Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Charger Reviews of 2018
If you have an electric fence running around your property, you are probably looking for a reliable and dependable fence charger – also known as an energizer – that provides enough power and can withstand the elements. A good solar powered fence charger is the best choice for such a task, as it does require any kind of power source except the sun – which can usually be found in abundance.
There are both AC and DC-powered fence chargers available, as well, and many that are battery powered. AC chargers are very simple to set up, as they require nothing but a connection to your power outlet to run. DC chargers are even easier to use than AC chargers. Instead of running a line directly to your wall outlet, a battery fence charger draws its power from an internal power source.
Solar chargers, on the other hand, are better than the rest; they work well in remote locations that do not have access to an AC outlet or another power source, and for fences that need a continuous output to remain live all the time. They are lightweight, easy to move and setup, and are excellent choices for rotational or strip grazing systems. Many solar charger systems can last for several weeks on a single charge, so even cloudy weather cannot be too much of a problem.
With all that in mind, let’s take a look at our buying guide for best solar powered fence chargers of 2018.
Top 5 Rated Model Comparison Table
1. Parmak Magnum 12V
2. Parmak DF-SP-LI 6V
3. Fi-Shock 2-Mile
4. Zareba ESP10M-Z
5. Red Snap'r ESP10M-RS
Reviews of the Best Solar Powered Electric Fence Chargers of 2018
#1. Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12V
Parmak have been well known for creating top of the range electric fencing products for many years, and this powerful solar powered electric fence charger does not disappoint. The Parmak Magnum Solar-Pak 12 is our #1 choice on our reviews list and for good reason. This model is also the big brother to the Parmak DP-SP-LI 25 mile 6-Volt which can be seen below this review. This outdoor charger sports a 12-Volt battery and can charge up to 30 miles of fencing - 3.1+ Joules. The charger itself weighs around 25 lbs (approximately) and measures 11.25 x 21.5 x 16.5 inches. As you would expect this model is designed to be weatherproof and withstand some of the harsh conditions that it may have to encounter. The attached advanced solar panel allows the energy generated from the sun to be stored in the low impedance rechargeable battery, ensuring that your fence will stay electrified even during the night and can be easily monitored with the built-in performance meter. It is also stated that you should get up to 14 days of charge without any sunlight. The Magnum Solar-Pak 12 also comes with a 2-year warranty protection from any lightning damage and a 1-year warranty for the battery.
The main reason this is our top solar-powered electric fencer pick is simply because it’s the most powerful and efficient model on the list. Although there are many similarities between this and it’s little brother the Parmak Solar-Pak 6, this is the stronger performer in terms of power and area that it can cover. 12 volts of serious power and the ability to power up 30 miles of electric fencing is perfect for pastures and larger areas of land. The built-in performance meter is handy as you can view how much power your fence has with a quick glance and can easily highlight any problems that the battery has with charging. The overall quality of manufacturing is the same as it’s little brother and all that you would expect from a Parmak product – top quality. It’s also designed to withstand some harsh weather conditions and is suitable even throughout the winter; this is backed up with the reasonable guarantee that you get with your purchase. You can also easily replace the solar panels on the kit yourself if needed. The customer service that you receive from Parmak is also top notch as they are very responsive and open to taking on any returns or problems.
When it comes to negatives, there isn’t much that you can fault the Magnum model on. In terms of performance and quality, the charger has nothing major that we note as a negative. The only things we would pick out would be that it is very costly compared with the other models on our list, and is roughly an extra $100 more than our second choice – it’s little brother. Another thing that may be may be seen as something to think about is the fact that this model can store energy for up to 14 days worth of use without sunlight, whereas it’s little brother (Parmak Solar-Pak 6) can hold up to 21 days worth of charge.
Tip: You should leave it to charge in the sun for a few days prior to its use.
Overall if you have a large pasture or big area of land that needs some serious power and you have the budget to do so, then this should, without doubt, be your #1 choice. It’s the most effective solar powered electric fence charger for stopping bear, deer, cattle, horse, predators, goat, sheep, pig and dogs. This charger may be overkill for some people who may not be able to justify paying the price, in which case you should check out its little brother the Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar-Pak 6 for a cheaper option below.
