How to Install a Solar Electric Fence
A solar electric fence with a low charge can be an ideal way to keep animals like horses in a field. The solar aspect means it costs nothing to run and there’s very little involved in the way of wiring. A solar electric fence is also easy to install, requiring a bare minimum of knowledge and just some basic equipment.
Step 1—Type of Fence?
The type of solar electric fence you install will depend to a great degree on its intended use. If the fence is going to be permanent, then the posts will need to be well bedded. If you’re using it for a horse paddock, you’ll need a taller fence than you would for controlling smaller animals.
Do your research before buying, and determine the proper size solar fence charging unit you’ll need for the fence you want to install.
Step 2—Install Posts
Start your fence by using a post hole digger to dig a hole for either an end or corner post. Go down about 2 feet, insert the post and then fill the hole with dry cement. Use a level and props to ensure it’s level in all directions and leave to set.
Run a string from this post to the next corner and put in that post using the same method. The string will give you the line for the other posts of the fence. All the posts will need to set overnight for the cement to harden and keep the fence firm. If you can give the posts 48 hours before moving on, so much the better.
Step 3—Install Wire
Now you’re ready to install the wire for your solar electric fence. Run it from the corner post all the way around the other posts, using insulators and tensioners to keep it firm and in place.
Step 4—Install Charging Unit
To make your solar electric fence daylight powered, you’ll need to install a charging unit. To do this, dig another post hole near one corner of the fence, but outside of the perimeter. It needs to be in a spot that will receive the maximum possible amount of sunlight and it should face south. Insert your post as you did the fence posts and give it time to set.
Mount the solar charging unit on top of this. Now, you’ll need to make a ground bed. Do this by digging a small, shallow trench by the post and inserting the correct number of ground rods for your fence. Attach the negative lead from the solar charger to the grounds rods and the positive lead to the wire of the fence.
Step 5—Initial Charge
The charger will need at least 24 hours of sunlight to charge up properly before it’s fully energized. Give it this amount of time and then switch the solar electric fence on. You will need to test it regularly with an electric fence tester to make sure the voltage is correct.