Electric Fence Chargers/Energizers

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Table of Contents

Recommended Fence Chargers/Energizers

Fence chargers should have a minimum of 0.7 stored joules and provide at least 6,000 volts to deter bears from your apiary. However, we set up a fence 5 years ago with a charger rated for only 0.2 joules and since then, despite seeing plenty of bears on our property, our beeyard was left undisturbed.

Our top recommended energizers meet the minimum criteria and are “bear-rated”. However, since we believe some protection is better than no protection, we’ve included a few lower powered chargers for anyone who may be budget-constrained.

If your apiary is close to your power grid, an AC, plug-in energizer is the most cost-efficient option. We think solar chargers are the best solution for most beekeepers with more remote locations. We’ve included one DC-powered charger in the form of a dual AC/DC product from Gallagher.

We’ve also provided options for different types of chargers at various price points.

Solar Fence Chargers

Solar fence chargers are your best option for remote locations where access to the power grid is difficult or cost prohibitive. They are designed to be exposed to the elements. With an all-in-one design, solar energizers are portable and are easily moved if necessary.

For additional information, see our article Deter Bears From Beehives (How To Set Up An Electric Fence).

US-based Parmak‘s Magnum Solar-Pak 12 is a popular fence charger among beekeepers. We’ve seen it mentioned quite often in beekeeping forums and it came up a lot during an informal survey we took on Facebook.

Key features of the Solar-Pak 12 are:

  • Built-in solar panel to charge an included, enclosed 12-volt battery
  • Performance meter indicating the fence condition
  • Weatherproof and portable design for outdoor installations
  • Joule rating of 1.1 up to 3.1+
  • Voltage up to 11,000
  • Recommended by the manufacturer for deterring bears
  • 3 year warranty

Gallagher, a New Zealand-based company, makes a complete line of animal management systems, including quality electric fencing equipment. Our first fence charger was a Gallagher and it served us extremely well.

Key features of the S100 are:

  • All-in-one charger with a solar panel and enclosed 12-volt battery
  • Leads included for hot fence and ground connections
  • Weather resistant and portable for outdoor installations
  • Stored joule rating of 1.0
  • Battery light indicator; battery can run the energizer up to 3 weeks without sun
  • 360 degree mounting on t-posts for maximum ability to correct orientation to the sun
  • Wildlife setting to provide fast pulse day and night
  • Recommended by the manufacturer for deterring bears
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge
Also see the complete electric fence kits below that include this charger.

This offering from Parmak is similar to the Solar-Pak 12 but packs a little less punch. While Parmak doesn’t show it recommended for bears, its joule rating is above the minimum required. Where the specs fall a bit short is on the low end of its voltage which you may exceed (keep vegetation growth off the bottom wires). It’s priced quite a bit lower than the Solar-Pak 12.

Key features of the Solar-Pak 6 are:

  • Built-in solar panel to charge an included, enclosed 6-volt battery
  • Performance meter indicating the fence condition
  • Weatherproof and portable design for outdoor installations
  • Joule rating of 0.75 up to 1.6+
  • Voltage up to 9,000
  • 3 year warranty

Gallagher next step down from the S100 in solar energizers is the S40. Unfortunately, the step down in joules pushes it below the recommended minimum for bears. As we mentioned though, our S20 with an even lower joule rating worked for us. Consider this model only if your are budget constrained from getting a stronger fence charger.

Key features of the S40 are:

  • All-in-one charger with a solar panel and enclosed 12-volt battery
  • Leads included for hot fence and ground connections
  • Weather resistant and portable for outdoor installations
  • Stored joule rating of 0.4
  • Battery light indicator; battery can run the energizer up to 3 weeks without sun
  • Wildlife setting for fast pulse day and night
  • 360 degree mounting on t-posts for maximum ability to correct orientation to the sun
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge
Gallagher S40

AC (Plug-in) Chargers

Plug-in chargers connect to household current and need to be sheltered from the elements. Barring a power outage, a plug-in energizer delivers a consistent charge to your fence.

An AC charger is less expensive than a comparable solar charger; though, it will incur operating costs by drawing on your household current. At this lower cost point, we’ve only include chargers that meet the minimum power recommendations for bears.

Gallagher’s M160 is ideally suited for smaller pastures (which would probably describe your apiary). The M160’s power rating is above the recommended minimum for bear deterrence.

Key features of the M160 are:

  • Stored joule rating of 1.6; output energy of 0.86 joules
  • Power on indicator
  • Easy installation and hassle free mounting
  • Integrated lightning protection
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge

Gallagher’s MB150 is a dual energizer that can be plugged in or used with a 12-volt battery.

Key features of the MB150 are:

  • Stored joule rating of 1.5
  • Battery indicator light; battery not included
  • Built-in lightning protection
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge

ZarebaSystems is the largest manufacturer of electric fence systems in North America. While their solar energizers didn’t make the cut for this list, Zareba has AC and DC chargers with enough stored power to warrant your consideration.

Key features of the EAC25MZ are:

  • Stored joule rating of 1.5
  • Battery indicator light; battery not included
  • Integrated lightning protection
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge

American FarmWorks chargers are manufactured by ZarebaSystems as an exclusive brand for Tractor Supply.

Key features of the EAC25MZ are:

  • Stored joule rating of 1.6 with output of 1.2 joules
  • “Fence OK” indicator light
  • Integrated lightning protection
  • 2 year limited warranty

Fence Kits Including Chargers

These kits save you the hassle of shopping for all the individual components to build a bear-deterrent electric fence. Each one includes the powerful Gallagher S100 Solar Energizer. They are worth considering.

This Gallagher kit includes everything you need to fence in your beeyard.

Key features of this Gallagher Solar Beehive Fence Kit are:

  • Gallagher S100 solar energizer with a bear-deterring 1.0 joules
  • Fence components for a 5-strand enclosure up to 60′ x 60′
  • 3′ ground rod
  • Insulated gate handles
  • Equi-Braid electric fence rope
  • Digital Voltmeter AND live fence indicator
  • Fiberglass posts and post clips
  • 3 year warranty includes lightning and power surge

This Gallagher kit includes everything you need to fence in your beeyard.

Key features of this Gallagher Solar Beehive Netting Kit are:

  • Gallagher S100 solar energizer with a bear-deterring 1.0 joules
  • Electro-netting enclosure for a fence up to 41′ x 41′ with posts included
  • Insulated gate handles
  • Equi-Braid electric fence rope
  • Digital Voltmeter AND live fence indicator
  • Easy to set up and move