Verdict: Best Overall
- Very powerful charger that can cover up to 30 miles
- Great for large pastures
- Ideal for all types of animals
- Quality manufacturing
- Good warranty and customer service
- Solar panels can be replaced
- Most Expensive
- Might be overkill for some people
- Doesn’t hold as much charge without sunlight as the Parmak DF-SP-LI below
#2. Parmak DF-SP-LI Solar-Pak 6V
The little brother to the Magnum, the Parmak DF-SP-LI is a 6-volt, low-impedance battery operated electric fence charger with a range of 25 miles – one of the most powerful and long-range chargers on this list. Made in the USA by one of the oldest names in electric fencing, it a very durable, high-quality charger that can put out 1.8 joules of energy and the solar panels give it up to 42% more charging power than Parmak’s older fence chargers. Even without the sun, it can operate for up to 21 days in total darkness – which is downright impressive. The body is robust, durable and is totally weatherproof, handling rain and cold weather no problem. There is also a built-in meter that shows you how charged it is, and how much power it is putting out at the given moment.
The Parmak Solar-Pak 6V is a reliable charger from a trusted brand and works well for smaller to medium-sized pastures. And with a good range of 25 miles, it should cover more than enough for most people. If however, you need to cover a larger range and need more power, then check out the Parmak Magnum above.
- Reliable, Durable Build
- Ideal for small-medium pastures and fields
- 25-mile range
- 1.8 joules
- Lasts up to 3 weeks without a charge
- Not as powerful as it's big brother
#3. Fi-Shock 2 Mile
The Fi-Shock solar electric fence charger has does not have nearly the range of other chargers on this list, like the Parmak Solar-Pak, capable of charging only about 2 miles of fence. Still, it is a solid option for containing small animals, pastures and is capable of working with steel/aluminum, poly wire/poly rope, and poly tape fences. It has a 4-volt battery, intermittent DC output and can put out up to .4 joules of energy through its 2-mile range. A flashing “Fence OK” sign alerts you that the charger is working, and adequately charging the fence.
Thanks to its low-impedance design, the Fi-Shock will not be drained unnecessarily or short out when the fence comes in contact with weeds and grass – which is very likely. The solar panel features compartmental damage-resistant construction and is entirely weatherproof. The Fi-shock works well with small animals, such as dogs, chickens, rabbits – but may not be enough for larger animals like cows and deer. Some users complain that, if it has not been charged properly – it can give off a very weak shock. It also comes with a 1-year warranty that covers regular damage, including lightning strikes.
The Fi-Shock is the least expensive solar fence charger on our list, and though it does not provide the same kind of range or power as some of the others on the list, it makes a great budget pick.
- Less expensive
- Flashing Light tells if it’s working properly
- Low-Impedance design
- Weak shock
- Not much range
#4. Zareba ESP10M-Z
The Zareba Solar-Charger is a low-impedance charger with a 10-mile range. It can be used with steel/aluminum, poly wire/poly rope, and poly tape. The 6-volt, 12-amp battery puts out 1.5 joules of power in a pulsed DC output with 1-second intervals. The solar power charger can charge a battery to last about two weeks without sunlight, while the low-impedance build keeps it from shorting or shocking when in contact with weeds, or from unnecessarily draining the battery. The unique integrated mount allows for quick and easy installation on T-posts, round wood posts, Y-posts, and even buildings.
A built-in, at-a-glance indicator light flashes when the fence is being correctly charged, and it works defending pastures from animals of all sizes – from dogs, pigs and sheep to horses and cows. Zareba also includes a 1-year warranty that, like the Fi-Shock, covers all damage including from lightning.
Some people complain that the battery life on this charger is very weak, and a few users have noticed that it dies after just a year or two – which may seem like a very short life, considering the Zareba’s price. They also point out that you should use at least 3 ground posts to ground it properly.
- 10-mile range
- Works with all fence types
- Battery isn't strong
#5. Red Snap'r ESP10M-RS
The Red-Snapr, like the Zareba, has a range of 10 miles, has a 6-volt battery and puts out .15 joules of energy. It is appropriate for small and large animals, even horses, and is low-impedance, meaning that it will not short or drain when weeds or grass come in contact with the fencing.
