Review of Solar Energisers
3 April 2017 | Admin
Review of AS20, AS35, AS70 solar electric fencing energisers
The AS series of solar electric fencing energisers for Horizont.
For 2015 the electric fencing manufacturer Horizont announced a new range of solar electric fencing energisers . The AS series is a all in one style of unit with the solar panel and battery all built in to one convenient box.
The energisers come in a clear plastic clam pack with a earth wire to connect to the earth stake* and also a live wire to connect to the electric fence. Because solar power is not a perfect solution Horizont have included a mains battery charger so the battery can be topped up in depths of winter. This is a really nice idea along with the socket fitted to the out side of the case so it is east to charge the battery if required.
The battery it self is a seal lead gel type and is very easy to gain access to should it be required . The AS20 and AS35 have a 7ah 12v and the AS70 is a 12ah 12v . On one of the units we inspected for this review one of the wire had come lose in transit but it is a very easy matter to slide the spade connector back on. In normal use i can’t see the connectors coming lose.
The Earth Stake.
* The earth stake.
Like so many manufacturers horizont do not include an earth stake as standard. Whilst any metal bar can be used to complete the earth circuit of the electric fence . At Farmcare Uk we include the correct earth stake with all the AS solar electric fence energisers and AS energiser based solar kits . The “T” earth stake is 1 meter long and the AS energisers can use them as a stand to get the solar panel out of the grass. Also the earth wire provided with the energiser has the correct sized ring connectors to allow easy connection.
As I mentioned above all the AS energisers come with a 240v 1amp charger , there is a socketed fitted to the side of the case to make life easy. The charger has a red / green led fitted so you know that is working , charging or when the battery is full. It would be tempting to think this could be used long term as a mains option but this is not recommended. The wires from the socket are directly connected to the battery so very quickly ( 7-12 hours ) the battery would be charged and after 24 hours you start to damage the battery.
The battery is a gel lead type, sealed so it very safe to use but it has one Achilles heel . It cannot be overly discharged or left for any length of time in a low state of charge. If seriously neglected ie left with a low charge in a barn or tack room it will be damaged and not hold a charge when required . On a positive note they are relatively cheap, a 7ah being about £15 inc delivery.
In Use :
Once the energiser is sat out side in the sun there is one simple on off switch located just under the handle on the front. The switch also doubles as an indicator light. the light shows that the unit is on and functioning and when the light in permanently on and not flashing it shows the battery is getting low.
It is important to ensure the solar panel gets maximum sun light ( even on an overcast day the solar panel will generate a fair amount of power ) ideally point the unit due south and free from any shade during the bulk of the day. An energiser that is facing north will soon show a low battery light.
As ever, more power is better it gives a strong shock over a greater distance it also can help compensate for poor fencing conditions. The AS70 with a 0.5 Joule out put is a decent shock and could even cope with short is sheep fencing but that is reflected in the price.
Stored Joules 0.18
Out put joules 0.12
Strip grazing or short fences
Stored Joules 0.33
Out put joules 0.24
Strip grazing medium fence or 1 x 50 meter poultry net
Stored Joules 0.65
Out put joules 0.52
long fence for equestrian use short fence of sheep or 2 / 3 x 50 meter poultry nets
For convenience this type of solar electric fencing energiser wins hands down. If your field has a clear view of the sky ( remember solar does NOT work in the shade ) and you match the output of the unit to your requirements the AS solar energisers will make your life easier. Yes you can have more power for less money the AN12 with a 10w solar panel and 85 ah 12v leisure battery cost £198.99 vs AS70 cost £219.99 but the AN12 is three separate items and not just one convenient box .
Please note all prices as at July 2015
The AS 20 solar energiser can be found here
The AS 35 solar energiser can be found here
The AS 70 solar energiser can be found here