Components of a solar system
Speedrite solar panels and energizers feature high-tech materials and are engineered to rigorous quality standards. Four main components make up a Speedrite solar system. Each component requires careful consideration depending on your needs.
SPEEDRITE Solar System Components
- Solar compatible Speedrite battery powered energizer
- Battery (or battery bank) - Contact your local Stockist or Datamars Area Sales Manager
- Speedrite solar panel
- Earth system
Use this step-by-step guide to build your own customised solar system.
Step 1: Choose your SPEEDRITE energizer
The Speedrite range of battery-powered energizers includes models to suit virtually every electric fencing requirement. The energizer that provides the electricity to the fence, therefore the energizer is the first important consideration.
There are several factors that must be considered when selecting an energizer:
- The type of stock that will be fenced
- The size of the area to be fenced
- The total length of wire to be electrified and type of fence (single or multi-wire fence)
- The amount of vegetation that could grow onto the fence
- Future plans for extending the fence
As an approximate guide, 1 joule of output energy will power 10km (6.25 miles) of single wire fence, or approximately an area of 15 acres (6 ha).
Step 2: Choose your battery
The battery must suit the electrical current consumption of the energizer being used, and must have enough storage capacity to provide power to the energizer even during periods of reduced sunlight.
The size of the battery you choose will depend on the type of energizer you have selected. More than one battery may be required to supply enough charge and storage capacity for your energizer: this is often referred to as a “battery bank”.
"Deep cycle" batteries are recommended for use in solar systems, as they are more suited to the repetitive power draining and recharging that can occur in solar systems.
The use of automotive batteries is not recommended, but may be suitable in some situations. Speedrite battery powered energizers will work with most brands of deep cycle battery. See your local Speedrite dealer or battery retailer for the suitable battery for your system.
Step 3: Choose your solar panel
All modular Speedrite solar panels use premium multicrystalline cells. These cells provide up to 100% greater energy-generation efficiency and more than double the life of standard amorphous type panels. With a toughened glass panel and heavy-duty alloy frames, Speedrite solar panels are designed for rugged agricultural conditions. (Speedrite solar panels have a rated 10-year warranty from the date of purchase for power output, whereby the solar panel is guaranteed to deliver at least 90% of its minimum rated power output.)
All Speedrite solar panels 50 watts and higher are regulated, which prevents the panel from over-charging the batteries in your system. As the battery approaches a full charge, current into the battery is reduced or switched off to maintain the battery at full charge, preventing any damage to the battery.
All Speedrite solar panels are compatible with the Speedrite universal mounting bracket system. The easy-to-assemble mounting bracket enables you to correctly position the panel for optimum energy generation. The bracket also accommodates all sizes of energizer, keeping your system compact and secure.
The selection of the correct size panel is determined by a number of factors:
Current draw of the energizer
Larger energizers draw more current and require a larger battery or battery banks. Therefore a larger solar panel or multiple panels is needed to maintain battery charge.
Pulse speed or power setting of the energizer
The faster the pulse speed or the higher the power setting, the more current the energizer will draw, and the larger the panel will need to be.
Daily solar radiation conditions
The amount of useful sunlight may vary considerably depending on the geographic location of the solar panel and the time of year. A larger solar panel will be required in an area with less useful sunlight hours.
Required period of operation
If the energizer is required to operate during winter, the battery and solar panels selected must be able to maintain desired output at these lower daily sunlight levels.
Step 4: Choose your earth system
Like all electric fence systems, a solar system requires appropriate earthing. If the location of the solar system is isolated it is even more important to set up your earth system correctly to ensure reliability and low maintenance.
Larger energizers exerting more power on extensive fence systems require a larger earth system capable of capturing current returning to the energizer via the soil. Soil types, mineral content, and ground moisture and also fence load are all factors that determine how many earth rods will be required. Refer to our Earthing your energizer resource page or the Speedrite Fencing Manual in Resources for more detailed information on effective earthing including how to test your earth system.