DC Battery Chargers and Energizers
Pros & Cons
- Because batteries are an extra expense the cost/joule of output is higher than AC units (often 200% higher).
- You will need a 12 volt battery. (New or used car batteries are not suitable for long term use.) Premier supplies them but they also can be purchased locally.
- Most folks tend to forget to recharge fence energizer batteries. Result is a fence that fails to stop animals—and a battery whose useful life is reduced.
- To reduce input energy needs many (but not all) DC units have lower pulse frequency (30-40 per minute). So they are less likely to stop animals untrained to a fence (wildlife).
- Battery capabilities decline in cold temperatures. So more frequent recharging is required in the winter.
- Leadout wires are short and often included with energizer.
- In practice, pulse energy output (joules) is limited by the cost and weight of the battery. Small energizers (less than 0.4 joule) are easy to move if the battery source is a disposable dry battery (6, 9 volt). On the other hand 12 volt batteries large enough for energizers above 2.0 joules are heavy, expensive and cumbersome.
- Suited for portable and semi-permanent fences—but, because pulse energy output is lower, less so for longer permanent high-weed fences.
- Solar panels are recommended to eliminate the hassle of recharging batteries. (The cost of solar panels is much lower than it used to be.)
Why should I consider these units instead of the Speedrite or Patriot AC/DC units?
- 20B, B4, AN90, 12B units are much easier to move because:
- The battery(s) fit(s) inside the case.
- They have their own stand and ground rods.
- Volts/voltage: A measure of electrical potential. Comparable to pressure (psi) in water and air systems. Electrons can’t flow from point A to point B unless adequate voltage is present to overcome the resistance (measured in ohms).
- Joule(s): Measure of the volume of electrical energy (electrons) in a pulse. Comparable to pints, quarts, gallons in water systems. When enough “uninvited” electrons (joules) pass through an animal’s (or human’s) nervous system, it reacts in pain and surprise.
- Amps/ampere/amperage: Measure of rate of flow of electrons per unit of time. Comparable to gallons per minute in water systems.
- Pulse frequency: Number of pulses per minute. 40 pulse/minute = a pulse every 1.5 seconds.
- Ohms (Ω): Measure of resistance to electrical flow. More Ω means more resistance. It’s additive—if 1000 ft of wire is 200Ω then 2000 ft is 400Ω.
- Conductor: A material with low ohm numbers—copper, aluminum, stainless steel, hi-carbon steel. Wood, if wet internally (e.g. sap) or externally (dew, rain) is a conductor. Moisture in soil and grass stems is also a conductor. Animal tissue with body fluid in it or moisture upon it is a conductor.
- Electroplastic conductors/netting: A cable or ribbon comprised of small conductive metal strands and non-conductive plastic strands. The metal carries the electrons. The plastic provides visibility and elasticity.
- Insulators: Materials with high ohm numbers such as fiberglass, plastic and coated ceramic. Wood, if dry internally and externally is an insulator. Dry animal hair and wool are poor conductors and so are considered insulators (so much so that I’ve thrown sheepskin over a live fence to allow me to step over it).
When you buy an energizer from Premier, you purchase more than an energizer. You also obtain these benefits:
- If an energizer fails within 2 years of its date of purchase, we will replace the module or unit at our cost. Your credit card will be charged for the replacement but you will receive full credit when the failed item is back at Premier. Your only cost is shipping the failed item to us. If the original energizer is over 2 years old, we will repair and/or replace it, but you pay for the repair cost and freight. Note: Policy does not apply to: failure due to abuse or neglect.
- Free next-day shipment of warranty replacement energizers. A unit can be shipped by 2 p.m. Central Time to be received the next day. (Calls on Friday after 2 p.m. will ship Monday.) If you think your energizer has failed, call us at 1-800-282-6631. We’ll help you test your energizer to ensure that it has truly failed. This is important because 25% of the units we receive back work fine. The fence was at fault instead of the energizer.
- Free technical support. We will provide free advice and support both before you purchase an energizer or fence and afterwards for as long as you wish our help. This applies to energizer repair issues also. If you are not sure how to replace a module, our people will “walk” you step-by-step through the process via telephone.
- Solar energizer packages. With larger energizers (over 1 joule), the panel, battery and energizer need to be correctly sized for each situation. We will do this for you at no cost if you call us.
- Five-year assurance against energizer obsolescence. Premier’s “contract” with our customers includes repair or replacement of any non-working units for up to 5 years whether the unit is “obsolete” or not. During the 2-year warranty period, Premier pays for the replacement cost.
NOTE: Do not use an energizer that is labeled high impedance, continuous current, weed burner or weed chopper. We recommend only low or wide impedance energizers. Continuous current (high impedance) energizers have a pulse type that is long (in time) but low in energy. Low impedance have pulses that are very short (in time) but higher in energy. The long duration continuous current pulses create a spark that is also long in duration - long enough for it to set fire to grass/weeds/leaves/needles that might touch the fence. In our opinion they should never be used on any fence - for this reason. They must not be used on electroplastic fences (can melt the plastic). Low impedance pulses are so short (3/10,000 of a second maximum) in time that heat build up is less likely.
Warning: In 1991 an accidental fatality occurred when a young child’s head contacted an electrified fence while the child was crawling on wet grass. The fence was correctly installed and functioning properly. The energizer was a UL approved unit. As a result, Premier strongly advises against allowing toddlers access to any electrified fences. Also, due to this incident and others, experts now suggest that human contact by an energized wire to the head and neck may be the most dangerous point of contact. We urge all to especially avoid this kind of contact.