What is the best solar powered electric fence charger? My top pick is the Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12. I found that it offered the largest shock, required an easy installation, and was ultimately the best bang for the buck.
Last update on 2021-04-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Letting Mother Nature foot the bill for keeping your rascally goats and wandering cows in the pen sounds like a good idea, doesn’t it? My fence lines needed a 21st-century solution to an age-old problem without breaking the bank.
When you have animals that need protection beyond just establishing the boundaries of a fence, there are a lot of factors to consider.
Goats have a penchant for wandering and escaping through any fence that isn’t wired. Cows are strong enough to wrangle a way through a wire that serves as a mere suggestion. Which will fit your needs the best? Read on to find tips to help you make the best possible decision for your landholding.
Reviews of the Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Chargers
1. Zareba ESP10M-Z – Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger for Goats
If your pen is small and you are penning up smaller animals, like goats, this charger from Zareba may be perfect for you. It offers 10 miles of fence line coverage, which is plenty for a pen attached to a barn or out-building.
The price is affordable, which is a great deal for a lifetime of virtually free electrical fencing.
Do you live in a zone with lots of weather fluctuations? No worries. Since you will experience some cloudy days and inclement weather no matter where you live, the Zareba ESP10M-Z comes with a 6-volt battery for up to two weeks of continued coverage during nights and overcast skies.
Let’s face it, being able to run on battery and to recharge when necessary is a huge benefit. It features a blinking indicator light to confirm it is on and working, which is a great comfort when you’re running a late-night check on the stock.
The Zareba model is fast and easy to install. It conveniently attaches to T-posts, Y-Posts and flat structures like the side of the barn; it can be tilted to get the best angle possible for your space.
It works well in conjunction with steel or aluminum fencing, as well as poly wire, poly rope, and poly tape fences. An additional feature is its compartmental design, allowing each part to work independently in the case of damage to one component. That’s a huge plus for me.
This model offers a .15 joule reminder to stay inside the enclosure with an emitted 1-second interval. Because goats are so devilishly quick to crawl under fences and notoriously stubborn in ignoring boundaries, you may find a single strand ineffective.
I once had a neighbor who roasted escaped goats for dinner, convinced one errant animal just led the others astray. To avoid such an extreme response, you will probably want to run two or three hot wires around your fence line.
Take that into consideration as you measure your space and calculate the cost. Order all the bells and whistles you’ll need at the same time. The unit requires the separate purchase of an installation kit.
This model offers a 1-year warranty, and like all the models, it is affected by weeds touching the posts. Translation: weed frequently along your fence rows to ensure a longer life span for your solar fence charger.
The constant impedance from vegetation weakens your battery unnecessarily. You also will need to check it frequently for condensation or rain leakage inside the mechanism, because the housing mechanism is not waterproof.
Take the time to create a protective covering for it. Anything that could short out the wires will happen at the most inconvenient time.
- Affordable kit with leads and insulation included
- Flexible installation on any surface
- Easy-grip screw-on terminal knobs that help you install your ground rods
- Compartmented design—if one span shorts out, the rest will continue working
- High quality with a good warranty
- The 6-volt charge is mildly irritating to cows and larger stock
- It is noisy when operating
- It is not waterproof
- With goats, three strands of wire may be required, potentially tripling the cost if you use it for an entire pasture
- Slow customer service
2. Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 – Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger for Cows
If you keep cows in a large pen or pasture, this model from Parmak may be a better fit for you. It offers 30 miles of fencing, which will create a much roomier pen, ideal for your favorite bovine friends.
However, it is perfect in both large and small settings. It is slightly more expensive than the Zareba unit, but it adds a lot of value to the additional price, making it a very compelling option.
As with any solar fence charger, it runs by sunlight during the day and by a battery at night. Like the Zareba, it also comes with a backup battery, but is significantly larger at 12 volts.
The battery is housed in a weather-proof encasement, but don’t trust it. Check it regularly for condensation or rain water to be on the safe side.
This model produces a larger charge for animals wanting out (3.1 joules), a significant improvement in catching the attention of a cow determined to escape. Its two-year warranty also protects against lightning strikes.
An added advantage is that it is fast and easy to install. One huge plus the company features is that the battery housing is equipped for mounting on top of a fence post, rather than the side. This allows for maximum exposure of its ample panel to sunlight.
Like the Zareba, you must weed and clean out the mechanism regularly. Also like the Zareba, you must purchase the grounding kit separately, which has everything needed to make your solar fence operational.
- Creates a larger pen or fenced area with a 30-mile range
- Offers a stronger charge
- Has a 12-volt battery
- It boasts a built-in performance meter
- Durable and waterproof
- Built-in low-impedance technology
- The 2-year warranty covering lightning damage is a lot of peace of mind
- Reliable company with a history of good customer service
- It is more expensive
- Complex and a broad range of features may be more than a small holding requires
3. Gallagher S10 Solar Fence Energizer – Best Budget Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger
This unit from Gallagher covers three miles of fencing, making it smaller than the Zareba unit described above. This will work for a very small pen attaching to one side of a barn. The least expensive of my reviewed chargers, and in the right setting, it may be perfect.
