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INTRODUCTION
HOW AN ELECTRIC FENCE WORKS
PLANNING
ENERGIZER INSTALLATION
FENCE CONSTRUCTION
FAULT FINDING
REGULATIONS AND SAFETY POINTS
TERMINOLOGY

PLANNING

It is important to construct a high quality fence. This will ensure fewer problems in the future.

Electric fences do not need to be constructed to the same strength as conventional fences because they provide a psychological barrier rather than a physical one. They should still, however, be soundly constructed to withstand the rigors of use.

The overall layout of your electric fence system deserves careful planning to ensure you receive the best possible advantages from it. The time spent in planning enable you to find and repair any faults or shorts quickly and will assist with stock management.

To make a basic plan, place a sheet of clear plastic over an aerial photograph of your property and draw in your old and planned fence lines. This will help you to pinpoint things you need to know before you start, such as:

  • Overall length of your proposed new electric fencing and existing fencing to be electrified.
  • Position of laneways and gateways.
  • Location and length of supply lines from your energizer to the electric fence.
  • Placement of cutout switches.
  • Whether mains, battery or solar powered Energizers will be needed.
  • What size energizer or in some cases the number of energizers required.
  • The location of the energizer.
  • The location of the ground.
  • The direction the current flows. This will help you with maintenance and fault finding.

AREA GUIDE

1 ACRE = 4047m² · 1 ACRE = 4426 yd²
1 ACRE = .4047ha · 1 ha = 2.468 ACRES
1 MILE = 1609m · 1 km = .621 MILES
1 MILE = 1760.25 YARDS
1 METER = 1.094 YARDS
1 YARD = .9144 METERS
1 CHAIN = 20.1168 METERS

PADDOCK SIZE AND SHAPE
Wherever possible make your paddocks square, as this allows better pasture management with more even grazing. Long narrow paddocks create more walking and "footpaths" while the backs of the paddocks are often under grazed.

Where possible a laneway down the center or side of the subdivision should be incorporated. This will assist with stock movement and access.

The size of your paddocks is not as vitally important as the number of paddocks. Obviously both are relative to the size of your farm and the number and types of animals stocked. The number of paddocks is important so as to allow for intensive grazing, the "locking up" of hay and silage paddocks and the flexibility of longer rotations during times of feed shortage.

Subdivision of hill country deserves careful planning. Wherever possible, fence lines should follow the contour of the land so that sunny slopes, shady slopes and flat land are all separate. This allows for better pasture management especially in areas prone to erosion.

Strip grazing can also be incorporated to gain better pasture management. See FENCE CONSTRUCTION for more information on strip grazing.

LAYOUT EXAMPLES
The diagram below gives an example of an ideal fence set up on a flat rectangular farm.

The same principles should be applied on hill country or less favorably shaped farms.

ENERGIZER LOCATION
Mount your mains powered energizer under cover on a wall, and out of reach of children. Keep it away from machinery and flammable material. Don't place it in an existing meter box. For best results locate the energizer as close as practical to the fence line and if possible in the center of the area being fenced.

For large layouts, it may be necessary to use more than one energizer. It is often better to use two or three to supply separate circuits on your property. This simplifies your circuits, giving each energizer reserve power and makes fault finding easier. It also gives you a back-up if one "requires maintenance".

Solar powered energizers are designed for remote areas without mains power. Position the unit near the center of the fence and away from animal contact or shadow. Face solar panels towards the equator at an angle that faces the sun.

USING CUT OUT SWITCHES
The use of cut out switches will greatly enhance the flexibility of your electric fence system. Careful placement of cut out switches will result in significant time savings.

Stafix Cut Out Switches incorporate all stainless steel contacts plus strong UV-stabilized plastic bodies. The switches are clearly visible from a distance so you know if they are on or off.

Some of the major benefits of using Stafix Cut Out Switches are:

  • Fault finding. The switch enables you to isolate various sections of the fence making it quicker and easier to isolate any faults.
  • Safety and maintenance. Individual sections of fence line can be isolated to do repairs without the need to turn the whole system off.
  • Time saving. You can isolate a section of fence line anywhere on the farm without having to travel all the way back to the energizer.
  • Improve voltage. By switching off fence lines that are not in use, all energy will be directed on to the fence lines which are in use. This is particularly useful in times of rapid grass growth which may leak power from the bottom wires.

