles of multi-wire fencing.

One of the main reasons we love this charger is how powerful it is. The 7800V low-impedance charger stores 0.4 Joules of energy, and the impulse it delivers is 0.29 J. Though not the highest on this list, it can easily handle cattle, horses, pigs, and bulls – and any nasty intruders too. Here’s what Tyler, a farmer and popular YouTuber from Northern California, has to say about this unit (2): 

I’m really happy with this energizer. The features are good, it’s well-made, and it comes with a three-year warranty.

Additionally, with a built-in solar panel and a rechargeable 6V battery, you have a reliable power source in any weather. This battery keeps on powering up your fence for up to three weeks without the sun, so it’s perfect for the winters too.

Another key feature of the S40 is the adjustable power settings. You can set the charger to pulse less frequently at night when the animals are less active to conserve power. Likewise, if you use it to keep nuisance animals away, you can lessen the power by day and crank it up at night for the nocturnal invaders!

If this much power is overkill for your property, you should also check out the Gallagher S16 and Gallagher S10 variants. They offer similar features and performance, but with lower output voltage and energy, so they’re better for smaller animals like chickens.

If you want the best solar fence charger available right now, look no further than the Gallagher S40. Its modern design, weather-proofing, high energy output, and portability make it worthy of any purpose you can think of. Just set it up and forget it. 

Plus, it’s backed by a 3-year warranty that includes lightning strikes, so your investment stays safe even in the harshest weather. 

2. Zareba ESP5M-Z 5-Mile Low Impedance Fence Charger – Budget Pick

Zareba ESP5M-Z 5-mile

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 5 miles (single-wire) 
  • Output Volts: 6000-9000 V
  • Impulse Energy: 0.10 J
  • Solar Panel’s Wattage: 3W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

If you want a solar fence charger without breaking the bank, the Zareba ESP5M-Z is a great budget option. It’s a durable, well-built product that’s easy to install and still offers commendable performance across small to medium length fences. 

Its range is limited to 5 miles, so it works well for medium farms and gardens. But if you have a multi-wire or poly wire fence, then the range is going to reduce significantly, down to about 1 mile. 

This one is particularly great for cattle, chickens, pigs, and other smaller animals, as it offers a shock of 0.10 Joules. It might not be very effective in deterring larger and thicker animals like goats and sheep though. 

This is also very portable. You can install it permanently if you like, or keep it temporarily for moving fences. 

The low-impedance design ensures performance even if the fencing has weeds growing on them. It outputs roughly 6000-9000V depending on the type of fence and grounding. 

The built-in 360 degree rotating mounting bracket fits T-posts, round and wood posts, Y-posts, and flat surfaces. You can angle it any way you like for maximum sunlight exposure. 

The Zareba ESP5M-Z is American-made, and it’s tested for proper functionality. Plus, the 1-year warranty includes lightning damage, so you can feel confident in your investment even when the storm hits. 

The solar panel, combined with the in-built battery, allows this unit to run for up to 2 weeks without any sunlight. The ‘Fence OK’ light also lets you know if it’s working correctly. 

If you’re looking for a bit more power than this model, then Zareba also offers the ESP10M-Z and ESP30M-Z models, which offer significantly improved range and joule output. 

If you’re looking to use solar power for your fence, but don’t want to spend too much, then the Zareba ESP5M-Z is the perfect choice. It’s super easy to use and install, and the five-mile range makes it an unbeatable product at this price range.

3. Gallagher S400 Solar Fence Charger – Most Powerful

Gallagher S400 Solar Fence Charger

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 60 miles (single-wire), or 20 miles (multi-wire)
  • Output Volts: 9800 V
  • Impulse Energy: 3.1 J
  • Solar Panel’s Wattage: 40W 
  • Weather-proof: Yes, IPX4
  • Warranty: 3 Years

This is the second product here by the reputed New Zealand company Gallagher. The S400 is their latest release – and the most powerful yet. With a range of 60 miles and an output shock of 3.1 Joules, this solar fence charger is an absolute beast, and the best solar fence charger in its category. 