The Gallagher comes in a sturdy self-contained housing with an internal battery. At night, it conserves energy by reducing its output to nearly 0.1 joules of energy, so it may be less effective when you need it most.
The solar panels for this unit range in size and price from moderate to hefty, so you must evaluate the size you need for your stock.
The unit has a lightning diverter, which is a welcome feature. It also boasts a 360-degree rotation for positioning the unit to its best advantage, which is an added convenience.
The manufacturer recommends training your animals to respect the fence, which, taken another way, translates into the unit not being a stand-alone deterrent.
Order the Guardian Complete Grounding Kit separately and be sure to take some time to familiarize yourself with all the necessary components before placing your order.
The Gallagher comes with a 90-day free return warranty, so bear that in mind as well as you compare and contrast features.
- Competitive pricing
- Internal battery
- Easy installation
- Rotational feature of the unit housing to capture the best angle
- Sturdy construction
- The only unit with a built-in lightning diverter feature
- Will work for three weeks without sunlight
- Covers least amount of distance of all models
- Low shock dispensed at night
- Shortest offered warranty
4. Premier Solar IntelliShock 60 Fence Energizer
Comparable in price to the Parmak, this unit came with added value. Its solar screen for harvesting sunlight was the largest of any advertised. That’s a huge plus.
It handles one mile of a 3-strand fence for goats and cows. That’s a smaller distance than any of the other units, and definitely not an option for a large pasture, but still adequate for a small holding.
The shock value was lower than the Parmak, which was a disappointment. I never trust goats to be compliant and find that they need a lot of shocking education to keep them inside a pen. In the end, it was the most important factor in choosing the right solar energizer for my needs.
The company offers proprietary technology in energy-saving features that automatically reduce battery drain by as much as 70% when fence lines are kept weed-free.
They offer a 30-day warranty on the battery, but claim it should last three to four years. The energizer comes with a two-year warranty, which includes lightning strikes.
The unit does not require being mounted to a fence post. Because the large solar screen rests at a slant above the unit, it can sit on the ground, making it the easiest installation of all reviewed.
It does come with the installation kit, however, should you wish to mount it on a post, which is an additional monetary value.
- Most economical (with the enclosed installation kit)
- Largest screen for harvesting sunlight
- Easy installation, not requiring a post unless desired
- Two-year warranty for the unit
- Shortest distance coverage
- Mid-range shock value
- Short, 30-day warranty for the battery
How to Choose the Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger – Buyer’s Guide
So what are the features you need to consider?
The type of animal you are penning
This article features units particularly good for cows and goats. An animal’s size and coat of hair determine the type of charge you need. Cows require one or two strands of wire; goats often need four strands.
The area you want to enclose
Measure the length and width to determine the amount of wire you need, and thus the best unit for your animals.
Amount of weeds
The amount of weeds you will need to remove and keep clear of fencing. If your pen has a lot of weeds, look for a unit featuring low impedance charges to extend the length of your battery.
Make sure you choose one with a long life with the most efficient rechargeable battery. Keep track of the LED flash indicator and keep your battery charged.
You want a portable design, as lightweight as possible. As a rule of thumb, if you can carry it in a backpack, a post can hold its weight.
You need the appropriate number of joules for the stock you carry. Evaluate if you want a continuous charge or pulsing charges.
Look for the longest warranty, lifetime money back or replacement in case your unit is damaged.
Related Article: Best Solar Powered Fan for a Chicken Coop
Solar Powered Electric Fence Chargers Pros, Cons, and Maintenance
Solar powered fence chargers offer advantages over the typical electric fence. They are quicker and easier to install. They require no buried wires, an added plus. Within minutes your fence can be charged and operational.
On the flip side, they are heavier than their electrical counterparts, because the battery is housed within the unit. Not having to mount the Intellishock model is a definite plus. If your field is open to exposed sunlight, you can set it on the ground and eliminate the whole step of mounting the unit.
No matter which unit you buy, you will need a sunny exposure without obstruction from trees to harvest sunlight. A vigorous weeding regimen is required to prevent battery drain from constant low impedance draws.
You will also need to inspect it for insect infestation that can short the mechanism. Manufacturers recommend inspection after a storm as well.
Making sure branches don’t fall and land on the wires diverting power is another routine chore. So yes, some maintenance is required. But hey! Sunlight is free.
After careful consideration, the choice for a solar energizer outweighs the typical electric fence.
The typical electric fence costs 10 to twenty cents per foot, which racks up to a whopping $528 to $1056 dollars per mile of coverage, not counting spikes in the electric bill when you turn it on.
If you are protecting a small number of goats or cows, the solar alternative is the best alternative.
Related Article: Best Electric Chicken Fence
My Choice for the Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Chargers
Once again, overall, my choice for the best solar powered electric fence charger is the Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12.
It has the highest shock and the longest fence line coverage. It is ideal for goat escape artists and effective with cows as well, being the most flexible of all the units surveyed.
If you are willing to exercise a little proactive care and stay on top of things, you can kiss expensive power bills goodbye. Permanently. Because a solar unit works on Mother Nature’s dime, you’ll find it an excellent long-term option.
Top Rated Solar Powered Electric Fence Chargers
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Last update on 2021-04-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API