WIRE AND POST SPACINGS
When choosing one of the fence designs remember the following:

The average height of the animal(s) being controlled. Ensure that they can neither walk under nor over any of the wires. The size of the animals head. Ensure that they can not push their head easily between any of the wires.

The suggestions are based on flat land conditions. If the land you are fencing is hilly shorter post spacing will be required. These are recommendations only and the shape and contour of your farm together with your own farm management practices will dictate the final result.

NOTE: The recommendations given below are For a Ground Earth Return System. If you are using the Fence Earth Return System then every alternate wire should be an earth wire. In some cases you may need to add an extra wire.


THE RIGHT ENERGIZER FOR YOU
Before deciding which energizer is required you will need to take the following points into consideration:

  • Power Source - Mains or Battery. It is recommended that if mains power is available then this should be used as it is more convenient, usually cheaper and has lower maintenance requirements.
  • Usage - Is the energizer to be used for permanent fencing or temporary (break feeding) fencing.
  • Power Requirements - This is determined by a number of factors:
    1. Distance to the furthest point on your farm.
    2. Total length of fence line to be electrified.
    3. Amount of seasonal vegetation growth which is likely to affect the electrified wires.
    4. The minimum voltage required to control your particular type of animal(s).
    5. Conductivity of the ground.

It is also important to remember to allow some extra power capacity for future expansion of your electric fence system and to also overcome any excessive fence challenge such as increased vegetation growth.

ENERGIZER PERFORMANCE
Joules The best measure of performance of an energizer is the measurement of Joules. There are two ways of measuring joules in an Energizer; stored joules and output joules. Stored joules are not an effective measurement of the performance of an Energizer as they only indicate the joules stored internally (in the capacitors). When stored energy is released onto the fence line, some of the energy is lost in the energizer. Depending on the model of energizer, the loss can be as much as 35%.

The most accurate way to gauge the effectiveness of an energizer is by quoting the maximum output joules. This is the energy that is actually available to the fence line.

As a guide: 1 joule (output) will power approximately 6 miles of single fence wire.

Pulse Shape The shape of the pulse that is released by the energizer also influences the performance on the fence line. Stafix has developed a pulse which remains stable and maintains its pulse shape under all loads. This gives Stafix energizers a higher "shock factor". The pulse travels further down the fence line and more effectively overcomes loads. This technology is known as "Cyclic Wave™ technology".

The "Cyclic Wave™" pulse emits minimal Radio Frequency Interference (RFI). Stafix energizers therefore, do not require a lot of RFI suppressors. This leaves more energy available to the fence line.

Voltage Under Load As the loading on a fence line increases, the voltage decreases. Due to the effectiveness of the "Cyclic Wave™" pulse, it can react to heavy loadings on the fence line and maintain comparatively higher voltages.

STAFIX MAINS ENERGIZERS WITH CYCLIC WAVE™ TECHNOLOGY

Energizers are available for 230-240 volts and 110-120 volts.

NOTE: Use acres listed as a guide only. The size of the energizer required will be determined by the length of fence and property conditions.

STAFIX M18 - The largest energizer in the Stafix range and has a maximum energy output of 18 joules. The Stafix M18 is suitable for farms from 250+ acres and will power up to 110 miles of wire.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.0kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 7.0kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 4.0kV
STAFIX M12 - This energizer has a maximum energy output of 12 joules. The Stafix M12 is suitable for farms up to 250 acres and will power up to 175 miles of wire.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.0kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 7.0kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 4.2kV
STAFIX M6 - Has a maximum energy output of 6 joules. The Stafix M6 is suitable for farms up to 100 acres and will power up to 140 miles of wire.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 6.5kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 3.2kV
STAFIX M3 - Has a maximum energy output of 3 joules. The Stafix M3 is suitable for small farms up to 50 acres and will power up to 20 miles of wire.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 5.6kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 2.4kV
STAFIX M1.5 - Has a maximum energy output of 1.5 joules. The Stafix M1.5 is suitable for small farms up to 25 acres and will power up to 10 miles of wire.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 4.6kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 1.8kV