The Red-Snapr works with pretty much any kind of fencing material, such as steel, aluminum, polywire, polyrope, and polytape. And like the Zareba, it sends out DC pulses in 1-second intervals. The battery can last up to two weeks without direct sunlight for charging.
Reviewers love the Red-Snapr and have pointed out that it can last a very long time – several years – before needing to be replaced. It’s not overly powerful but strong enough to scare even larger animals that get a little too close to the fence. It’s one of the more expensive options for a solar fence energizer on our reviews list, but is also one of the most reliable and durable.
- 10-mile range
- 6-volt battery
- Up to 2 weeks battery life without a charge
Things to Consider When Buying a Good Solar Fence Energizer
When choosing a solar powered fence energizer, you’re going to be looking for a few different things – such as battery life, range, and power. You’ll want to consider how much fence you need to cover, and how much vegetation and plants might be growing up around it; the more plants that touch the fence, the more power will be drawn from it. You also have to consider the durability of each fencer as you want it to perform even during the harsh weather and rough months. Also, you want to be spending your money on the right energizer, for the right type of animals you intend on using it for.
Very important as you want a solar energizer for your electric fence that can hold the energy for a decent period of time when there is a lack of sunlight, this is even more important in some areas where there is a lack of sunlight and when the winter months can be tough.
How much power do you require for your fence? Well, it depends on what you intend on using it for and what type of animals it will be used with. The higher the Joule output, the stronger a shock that it will give out, so make sure you know what joule you should be using for certain animals.
Each charger model has it's own range that it can comfortably power up. You want to take into consideration how big the area of land you have is and how far the fencing reaches that it is required to power. If you have a large area of land such as a pasture, then you would probably need a Parmak model as they can comfortably power up a large area of land. Most models on the market typically have a decent enough range on them, but be sure to check our comparison table above.
A low-impedance design will help with this; low-impedance means that the duration of the shock is less than .003 seconds and that it does not waste as much energy on grass or weeds as a higher-impedance charger would. Vegetation tends to impede or stop the flow of electricity by almost grounding the fence; This is a common problem which exists on most electric fences, but a low impedance fence charger goes right through vegetation.
Since solar chargers are usually placed in more remote locations, durability and weatherproofness are also important. Most solar chargers will be totally weatherproof and have a segmented solar panel design that helps prevent it from breaking.
You will also want to take a look at the type of fence you have. Steel wire fencing has less electrical resistance than polywire, rope or tape, and uses less power. If you are using polyrope, you’ll probably want a low-impedance charger. A fence with multi-strands (most) will require more power to cover the same area. For example, if you have 2 miles of fencing with 5 strands, you actually have 10 miles of fencing and will need a solar charger that can cover that much range.
And don’t forget what type of animal you intend to use it with; Large animals require a stronger shock, and what works for small animals probably won’t cut it with horses or cattle. You will also have to determine whether the electric fence is designed to keep out unwanted animals such as deer, predators or even bears.
Grounding Your Charger
When installing any kind of fence charger – especially solar ones – it is essential to make sure that it is properly grounded. This can be done by connecting it to a ground rod system that is separate from any other structure. Make sure to Connect the ground wire to the ground terminal and ground rods using insulated ground wire. Grounding is very important and prevents many of the hazards associated with electricity and wires running in the open, and you should be sure to take the time necessary to do a proper grounding. Many chargers will require 2-3 different grounding rods; read your instructions to learn more.
If you’re stuck choosing between a more powerful and a less powerful charger, ask yourself – will I be expanding my fencing anytime in the near future? If so, you’ll probably just want to pony up for the more powerful and expensive charger now, rather than just having to buy it later.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for the best solar electric fence charger all-around, that's powerful and has a great range, we recommend the Parmak Magnum. It’s got 12-volts and a range of 30 miles, putting out over 3.1 joules of energy. The battery will last for up to 14 days without direct sunlight, as well. It’s a high-quality, reliable option from a well-known fence maker.
If the Parmak is too expensive and a bit overkill for you, then it's little brother - the Parmak DF-SP-LI 6V solar charger costs about half the price and is also great for the money. It does not have the power and range of the Magnum, but it can store energy longer and makes an excellent budget option.