Basically, this one solar fence charger is good enough to power the fencing around an entire large farm; and with its IPX4 rating, it’s durable enough to withstand the elements without any maintenance. Plus, it even has in-built lightning protection. 

The S400 has a large 40W solar panel (the biggest on any fence charger), which can recharge the 12V battery quickly and keep it running for 2 weeks even without the sun. Perfect for any weather.

The dual solar panel design means that even if one panel is covered by vegetation, the other panel will continue to work normally. This also works great for rotational grazing, as it’s easy to relocate the panel without a hassle. 

With multiple power options, you can set this up the way you want it – to keep the livestock inside, or to keep the nuisance wildlife outside. It works well for guarding your home against any invaders too, without any fatal injuries.

This model stores 4 J of energy, and outputs nearly 10,000 Volts under good fencing – more than enough even for bears, deer, sheep, goats, and other big, thick-skinned animals. 

If you use this for a multi-wire fence, the range reduces to 20 miles. Keep in mind that this depends on many other factors, including the quality and material of the fencing you use. 

And if this is too much power for what you need, you should check out the Gallagher S100 variant. With a 30 mile range, it’s still a really powerful unit for most people and most farms. 

If you’re looking for a really powerful solar fence charger that can charge your entire fence, you can’t go wrong with the Gallagher S400. Durability, an innovative design, a 3-year warranty (that includes lightning damage), and sheer power make this unit a fantastic purchase for people living off the grid. 

4. Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 – Most Popular

Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 25 miles (single-wire)
  • Output Volts: 2650-9000V 
  • Impulse Energy: 0.75 J
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 4W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 3 Years

The Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 is another great pick because it’s a surprisingly durable low-impedance electric fence charger that packs decent power for a reasonable price. 

Parmak is a respected, reputable brand that is known for its quality products, such as the Parmak Magnum Solar Pak and the DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 – one of their most popular products. 

With over 691 reviews on Amazon, this is one of the highest-rated products in the solar fence charger category. So you know you’re getting a trustworthy product and that it’s a reliable choice for long-term use.  

While this charger may not look as pretty as some of the others, its range is nearly 25 miles for a single-wired fence, which can easily cover a medium-sized pasture. Here’s what Alan Yelvington, a farmer from Pennsylvania, has to say about his experience using the Parmak (3): 

It’s simple, and it has performed very well. The battery lasts for years, so it’s a great affordable fencer.

And with over 0.75 J of impulse energy, the DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 is a great choice for containing everything from horses and cattle to chickens and sheep.

The new and more powerful solar panel in-built in this unit can keep the fence charger operating for about 21 days, even in complete darkness. So regardless of the season, this will keep working.

And it’s weather-proof too, so you can install it anywhere you like without worrying about damage. It can even survive some damage due to lightning.

The built-in performance meter on the front is one of the best things about this unit. It allows you to test meter operation, battery charge level, and fence voltage output easily and quickly, so you no longer have to guess if it’s working properly or not. 

If you need something with a little more power and range, you should also check out the Parmak MAG12-SP, which has over 3 joules of energy and a range of 30 miles. 

Given the durability and reasonable price, the Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar Pak 6 is an excellent choice for keeping your livestock safe or deterring wildlife from your crops. And with its all-American construction and 3-year warranty (which includes lightning damage), you don’t need to worry about its reliability in tough times. 

5. Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile Solar-Powered Electric Fence Charger

Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS 2-Mile

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 2 miles (single-wire)
  • Output Volts: 5000-8000 V
  • Impulse Energy: 0.04 J
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 1W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 1 Year

The Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS, another Zareba Systems brand, is a great choice amongst low-cost fence chargers. Like the Zareba ESP10M-Z, this also features a durable build quality with exceptional performance. 

