The heart of the electric fence is the energiser.
The right energiser is the heart of a good fence system. It emits regular pulses of electricity whose strength is dependent on how powerful the energiser is. The higher the energy (joule value), the stronger the pulse emitted. So that everything works as it should it is essential to have fence wire with a good conductivity, good insulators, a good ground connection, etc. The fence should be kept as free as possible from unwanted disturbances (vegetation, etc).
A few technical terms and their definitions:
|This is the voltage as measured on the outputs of the energiser. As the fence is not connected up, this value has no practical meaning.|
Voltage (in volt)
|This is the voltage as measured on the outputs of the energiser under a normal load, e.g. when an animal or grass is in contact with the fence. When the fence is touched by someone = 500 ohms, the pulse energy must not exceed 5,000 volts.|
Charge energy (in joules)
|The charge energy is what the energiser takes from the mains socket or battery and consumes itself. This value can be used to compare different energisers.|
|This is the maximum energy that an energiser can provide to the fence. The higher the pulse energy, the less of an issue vegetation is and the more secure the fence. The pulse energy corresponds to the shock strength of the fence. When the fence is touched by someone (500 ohms), the pulse energy must not exceed 5 joules.|
Power consumption (in watts):
Power consumption is measured in watts. Our NV9000 very high-performance mains energiser consumes around 10 watts per hour. This is much less than the power consumption of a conventional light bulb.
Choosing the right energiser
There are different energisers depending on the type of animal you are dealing with. Horses, cattle, pigs, dogs, cats and other pets are "easier to keep". Normal energisers are more than adequate for these. These animals are generally used to electric fences, have short hair and therefore feel the shock pulse more clearly. The minimum effective voltage for the fence should not, however, go below 2,000 volts (minimum safety voltage) – these animals tend to escape otherwise.
Free-roaming wild animals, but also sheep, goats and poultry are "more difficult to keep". High performance energisers are required for these. These animals are not generally familiar with electric fences and also have thick hair or fur which significantly reduces their sensitivity to electric shocks. In this case, a high-voltage electric fence is required to provide the necessary safety. This voltage should not be less than around 4,000 volts.
Energisers with low pulse energy (under 1 joule) are suitable for use with easy to keep animals. These energisers are also suitable for fencing with little or no vegetation. Energisers with medium pulse energy (up to around 5 joules) are suitable for use with difficult to keep animals. The electric fence should be of medium length with a normal to medium amount of grass vegetation. Very powerful energisers with high pulse energiy (over 5 joules) are suitable for use with difficult to keep animals. These are good for very large fence systems with lots of vegetation.
TIP: Your choice of energiser should first be decided by the power source available.
If you have a pasture with a nearby 230 V connection, then you should use an electric fence mains energiser. If the pasture is far away, with a short length of fence, easy to keep animals and no 230 volt supply available, then you should choose a 9 V electric fence battery energiser. These are lightweight and easy to handle, making them very versatile. Longer fences with disturbances etc. will need a stronger energiser. In this case you should choose a 12 V electric fence battery unit energiser.
The law requires that electric fences systems are continuously monitored. Electric fences should ideally be completely free from any disturbances. Unfortunately this is rarely the case in practice. Various disturbances such as faulty insulators, overgrowth, moisture, etc. are common problems. The energiser must be able to deliver the fence voltage required here. You should future-proof by purchasing a more powerful energiser than you currently require.
TIP: Use the power of the sun
Solar panels are more frequent used with electric fences. Newer and better technologies also make them economically advantageous. Solar panels are a one-off investment. There are no running costs.