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Fernando Soares dos Reis, Member, IEEE
Marcelo Giovani B. de Martino
Guilherme Alfredo Dentzien Dias
Mailing address:
Pontifcia Universidade Catlica do Rio Grande do Sul
Av. Ipiranga 6681, Prdio 30, Bloco E
CEP: 90470-000, Porto Alegre, RS - Brasil.
Phone: +55 (51) 3320-3540
Fax: +55 (81) 3320-3540
Contact author:
Fernando Soares dos Reis

Topic area:
Eletrnica de Potncia e Acionamento de Mquinas
Abstract This paper introduces fundamental concepts of electric
fence technology. The available information in this field is
practically restricted on industry builders know how and their field
experience. Energizer equipment is rounded about many concepts
and safety standards and data performance that are discussed in
this work. An electric circuit analysis, simulation and prototype of
an Electric Fence Energizer Equipment for livestock use are
detailed in this paper.


Abstract - This paper introduces fundamental
concepts of electric fence technology. The available
information in this field is practically restricted on
industry builders know how and their field experience.
Energizer equipment is rounded about many concepts
and safety standards and data performance that are
discussed in this work. An electric circuit analysis,
simulation and prototype of an Electric Fence
Energizer Equipment for livestock use are detailed in
this paper.
I. Introduction
Nowadays the use of electric fence for control and
content livestock are having a large application in
almost all countries of the world. Electric Fence was
starting to use in the thirties and nowadays is used in
all world in little and big farms. Brazil like the major
exporter of beef cattle is a great consumer of this
technology. Big farms with large areas of control need
electric fences energizers of large capacity to keep
high voltage in all extension. But not much
information about safety of use and project is printed
and available for consumers and manufacturers as
well electric characteristics. There are in Brazil many
manufacturers of this kind of equipment, but these
builders are used to utilize empiric rules to design this
kind of equipments. This work intends to be a starting
point to change this reality involving the academic
researchers in the study of this problem. The different
parts of the fence are showed in figure 1. The electric
fence is arranged by the following parts: Energizer,
Wire, Isolation and Ground.
II. Operation:
The current flow on the fence is showed in figure 2.
When the cattle touch the wire the circuit is closed
and the electric impulse current generated by the
Energizer flows through the body. In practical
experiences is evidenced that the cattle doesnt
transpose the fence for a peak voltage higher than 2
kV. For this voltage the livestock experiments a panic
sensation and dont turn to touch the wire.

Figure 1: Parts of the Electric Fence.

The simplified electric circuit for the fence circuit is
showed on figure 3. The resistance of the body of the
cattle is assumed in 175 for impulse current [3].

This data is important to preview the voltage applied

in the cattle that will depend of the wire, the ground
impedance, the distance from the energizer and the
conductive characteristics. For human beings the
resistance for impulse current is 500 . This data is
important to the safety energy limits described in the
standard IEC 60335-2-76 [1]. The two bodies
resistance 175 and 500 for cattle and human
beings respectively are obviously different. As the
hide and the skin have a capacitive characteristic,
second reference [3], just the internal body resistance
for a path of the hand to the foot is considered. In the
cattle the path is of the nose to the four legs.

Figure 2: Current flow (path) in a fence circuit at the

cattle touch moment.

Figure 3: Simplified equivalent electric circuit for

current path in the fence.
III. Safety Aspect:
All safety information is important to develop an
Electric Fence Energizer circuit. Is very relevant a
correct understanding of electric characteristics of this
circuit and the produced reaction of the electric shock
derived from it. In the table 1 is listed the mainly
safety aspects provided by standard IEC 60335-2-76
[1] and by the technical report IEC 60479-2 (chapter 6)
[2] need to be consulted for safety limits for a
capacitor discharge wave form. There are other two
main standards for safety requirement for energizers:
UL-69 (USA) [4] and DIN VDE 0131 (Germany) [5].
Table 1: Mainly electric shock safety requirements of
IEC 60335-2-76.
Impulse repetition period equal or higher than 1
For a 500 load the impulse duration do not must be
higher than 100 ms.
The energy of the impulse discharged do not must be
higher than 5 J in a 500 load.
For a impulse energy discharged on a 500 load
higher than 5 J, the current values needs to be under
the limit show in line C2 page 43 in IEC 60479-2 [2]

IV. Energizer:
The Electric Fence Energizer convert the electrical
energy which normally comes from the electrical
utility, batteries or solar PVs in an electric impulse
with limited energy associated according to safety
limits. The electric circuit is divided in two parts as
shown in figure 4: Supply Circuit and Impulse
Generator Circuit.

capacitor the circuit has about one second. The switch

is usually implemented by a thyristor S that provide
the discharge of the capacitor. The resistor R1 limits
the current of the supply in the charging of C1 and in
the discharging of C1. The operation circuit is divided
in two stages: Charge Capacitor Stage (stage 1) and
Discharge Capacitor Stage (stage 2).
Stage 1 (Figure 7): In a period of 1 second at least, C1
is charged. I1 flows from the supply circuit through C1
and R1, the maximum value of this current is limited
by R1.This resistor could be used to adjust the peak
voltage on C1. The C1 voltage curve is illustrated on
figure 8.