This unit is small, but it can energize up to 2 miles of electric fencing (single-wire). And it delivers an impulse of 0.04 joules, which is most suited for smaller animals like chickens and rabbits. 

You can also use this to keep out small wildlife such as raccoons, skunks, foxes, and possums from entering your garden. 

This Fi-Shock charger has a 1-second interval with a pulsed output. The pulse ensures that it’s safe for the animals – they won’t get shocked continuously. So this charger works well for domestic pets as you don’t have to worry about injuring them accidentally! 

And with zero load, this can output a staggering 8000 volts! For a fence charger of this size, that’s quite amazing. This will reduce based on the resistance of the fence though. 

The low-impedance technology in this reduces battery drain, making it more efficient. It also resists any shorting due to weeds, so you can use this unit in dense undergrowth as well.  

The built-in rechargeable battery combined with the solar panel means that this unit can keep your fence charged for up to 2 weeks without any sun.

The ESP2M-FS is built in the USA and fully load-tested after manufacturing to ensure that it runs smoothly and has no faults. Plus, the 1-year warranty includes lightning damage too. It even features a weather-resistant durable cabinet.

All that means that you can buy this unit without worrying about its durability or reliability over time. And you can sleep sound, knowing that you’re part of the renewable energy drive and helping to save the environment (4). 

If you’re looking for a simple, low-range solar fence charger, the Fi-Shock ESP2M-FS is a good, trustworthy choice. And you can use it with almost any kind of fence – steel, aluminum, poly wire, poly rope, and poly tape.

6. Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer

Patriot SolarGuard 155 Fence Energizer

Specifications

  • Type: Solid-state

  • Range: 10 miles (single-wire)
  • Output Volts: 3700 – 10000 V
  • Impulse Energy: 0.15 J
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 2W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 2 Years

The Patriot SolarGuard 155 fence energizer is a great option if you’re looking for a solid-state solar fence charger. This unit has a classic design that offers good performance at an affordable price – so you can protect your livestock effortlessly. 

The SolarGuard outputs a shock of 0.15 joules, which isn’t the highest here, but it can easily deter cattle and small animals. It maintains a voltage of about 3700V to 10,000V, depending on the resistance and type of the fence wire. 

The range for this unit is 10 miles on a single-wire fence, which is suitable for small to medium farms, pastures, and gardens. For multi-wire fences, it’ll reduce to about 2-3 miles. 

It has a rechargeable 12V battery that allows it to operate for up to 21 days without sunlight, so it’s perfect for any weather. You can simply set it up and forget it. 

The battery-saving mode will maximize the battery life, so it won’t waste any energy when not being used. 

There are several mounting options that include T-posts and wood posts, so you can mount it on just about any fence. It’s been designed to deliver power to fence ends even under heavy load, such as foliage and undergrowth. 

The in-built flashing red light will quickly indicate whether or not the solar fence charger is working and powering the fence. So you don’t have to test it manually. 

If you’re looking for something a bit cheaper with a lower range, you should also check out the Patriot SolarGuard 150. It still outputs 0.15 joules, making it effective for small gardens and farms.

The 2-year warranty includes lightning damage as well, and this unit is made in New Zealand with high-quality materials. That means you won’t have to worry about it breaking anytime soon – it’s durable and long-lasting. 

Overall, the Patriot SolarGuard 155 is a pretty decent choice for people who want a medium-range solar fence charger. It’s durable and easy to use.

7. Fence Master 6-Mile Fence Charger – Best For Horses

Fence Master 6-Mile

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 6 miles (single-wire)
  • Output Volts: 5000-12000V
  • Impulse Energy: 1 Joule
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 5W
  • Weather-proof: Yes
  • Warranty: 5 Years

The Fence Master 6-Mile fence charger is one of the best solar fence chargers for horses. It is powerful enough to energize up to six miles and deliver high voltage shocks that will deter but not harm your horses.