STAFIX BATTERY ENERGIZERS WITH CYCLIC WAVE™ TECHNOLOGY
Stafix Battery Energizers incorporate new technology which controls the power consumption from the battery. Standard battery energizers consume power from the battery at a fixed rate, regardless of the loading on the fence line. Set on the "Auto" setting Stafix Battery Energizers automatically adjust their power requirements depending upon the fence condition. If the loading on the fence is light, then the energizer automatically adjusts to consume only the minimum of power it requires to keep the voltage up on the fence line. As the load on the fence increases, the energizer will automatically adjusts the power drawn from the battery to ensure the voltage remains high on the fence. This feature will significantly extend the life of the battery. (This feature is not available on the Maxi Grazer)

STAFIX B12 - The largest battery energizer in the Stafix range and has a maximum energy output of 12 joules. The Stafix B12 is suitable tor farms up to 250 acres and will power up to 75 miles of wire. 12 volt input 750 mA - 1.7A (avg) current consumption.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 7.3kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 4.8kV
STAFIX B6 - This energizer has a maximum energy output of 6 joules. The Stafix B6 is suitable for farms up to 100 acres and will power up to 40 miles of wire. 12 volt input 350 - 800 mA (avg) current consumption.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 6.7kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 3.6kV
STAFIX B3 - Has a maximum energy output of 3 joules. The Stafix B3 is suitable for small farms up to 50 acres and will power up to 20 miles of wire. 12 volt input 280 - 500 mA (avg) current consumption.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 5.9kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 2.6kV
STAFIX B1.5 - Has a maximum energy output of 1.5 joules. The Stafix B1.5 is suitable for small farms up to 25 acres and will power up to 10 miles of wire. 12 volt input 180 - 290 mA (avg) current consumption.

Open Circuit Voltage (up to) 8.5kV
500 Ohm Voltage (up to) 5.1kV
100 Ohm Voltage (up to) 1.8kV

STAFIX MAXI GRAZER - A portable fence unit which can run off either 6 'D' size flashlight batteries or a 12 volt wet cell battery. This unit is specifically designed for intensive grazing fences and will power up to 0.6 miles.

SOLAR POWERED ENERGIZERS
Solar Powered Energizers are ideally suited to those areas where it is not practical to have mains power, either due to distance or cost. These areas are usually remote so it is not practical to have a standard rechargeable battery, as these require regular recharging.

A solar panel draws energy from the sun and converts this energy into electricity which charges the battery.

Consequently a solar powered system will require very little maintenance.

Because the solar panel draws its energy from the sun, it requires regular amounts of direct sunlight. The panel will still produce energy on a cloudy day but cannot produce energy at night. Three to four hours of good sunlight per day is adequate to keep the battery fully charged.

Solar Panels draw energy from the sun and convert this energy into electricity to recharge the battery. When choosing the solar panel that best matches the battery energizer, climatic conditions must be considered. This is due to peak sunlight hours varying during different times of the year. Solar panels are at their maximum effectiveness during peak sunlight hours. They do not supply a charge to the battery at night.

The panel chosen must be able to provide Sufficient charge during the available peak sunlight hours to keep the battery charged for at least 24 hours. The average minimum sunlight hours vary greatly. Due to this variance, panels of different wattages are needed in different parts of the world. The chart below shows the recommended solar panels for the Stafix range of battery energizers.

BATTERIES
Deep cycle batteries are recommended for use in conjunction with solar panels, as they are designed for repeated deep discharge / recharge which conventional wet cell automotive batteries are not. The larger the battery energizer, the larger the battery required.

The battery must have sufficient capacity to compensate for cloudy days and at night when the solar panel produces minimal or no charge.

The following chart shows the recommended batteries and solar panels for Stafix Battery Energizers. These recommendations are made with the energizers set on the 'Auto' function.

Energizer
Recommended Battery
Number and size of panels
2
3
4
5

B 1.5

B 3

B 6

B 12

45 AH

75 AH

100 AH

2X120 AH

1x46 Watt

2x30 Watt

2x46 Watt

3x46 Watt

1x30 Watt

1x46 Watt

2x30 Watt

3x46 Watt

22 Watt

30 Watt

46 Watt

2x46 Watt

15 Watt

22 Watt

30 Watt

2x46 Watt

Energizer Recommended Battery Average minimum sunlight hours:

Chart of Sunlight Hours in North America