Figure 4: Electric Fence Energizer Block Diagram.

V. Supply Circuit:
Two supply circuits are proposed and illustrated in
figure 5 to exemplify. One is a conventional power
supply, 127/220 Vac 50/60 Hz, grid connected (a) and
the other one uses a 12 V battery associated with a
flyback converter to boost the input voltage (b). Both
converters circuits are configured to raise the output
voltage around 400 to 800 Vdc. This DC link charges
the storage capacitor C1.

Figure 7: First stage charge of C1.

Figure 8: Charge voltage curve of C1 First Stage.

The energy stored in an energizer is expressed by the
equation 1:
Figure 5: (a) Means supply voltage duplicator, (b)
Battery supply Fly Back CC-CC Converter.
VI. Impulse Generator Circuit:
The Impulse Generator Circuit consists in a
Discharging Impulse Magnetizer circuit (figure 6).
This impulse generation circuit is present in many

Estored =

C1 VC1( pk ) 2

E stored : Stored Energizer Energy (Joule)

VC1( p ) : Maximum C1 Voltage (V)

C1 : Capacitance of C1 (Faraday)

Stage 2 (Figure 9): In this stage S is closed and C1 is

discharged. In the primary of T the voltage of C1 is
applied and goes to zero in 100 S approximated. The
voltage is amplified and applied in Rfence. The voltage
curve of C1 and the current in the primary of T are
shown in figure 10.

Figure 6: Impulse Generator Circuit supplied with a

Vdc source.
The transformer T has two main functions to provide
electrical isolation and to boost the input voltage this
element normally presents a turn ratio around 1:10.
The secondary of the transformer is connected to the
wire of fence and the ground electrodes. The capacitor
C1 is the energy storage element, to charge this


Figure 9: Second stage discharge of C1 and

generation of the impulse magnetizer current.

In figure 13 a picture of an oscilloscope screen is

shown with the measured impulse voltage wave form
on the output of an Electric Fence Energizer circuit.

Figure 10: Discharge of C1, vC1 is the voltage on the

primary of transformer and is is the impulse current
in the primary of the transformer.
For this simulation was used an ideal transformer with
the follow turn ratio (1: 12.7), C1 is a 9 F capacitor,
the ESR of this capacitor was adopted equal to 1 ,
the current limiter R1 was implemented with a 22 k
resistor. Rfence is added as a test load of 500 . This
value is the initial electric resistance of a human being.
Figure 11 shows the voltage impulse curve in the
output of the energizer applied to Rfence. So it is
possible to evaluate safety aspect in a human being
with measurement of the energy and duration of the
discharge. Others test loads (Rfence) are used to
simulate field situations like faults on the fence (like
loss generated by grass touching the wire that
represents a resistance in parallel with the circuit load
of figure 3). Rfence = 500 (Low Energy Loss). Rfence
= 100 (Considered Energy Loss). Rfence = 50
(High Energy Loss).
The Power Sim 6.0 software was used to simulate the

Figure 11: Impulse voltage in the Rfence load.

VII. Experimental Results:
A design was realized and a prototype was build in
order to obtain a commercial equipment with the
following characteristics stored energy 0.72 J and
input voltage 220 VRMS for a 5 km extension fence.
The capacitor C1 in the prototype was charged with
400 V the same maximum voltage value of the
simulated circuit. The load (Rfence) for this
measurement was 500 as a load test. The resistance
used was a ceramic resistor with no inductive
characteristic. The picture of implemented prototype
circuit is shown in figure 12.

Figure 12: Prototype Electric Fence Energizer Circuit

Figure 13: Voltage wave form in Rfence = 500 of

prototype circuit.
VIII. Conclusion:
The information presented in this paper remark
important safety requirement for energizer circuit
design. A state of art was also presented and the main
standards were referred and explained. The
simulations shows clearly that this kind of circuit are
appropriate to be used as Electric Fence Energizer
because attend the standard safety requirements. The
impulse wave form generated in the simulation is the
same wave form presented in reference [2]. The
experimental results are very good and verify the
proposed design method that will be presented in the
final paper. A commercial version of this prototype is
also available.