Encased in weather-proof, heavy-duty plastic, the output is 12,000 volts at the source and 5,000 volts at three miles. With such effective voltage, the Fence Master 6-mile fence charger may be a good choice for deterring predators as well.

Though the impressive power comes from an oversized transformer, you don’t have to worry about the charger occupying too much space. It works well with single or multi-wire fences and handles most conditions, including heavy brush and wet grass.

Additionally, this low-impedance technology solar charger is made in America by a family-owned business. It comes with a 5-year warranty when registered with an additional 1-year warranty on batteries. However, this does not include damage by storms or lightning. 

If you don’t register the device, you’re not out of luck; you still get a 2-year warranty from the date of manufacturing.

8. Premier Solar IntelliShock Fence Charger

Premium Solar IntelliShock

Specifications

  • Type: Solid-State

  • Range: 1 mile (3-wire)
  • Output Volts: 6000-9000V
  • Impulse Energy: 0.60 J
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 10W
  • Weather-proof: No
  • Warranty: 2 Years

If you want a versatile solar charger, the Premier Solar Intellishock may be a good fit for your space. It’s portable, which means you can use it almost anywhere. Plus, the Intellishock is easy to install on a fence or using the included in-ground stake.

The Intellishock is a 0.6 Joule solar charger that averages 6,000 volts. It is versatile enough to power a few rolls of electric netting, one mile of three-strand fencing, or a half-mile of five to seven strand fencing.

You can tilt and adjust the position of the solar panel to maximize sun exposure at any time of year. Additionally, the included battery has a large capacity to keep the charger operational even during times of limited sun exposure. You can also plug it into a 110V battery recharger.

The Intellishock comes with a two-year warranty that happens to cover defective parts and lightning. There is a 30-day warranty on the batteries. You also get a full kit of accessories, including a five-light tester, wiring harness, and battery recharger.

This solar charger works well in damp to wet conditions. We didn’t get to try it, but some users reported that the Intellishock continued working after significant water exposure (including complete submersion during a flood!).

9. Silver Streak Solar Fence Charger

Silver Streak Solar Fence Charger

Specifications

  • Type: Low-impedance

  • Range: 25 miles (single-wire) 
  • Output Volts: 9000-10000V
  • Impulse Energy: 2 Joules 
  • Solar Panel Wattage: 10W
  • Weather-proof: No
  • Warranty: 2 Years

If you want serious power to activate your fence, but don’t want to burn a hole in your pocket, it’s tough to beat the Silver Streak Solar Fence Charger. Amongst the electric fence charger reviews we went through, this was very well received. 

We picked this one as one of the most powerful solar fence chargers available because it works through tall grass and brush, adapts to steel, aluminum, or poly wire, and can power up to 25 miles of fence (or 100 acres).

The low-impedance technology delivers two Joules of power and a circuit voltage of 10000V but includes extra safety measures for children and pets. It also comes with a free lightning diverter for additional protection during storms. 

One of the unique features of this solar fence charger is the battery. There is no internal battery here. You can clip any 12V battery to the outside of the unit. So, you get to choose the battery that’ll work with this, and it’s very easy to replace too. Deep-cycle batteries are recommended by the manufacturer. 

What that means is, that if the battery on this unit fails, you can just go to the shop and get any standard 12V battery to replace it – hassle-free. No need to have it sent to a repair center. 

This solar charger offers serious power and range with impressive durability. However, just in case you need it, Silver Streak provides a two-year manufacturer’s warranty.

Note: We found that a lot of reviewers commended Silver Streak’s customer service. We reached out to ask a few questions about the charger and spoke with two different representatives. Both individuals were kind, respectful, and when one didn’t know the answer, she found somebody who did. Impressive!

