Our First System
The first setup was installed about 12 months ago. It is currently running about 3 miles of single-strand wire. We live in a fairly high rainfall area, so consequently, we have pretty good weed pressure on the fence through the summer. We have not had to do any mowing under the wire and it has kept power up around 7,000 volts routinely.
For this installation, we purchased a 6 joule DC powered fencer as we felt it would be simpler than trying to use an inverter to go to AC. The solar panel was mounted on the side of a hay barn that faces straight east and west. There is a tree to the east and more trees further away to the west. We thought the east one was far enough away that it wouldn’t bother. But during the winter, it will shade the panel until 9-9:30. The trees off to the west will begin to shade the panel at about 4 PM in the winter. In mid-summer, we found that the barn actually shades the panel for early morning sunlight. However, we still get sun from about 8-8. This has led to the only problem we have encountered so far. Once every 1-2 months, our charge controller will be kicked off and cut power to the charger. I think this is due to the battery charge and output voltage falling too low, thus causing the controller to cut output power to protect the fence charger. We have the charger hooked to the output terminals on the charge controller and I think we can get around this issue by hooking the charger directly to the battery. Then it won’t be shut off by the controller. As I said, this has been a minor issue. Thus, we haven’t taken the ten minutes to change the wires and do something about it. Overall, we have been satisfied with this setup. At some point, we will probably move the solar panel to the roof of the barn to eliminate the sun blockage issues we are having.
Our Second System
The second setup was installed about 5 months ago. It is currently only running about one and a half miles of a single-strand fence. However, it too has had significant weed pressure. In the future, this system will be increased to 3-4 miles. After talking to the salesman at the solar supply business, we decided to use an inverter and an older 110 volt AC charger that we already had sitting around. He told me that the new inverters were very efficient and trouble-free, so this saved us from having to purchase a new DC charger. We mounted the solar panel on a brace post out in the middle of the field to keep it away from possible thieves and vandals. The panel itself is mounted onto an old satellite dish frame which allows us to do some angle adjustments to maximize direct sunlight. Both setups were done this way and so far we have not adjusted either. This panel is in a wide-open area and thus there is no shading problem whatsoever. The setup has performed flawlessly and puts out 8-9000 volts consistently.
Read more: https://onpasture.com/2019/09/30/how-to-successfully-go-solar-on-your-electric-fencing/