An electric fence energiser is a device used to control an electrical pulse sent along a fence from a power source, usually battery or mains 240v power.
The energiser uses capacitors to store the charge and releases it down the fence line or live wire. When a grounded object such as an animal or plant is touching the fence an electrical stream flows through the body of the object and back through the ground to the earth return terminal of the energiser.
Generally, a pulse is sent down the live wire of the fence about every 1.5 seconds. This can vary across different brands and models of energisers. Most battery energisers these days will make the pulse time further apart to save on battery power. Some mains and battery fencers even have buttons where you can choose the timing of the pulse (generally fast, medium, or slow).
Most electric fence energisers have an output voltage of around 7000 volts at the output or live terminal. Usually the voltage does not go higher than 10000 volts. The amount that ends up travelling along the fence will depend on various factors like the quality of your connections, what type of fencing wire you are using and how well the live wire is insulated away from any conductive materials. These things can lead to voltage leaks. Think of it like a hole in a water pipe, if you have lots of leaks and blockages you will not end up with a lot of water coming out the end of your pipe.
Energisers are also known as: “Fence chargers”, “Chargers” and “Power units”
How do I supply power to my electric fence energiser?
Electric fence energisers can be run off either mains 240v power or batteries. You can attach a solar panel to your battery so that the battery charges during the day which saves you the effort from remembering to charge the battery manually. Some energisers incorporate solar sells into the design of the unit, and therefore the energiser, battery and solar cell are all integrated into a single unit.
Modern energisers are very power efficient and unless there is a load on the fence like grass or other vegetation “earthing” the fence out they are very low energy users with a 5 kilometer mains powered energiser costing about $10.00 a year to run.
Currently the big thing on the market is energisers that can be run off both mains and battery power (or solar if a panel is attached to battery) depending on where the energiser is situated and what kind of power
source is available. If you can, always try to run an energiser off mains power as this is the most cost-effective way. Batteries need replacing every 2-3 years and at the low cost of running your energiser of the mains supply you will save a fair bit. This will be to your advantage as you do not have to go replacing
batteries and your fence will not lose power when the batteries are running low.
If you have an interrupted power supply maybe you should consider a battery / solar energiser as this will ensure your fence is up and running with more reliability. Just make sure that you keep an eye on the condition of the battery.
Solar energisers are best used when the fence is too far from a mains outlet or if there is no mains power at all. The initial cost and upkeep of a solar energiser is greater than that of a mains powered energiser but it does provide you with the benefit of a fully portable system to use with electric netting.
Reliability of your energiser
Always remember in most cases you get what you pay for. As a farmer you should always keep in mind the quality of your animals that you want to protect and not shy away from the better products.
At McCallum Made, our aim is to supply only the most reliable and cost-effective energisers on the market. Quite frankly we do not like dealing with warranties and customers that are not satisfied, so it is in our interest to supply quality products. As for what brand and how much you should pay it is really a matter of considering the value of your stock and the importance of a reliable electric fence.
More expensive energisers tend to have better quality electrical components in them so they will last longer and be more reliable. Keep in mind you may also be paying for extra features. It is up to you if you need all the extra features for your energiser. If you do not need them do not bother, you are better off putting the extra money toward a basic energiser of higher quality. Most people want an energiser they can set up, turn on and forget about. While this is ideal it is still recommended you check on the fence and energiser at least twice a week or more depending on the value of your stock and the implications of not having your animals properly protected.