10. Dare DS 20 3-Acre Solar Energizer And Fence Charger

Dare DS 20 3-Acre

Specifications

  • Type: Solid-state

  • Range: 3 Acres
  • Output Volts: 6000V
  • Impulse Energy: 0.07 J
  • Solar Panel Wattage: N/A
  • Weather-proof: No
  • Warranty: N/A

The Dare DS 20 3-Acre fence energizer is a great solar fence charger for cattle for several reasons, including its size and power. The 6-volt Dare DS delivers up to .07 Joules in a lightweight, low-profile package. 

It’s small enough to fit any fence and can power fences in remote areas with no other power source. And on top of all that, it’s superbly affordable, so it won’t burn a hole in your pocket. 

Like other Dare products, the DS 20 is energy efficient and made to withstand the elements. This solid-state charger even comes with built-in lightning protection.

Anybody looking to secure cattle or protect a garden from small critters may want to consider this charger. Not only is it easy to install, it efficiently powers up to 3 acres of fence and includes a self-contained battery.

We should note that several users recommend this charger for a single-wire fence. Some users reported that they found it insufficient for cattle, but most reviewers commended the performance within the three-mile range. For the price, this is a pretty good option. 

How to Buy the Best Solar Electric Fence Charger for You (Top 5 Tips)

Phew! That is a lot of information on some really cool products. We’ve researched and compiled our top 5 tips to help you pick the solar fence charger that’s right for YOU.

1. Calculate the minimum output voltage and joules required to contain your animals

Selecting the best solar electric fence charger for you starts with the output voltage and joules, because if they are too low, your fence won’t contain (or deter) the animals in question. This differs for different animals, so you should know how much you’ll need for your farm or garden. 

So, to clear any confusion, let’s define what voltage and joules mean in real terms. The output voltage is the ‘capability of current to flow through the animal’, or simply, a higher voltage means that current will flow through even the most thick-skinned animals (like sheep) with ease (5, 6). 

Joules, also known as impulse energy or ‘shock strength’, is the actual amount of output current that is imparted to the animal.

So, a higher joules rating means that the electric shock will be much stronger and more intense (7). Too large a shock can actually injure or kill animals, so we need to be careful about this.

The joules rating is also important in the range of a fence. A higher joules means the fence can maintain an effective shock even at a longer range.  

Now, you can obviously have a fence that serves the double duty of keeping your cattle in and predators out. That’s why it’s essential to evaluate your own situation and determine your needs to create a custom electric fence solution (8). Here are the voltage requirements for some of the more common animals (9, 10):

AnimalVoltage Required
Chickens, Dogs, And Pets500-1000V
Nuisance Animals (like Raccoons)1000-2000V
Cattle, Pigs, And Horses2000-4000V
Deer and Elk3000-5000V
Sheep And Goats4000-5000V
Wolves And Coyotes5000-6000V
Bears6000-7000V
Table: Minimum Voltage Requirements For Different Animals

Note that the rated voltage for most products is an ideal value under perfect conditions. With real-world usage, it is going to be much less, and will depend on the fencing wire, number of strands, resistance, etc. Hence, you should usually go for a higher-rated fence charger. 

2. Ensure that the solar fence charger you want has enough range

Charging a fence around a small vegetable garden is very different from energizing several acres of grazing land. So you need to pick your solar fence charger accordingly. The range of a fence energizer depends on many factors, such as the type and number of fence wires, their overall resistance, the quality of grounding, the soil, etc. 

Interestingly, while it’s tempting to rely on the area (acreage), it’s better to focus more on the perimeter of the fence (mileage). Either way, we recommend checking these parameters using an online tool like Google Maps or ACME’s Planimeter (11). They’re super easy to use and offer accurate information on the perimeter and area of your farm. 

But you should note that the indicated range of a solar fence charger is only achieved under the best conditions with high-quality wires. Real-world usage generally offers a lower range than expected. 

Hence, it’s crucial to know the kind of fence you’ll be using and the grounding, as these two factors are the most significant. You should also clear any vegetation and undergrowth and keep your soil moist and well-watered to ensure maximum performance. 

