Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Bigger, isn’t always better, especially when it comes to energizing your electric fence. Here at Kencove, we strive to provide the highest quality products that meet the needs for our customers. We also want to provide the proper tools, products, and energizers. We do not work based on the sale, but rather the connection we make with our customers. We want to ensure you select the ideal energizer for your current operation, while also fitting any future plans for expansion.There are a lot of misconceptions revolving around the selection of an energizer. Although every situation is different, there are some common guidelines that help you select the perfect energizer. Here are some of the most common misconceptions we encounter.

I need a bigger energizer because there is a lot of vegetation on my fence line, and who has time to weed-eat?

Today’s modern energizers are not built like the old weed-burner energizers, and, in turn, are much safer. Since most energizers are low-impedance (pulsing), a weed load on your fence is going to draw energy off your line, regardless of how large of an energizer you put on. Although, a larger energizer will push through weeds more successfully than an energizer with lower output joules, the underlying issue is still present and will continue to give you grief. Simply put, installing a larger output joule energizer on a fence with a high weed load just places a band-aid on the issue, which, over time, can create additional issues along the fence line.

High-impedance energizers are a better unit, because they don’t make them like they used to.

High-impedance energizers are hard to come by nowadays. The industry standard has moved toward a safer, more reliable alternative. Low-impedance energizers send a higher voltage down the fence line, however, the pulse is very quick, making a low-impedance energizer safe. High voltage is very dangerous when it is continuous. High-impedance energizers have a very long pulse allowing the voltage to “cook” whatever is in its way, whether that be a blade of grass or an entrapped animal. This long pulse not only harms animals or possibly people, but it is also known to cause brush and barn fires. The dangers far outweigh the convenience factor of allowing weeds to grow along a fence line. Low-impedance energizers work just as well, if not better, than their predecessors. And keeping your fence line clean is essential.

My fence isn’t hot, so my energizer must be broken.

Cows out because the fence is down? Don’t be so quick to blame your energizer for the lack of voltage on your fence. Many times the issue lies with your fence or ground bed rather than the energizer itself. Having a reliable voltmeter or fence tester is critical for any operation. You can quickly rule out your energizer as the culprit for the stampede in your neighbor’s corn field by testing the energizer directly at its terminal, without the fence hooked up. In some cases, an energizer that is too large for the fence creates issues along your fence line, allowing voltage to leak out of your hot wires and to ground out your fence. Check back for a more in-depth blog on finding the short along your fence line!

 

I need a larger energizer because my 25-mile energizer is not powerful enough.

A common marketing ploy that has been, and continues to be, very successful, is marketing energizers by how many miles of fence they will energize. The key to finding the ideal energizer is by selecting it based on its output joules. We recommend one energizer output joule per mile of fence, regardless of the number of strands. Many companies boast that their energizer will power 25 miles of fence. This is true…on a golf course. But on a real farm, it is more suited for one mile of fence. Because of this marketing ploy, many feel they need a much larger energizer because they have been let down by their old energizers. Although these companies may be stretching the truth just a little, on a well-groomed golf course, built with perfect wire, free of any splice or rust, these energizers would, in fact, power 25 miles of fence. In reality, a perfect fence will not be achieved. Here at Kencove we realize no fence is perfect. For that reason, we recommended one output joule per mile of fence. One other tip is to check output joules, not stored joules. Energizers store about 30% more energy than they push down the fence.

Selecting the perfect energizer is a task you should not take lightly! Do your research and keep these points in mind as you search for the best energizer for your operation. Here are some question to ask.

What will power my energizer? A 12-volt battery, 110-volt outlet, or a solar panel?

How many feet or miles of linear fence line do I need to power?

Will I be adding additional fence lines in the future?

What type of fence material do I plan to use? Do I want to use smooth wire or a poly product?

What are my plans for this pasture? Will I be implementing rotational grazing?

What is my budget?

