You probably want to jump on the solar fence charger bandwagon. After all, never paying for your electric fence again, having it operational even when the power is out, and the flexibility of its use sounds perfect for any situation. We live in an age of innovation, and I wanted to take advantage of the newest technology, making the best investment possible, but first, I needed to do some research.
How long do solar fence chargers last? Most models come equipped with batteries storing solar power for up to two weeks of overcast days. But beware: every solar charger requires maintenance to ensure up to 30 years of uninterrupted service.
I looked at two questions. The first required finding out how long a charger will work without sunshine. How do they fare through the cloudy months of winter when sunshine proves scarce? I needed a charger that worked despite the weather.
The second question was how long a charger works without requiring expensive repairs. I wanted to find a fence line charger that would repel unwelcome intruders but didn’t want to sink my money into a system requiring constant upkeep. I needed facts to make a good decision, so I delved into product research. So keep reading to know what I found.
How Long Do Solar Fence Chargers Last (With 4 Examples)
I looked at several models and found a lot of variety in the marketplace. I looked at the type of backup offered as well as warranties.
The Zareba ESP10M-Z comes with a 6-volt battery for continued coverage during extended periods of cloudy weather. It takes three days to recharge the battery once it is depleted. The manufacturer offers a one-year limited warranty.
The Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 comes with a larger 12-volt battery. You’ll appreciate the internal battery for cloudy days. Install it on top of a fence post, which is great for harvesting sunshine, but bad when it comes to exposure of inclement weather. The box is not watertight and will require upkeep when it gets wet. If the battery gets depleted, it will require turning it off and letting it recharge for five sunny days before resuming operation.
The Patriot Solarguard 155 offers several noteworthy features. It is fully weather-proof, and the internal batteries offer backup for 14-21 days. It comes with a 2-year warranty, including protection from lightning strikes This was a huge plus for me since I live in a climate with heavy spring rains.
The Patriot Solarguard 555 is a larger version manufactured by the same company as the one above. It, too, is fully weather-proof and protected under warranty from lightning strikes. It also has an internal battery, making installation less cumbersome. You’ll appreciate that it will endure an additional week of cloudy weather before needing a recharge of the battery. I found this the best option.
Here is a grid for easy comparison of these options:
|Model||Backup||Warranty||Life without Sunlight|
|Zareba ESP10M-Z||6-volt battery||1-year||14 days of cloudy weather|
|Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12||12-volt battery||2-year||14 days of cloudy weather|
|Patriot Solarguard 155||Internal battery||2-year||14 days of cloudy weather|
|Patriot Solarguard 555||Internal battery||2-year||21 days of cloudy weather|
I live in an environment with frequent storms and lots of cloudy days, making the Patriot models the most cost-effective for me. The internal batteries also appealed to me, making the unit less cumbersome.
Related Article: Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger
How to Get the Most from Your Solar Fence Charger
You will need repairs for your system if it isn’t installed or maintained properly.
Installing your charger in the right place makes a huge difference in your level of satisfaction. Choose a site of unlimited daylight sunshine. Even a morning of shade makes a noticeable difference in its energy production and storage for cloudy days. Clear unwelcome branches that block the sun or threaten your unit with dropping branches.
Your charger will also require periodic inspections to remove spider webs, wasp nests, or other forms of insects making homes at your expense. Put together a kit with a whisk broom and dust cloth to use monthly through the warm weather months. These pesky varmints can cause shorting within the system. You can save on costly repairs by removing them before they cause damage.
Diligently weed around the post and grounding rods to maintain its life. Vegetation will cause your unit to dispense a constant low charge and deplete its battery.
Inspect your unit after storms to be sure it is operational. If it has been taken out by lightning or water leakage, you want to minimize the time your animals are without protection. If you purchase your solar fence line charger online, make sure you find a trusted source of professional repair. If your unit is compromised, you will want to know who to call.
If you are willing to exercise a little proactive care and stay on top of things, you can kiss expensive power bills goodbye, and have a solar fence charger that can last up to 30 years. Permanently. Because a solar unit works on Mother Nature’s dime, you’ll find it an excellent long-term option.