For example, you look at a charger with a range of thirty miles. If you have a single strand that is thirty miles long, you’re in business. However, if you have three or four strands covering thirty miles, then you need something with a 90-120 miles range to achieve effective electric fencing.

3. Make sure you get the right type of solar fence charger

After reading our solar fence charger reviews, it’s easy to see so many options on the market. However, all of these solar chargers can be broken down into two main types that each have benefits and disadvantages.

Low-Impedance Charger

Most of the newer models of solar fence chargers are low-impedance chargers because they are more efficient and effective for managing animals. These are a significant improvement over previous technologies, such as the high-impedance, continuous output ones that could be dangerous. 

Low-impedance chargers increase the amount of energy they put out when there is a heavier load on the fence, like overgrown weeds or brush.

To do this, they hold a reserve and release it as needed. Consequently, low-impedance chargers manage power better and last longer. 

Additionally, low-impedance chargers emit stronger shocks to animals – not so strong as to harm them, but enough to deter larger animals. Also, these chargers don’t deliver a continuous shock, but rather a pulse with an interval of 1-2 seconds. So, animals have a chance to move away before receiving another jolt.

If your animals still have trouble seeing your fence and continue to shock themselves, consider adding some dusk to dawn solar outdoor lighting to help illuminate these tough-to-see areas.

We strongly suggest choosing a low-impedance charger for several reasons. They last longer, handle power better, and tend to have a greater range than the alternatives.

Solid-State Fence Charger

Solid-state fence chargers are an older technology, but many people still use these. They work well with aluminum or steel fences, and are generally a bit cheaper than low-impedance. 

These chargers deliver a lesser shock than the low-impedance, but it’s still enough to deter unwanted animals while keeping your livestock safe. Plus, the medium voltage shock won’t harm your livestock, but they won’t like the feeling, so they will tend to avoid the fence.

Additionally, these chargers produce shocks in pulses, so animals have a chance to get away before they get shocked again. The pulse feature makes these chargers safer for humans and pets.

Of course, this type of charger works better for smaller animals or those with short fur since the shock is not as strong. Weeds and brush can also impact the effectiveness, so it’s extra important to maintain the vegetation around this type of solar-powered fence charger.

4. Consider your area’s weed problems 

How overgrown is the land around your electric fence? Don’t worry; we’re not passing judgment on how you keep up your land. You may be surprised to learn that the weed conditions around the fence can actually impact the efficiency of your electric fence and solar fence charger. 

Dense weeds that grow tall enough to reach the wires on your fence create problems by impacting the efficiency of the electric current. A lot of weed and brush leaning on the wire leads to a loss of voltage and pushes the energy to other parts of the fence line.

It’s a good idea to encourage grass growth along the fence and maintain the areas as much as possible. Allowing grass to grow thick and higher than usual, like three to four inches, is an excellent way to crowd out weeds and prevent the drain on your electric fence.

5. Consider your area’s weather conditions, sunlight, soil, and lightning

Like your electric fence, your solar charger is probably outside where it’s exposed to the elements. It’s easy to feel good about your solar charger on a sunny summer day, but what about during a severe storm or snow or extreme cold? Before selecting a charger, look at how well it can handle the elements.

Weather

You can mitigate elements like the wind by securely anchoring your charger to the ground or post. Since you need to ground the charger anyway, it doesn’t take a lot of extra work to secure your charger. 

However, wind isn’t the only consideration, especially for open areas that get a lot of rain and snow. You should pick a waterproof solar fence charger, so that it keeps water on the outside. On the contrary, water-resistant products can only survive mild rainfall, and may fail due to heavy downpours (12).

So, you should consider the amount of precipitation you get throughout the year. You don’t want to choose a charger with a case that cannot handle the amount of rain or snow thrown at it. After all, chasing down animals after a thunderstorm is miserable!