 

Kencove product specialists are happy to talk through these points with you to help you find the right energizer for your farm. If you have the perfect energizer in mind and don’t feel like giving us a call, ordering online at kencove.com is simple, quick, and easy.

Kencove carries two main brands of energizers: Kencove and Stafix. We are also able to offer a variety of energizers at discounted prices in our Clearance section.

Kencove:

Kencove Energizers are budget friendly with a wide variety of features that make them user-friendly and affordable. With AC-powered, dual-purpose, and solar energizers, you will find the energizer you need. Kencove Energizers come backed by a two-year or three-year warranty, depending on model. This means if anything happens to your energizer during the warranty period, just send it in. We’ll repair it, and ship it back to you!

 

 

Stafix:

Stafix Energizers are top-of-the-line energizers. With more features and high-quality components, Stafix Energizers are a prime addition to any farm, if your budget allows for one. Stafix offers a two-year warranty, which Kencove honors. For repairs, simply mail your energizer in, and we’ll get it fixed and sent back to you.

 

 

Our wide selection of clearance energizers are perfect for smaller operations working with a tight budget, or for any farmer to keep on hand as a spare.

Most energizers in our clearance section have a one-year warranty or longer. Kencove is able to honor these warranties and provide the needed repairs if anything happens to the energizer under warranty. Kencove also repairs energizers that are out of warranty. One thing to keep in mind, however, is some energizers are discontinued models and parts may be hard to find or may not be made any more. But, for their low price, they still make a great back-up energizer, and we highly recommended having a back-up on hand.

 

When trying to select the perfect energizer keep these sizing tips in mind.

Our general rule of thumb when it comes to energizing high-tensile wire is one output joule per mile of fence (regardless of the number of strands). This means for every 5,280 linear feet of fence you have, you will need one output joule of energy. You should also take into account the quality of your wire. If your fence is built with high-quality smooth wire, you will experience far less resistance. If your wire is rusty, or has a lot of splices, you will need to take this into account and may want to increase the size of your energizer a bit.

When it comes to our electric netting, we recommend 0.25 joules per net, regardless of the net length. The reason for the increased output joule requirement on our electric netting is due to a higher resistance in the electric netting material.

Resistance is the hindrance to the flow of charge. For an electron, the journey from terminal to terminal is not a direct route. Rather, it is a zigzag path that results from countless collisions with fixed atoms within the conducting material. The electrons encounter resistance – a hindrance to their movement. While the electric potential difference established between the two terminals encourages the movement of charge, it is resistance that discourages it. The rate at which charge flows from terminal to terminal is the result of the combined effect of these two quantities.[1]

For cross fencing with smooth wire or poly products, allow for a slightly larger energizer. There is no set rule for sizing, but we would recommend sizing up one step. For example, if you have a five-mile fence with cross fencing, use either a Kencove EK9H 9-Joule Energizer or a Stafix EXD12R 12-Joule Energizer.

Don’t forget your ground rods either. The most crucial and often overlooked aspect of an electric fence is the ground bed. You will need three feet of ground per output joule. For energizers smaller than one output joule, we recommend three feet of ground. Remember, you can never have too many ground rods! Check out our blog on grounding for more information.

When too much is indeed a bad thing…

Over-energizing your fence can have serious consequences, from damaging your energizer, to electrifying gates and neutral wires.

When you have too much voltage on your fence line, the power needs to go somewhere. The voltage is going to take the path of least resistance. But with too much power, the energy is going to look at other places than the intended fence line such as posts, gates, water troughs, or neutral wires. This unwanted voltage not only becomes a nuisance but causes your energizer to work harder than it needs too.

For more information on purchasing the correctly sized energizer, give our product specialists a call at 1-800-KENCOVE. We are always happy to help you find the ideal energizer, and help you prevent any unneeded stress of having an energizer that is too large or too small.

 

 

[1] http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/circuits/Lesson-3/Resistance

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