Common Electric Fencing Terms



Most likely, you know volts and amps and probably even ohms, but do you know what a joule is? How about impedance? This short list might help you in making a buying decision by making it easier to compare.

Joule -

Measure of electrical energy used to rate low impedance fence controllers. The effective power the controller delivers to the fence, independent of other factors that can drain voltage. The higher the joules, the more intense shock the animal will feel. (1 joule = The work required to produce one watt of power for one second, or one "watt second" or "passing an electric current of one ampere through a resistance of one ohm for one second".)

Low Impedance -

A low impedance controller increases the joules (energy or shock) on the fence line if weeds (or other vegetation) touch the line.

Current -

Duration and magnitude of current causes the shock of the electric fence. Increasing voltage increases current. Increasing resistance decreases current.

Distance Ratings -

Ratings are based on a single strand of 17 gauge steel wire strung 36" above the ground under ideal, weed-free laboratory conditions.

Volts -

Unit of measurement of electrical pressure. Voltage "pushes" amperage down the fence wire. Sometimes shown as kV or kilovolts which is equal to 1000 volts.

Amperage -

(also Amps or Amperes) The measurement of electric current; what you feel when you get shocked. The higher the amperage, the more intense shock the animal will feel.

Solid State -

Delivers medium amperage shock in medium duration pulses making use of the electronic properties of solid semiconductors (as opposed to electron or vacuum tubes).

Fault or Short -

Energy loss from the fence (i.e. live wire lying on the ground, vegetation touching live wire).

Ohm -

unit of resistance.

Resistance -

Loss of power and voltage on the fence.

Stored Energy -

Energy accumulated in storage capacitors between output pulses.

Capacitors -

Used to store energy in the charger.

Pulse -

Brief electrical current emitted by a charger, approx. 0.0003 seconds per pulse.

Watt -

Unit of power. Measures the rate of energy conversion or transfer. One watt is one joule per second.

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