Sunlight

You should make sure that the solar panel is aptly positioned for optimal sunlight exposure. It should not have any shadows or vegetation that may block the path of light from 9 AM to 3 PM, when the sun shines bright. 

Along with that, it’s important to choose a solar panel that can keep your battery charged all the time, even when the sun isn’t out. Most of the products listed here can run for 2-3 weeks even without sunlight, so they’ll keep running even in the winter season. 

Soil

An essential aspect of grounding is the soil all along the fence line and around your farm. This soil needs to be moist and well-watered, with a lot of minerals, to ensure that it can conduct electricity properly. Dry soil will result in poor grounding. Remember that grounding is the most important component in the design of an electric fence system (13). 

If your fence energizer is not properly grounded, then it will not deliver an appropriate shock and will be ineffective.

If you’re not sure about the soil in your area, we recommend getting it tested by an expert. You don’t want to spend a couple hundred dollars on a fence energizer and find out that it’s not working due to poor grounding. 

Lightning Protection

In many cases, you anchor a charger to a metal post, which leaves it susceptible to damage caused by lightning strikes. Some chargers include in-built lightning protection or at least include a lightning diverter as a part of the kit. If you select a charger that doesn’t have either of these, you may need to purchase a lightning diverter or lightning arrester separately to protect your charger.

Some of these products also have warranties that include lightning damage. If you live in a lightning-prone area, we recommend choosing a product that has that, such as the Gallagher S40 and S400. 

The Bottom Line: What is the Best Solar Fence Charger to Buy Today?

That concludes our solar fence charger reviews and buying guide. If you’re still on the fence (get it?), then let’s wrap it up quickly. 

For those looking for the best overall quality, we highly recommend our top choice, the Gallagher S40. It’s portable, durable, and powerful enough to maintain a charge for up to 25 miles. Plus, the S40 ticks the right boxes – a 3-year warranty, three-week battery life, and built-in lightning protection.

But if you want something cheap and simple, you can’t go wrong with the Zareba ESP5M-Z. It’s affordable, but still offers a lot of power and range. This will work well for small gardens and short, single-wire fences.

And for those looking for sheer power and a massive range, the Gallagher S400 is the way to go. A single unit could power a 60-mile long fence. That’s downright insane! For big farms and pastures, this is simply the best choice. 

At the end of the day, we hope that we helped you in your journey to find the best solar fence for your needs!

Want more highly-rated solar gear like the Gallagher S40 to help drive down your energy usage, and monthly bill? Check out our top solar-powered attic fans, solar refrigerators, and more – here at ecw.org, where we work harder to find you the top solar equipment on the market.

FAQs

The best solar fence charger is made by Gallagher, in our opinion. The S range, which includes the S40 and S400, is exceptionally well-made and offers all the necessary features for a fence energizer at an affordable price.

Solar fence chargers typically last 2-3 weeks with zero or low levels of sunlight. If they receive sufficient sunlight throughout the week, they can run entirely on solar power with no mains electricity. As for durability, a good fence charger can easily last 3-4 years with some simple maintenance. 

The most powerful electric fence charger that runs on solar power is the Gallagher S400. This energizer offers over 3 joules of output joules, with a range of almost 60 miles. Gallagher also makes the M10000i – the most powerful mains-powered unit in the world. It has over 100 joules of energy and a range of over 125 miles.

Yes, solar fence chargers definitely do work! They are an integrated unit that can be placed almost anywhere since they require no wiring. If you set it up properly to receive good sunlight without any obstructions, then these units sustain themselves and keep running for a very long time. They’re much more economical and eco-friendly than their wired alternatives as well. 

Typically, a fence charger should 1 joule per mile of fence. This is to ensure that there is enough energy and current to shock any animals or intruders that touch it. Amongst low-impedance solar fence chargers, the requirement is considerably less as these are more effective in conducting current even under dense vegetation. For animal-specific current requirements, you may check our voltage guide here.

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