... Specifications for Electric Fence Energizers in Europe and Overseas

Electric fences are the only electrical installations whose non-insulated, conductive, live parts are generally accessible (for humans and animals) and which can be touched. The point of the pain felt from the electrical pulses on the conductive parts of the fence being touched is either to stop animals from leaving the fenced-in area or them entering a no-go area. The pulse is designed as a deterrent for both sensitive animals and for humans and must not give rise to any injuries/damage.  Pain, the deterrent effect and any hazards increase, in particular, with the energy of the electrical pulses. That is why the maximum figures in the applicable standards must not be exceeded, for instance, under unfavourable conditions such as the use of particularly powerful equipment, with short fence lengths involving little vegetation,  on contact arising right next to the energizer or where the earth return is good. Particular hazards arise when a person or an animal is caught up in the fence and is subject to electrical pulses for some appreciable time.

On the other hand, an electric fence energizer needs to supply sufficiently strong pulses for herding-assured pulse voltages and to generate an adequate deterrent given unfavourable conditions such as long fences, dry soils or plentiful vegetation.

Across the world there are cases of some limits varying - depending on the continent and the local conditions present.

Safety first , EN 60335-2-76 or IEC 60335-2-76 or UL69

The following safety requirements apply in Europe (EU & other countries):

EN 60335-1 Electrical equipment safety for domestic use and similar purposes.

EN 60335-2-76 Electrical equipment safety for domestic use and similar purposes - Specific requirements placed on electric fence energizers (this standard presumes adherence to EN 60335-1).

EN 60335-2-76 prescribes, for instance, a maximum of 5 joule pulse energy at 50 to 500 ohms. It only permits higher energies up to 15 joules when a 15-60 second delay period is kept to after the fence has been touched. This gives humans and animals the chance to move away from the fence before powerful energizers raise the pulse energy to ensure effective herding-in. This is the case with a continuous load (discharging) which is often attributable to the vegetation.  An optical and acoustic alarm also needs to be fitted - one that is triggered when the fence is constantly touched. This is to direct attention to any animals or persons caught up in the fence.

In the USA, UL69 holds good with maximum figures which - depending on pulse duration - are either higher or lower than those applicable in Europe. Fixed limits are only specified there for 500 ohms and, as a result, there is no delay up to raising pulse energy and no alarm function. Special provisions also apply, in particular, to fire protection.

The IEC 60335-2-76 international standard applies outside the USA and Europe. Here pulse energy is only limited to 5 joules at a 500 ohms resis­tance within the fence load. There are no requirements either for delay times and an alarm. In another version, pulse duration prescribes the maximum pulse current as with UL69. All standards also lay down that the pulse energy of powerful energizers must be limited to lower figures when the time between pulses in the event of a fault is too short (pulse monitoring). Given a pulse interval under 0.75 s, IEC and EN specify a maximum 2.5 joules/s at 500 ohms for the pulse energy.

As EN 60335-2-76-based electric fence energizers also fulfil the IEC 60335-2-76 international standard, they can also be made use of outside Europe. The UL69 limits are also adhered to given that the pulse width of EN 60335-2-76-based energizers is not over 300 µsec (this is true for a great many energizers). The standards also include sections on correctly setting up electric fence systems. In so doing, a distinction is made between an animal electric fence (for pasture management, wild life protection and landscape conservation) and an electric safety fence (for property protection purposes).

All electric fence energizers in Europe must have the CE symbol

Electric fence energizers that are to have the CE symbol must comply with EU directives 2004/108/EC (Electro-magnetic compatibility - EMC, for short) and 2011/65/EU (Restrictions on the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic equipment, RoHS, for short). Both have been transferred into national legislation. Whilst the RoHS directive governs the non-use of certain hazardous substances in the equipment or only in extremely limited quantities, the EMC directive requires effective steps to be taken against radio interference.

The fact of radio and TV interference still arising despite this is often due to an incorrect set-up of the electric fence energizer. This is bound up, for instance, with vegetation, inappropriate fence wire contacting or poor insulators which allow electric sparks to develop.

The WEEE directive (2012/19/EC) governing electronic scrap handling is associated with the RoHS directive. The crossed-out refuse bin symbol on the energizers signifies that they are to be disposed of separately from household refuse and that the manufacturer is registered in the professional disposal system and contributes to it.

Note any particular requirements

Additional requirements laid down in the specified standards over and above the battery/rechargeable battery-only energizers apply to energizers supplied with 230 V from the mains or via an external power supply unit. Specific-purpose applications, such as the cow trainer in Switzerland or pigeon deterrents in Germany, also have additional and specific specifications which must be kept to.

Thus it is a matter of heeding the requirements and supplied documents when selecting the energizers and setting up the fence and of only setting up and using them as intended.
Proceed under the slogan of "as powerful and appropriate as possible" and not under "as powerful as possible"!

Horizont electric fence energizers are provided with the CE symbol, a crossed-out refuse bin and the EN 60335-2-76 standard.

This means that horizont electric fence energizers are constructed and tested in keeping with the applicable EU directives and the EN 60335-2-76 (EN 60335-1) safety ­standard and also that professional recycling has been seen to. National inspections are no longer needed or, as the case may be, can undertake verifications. Austria mandatorily prescribes EN 60335-2-76 being kept to for application purposes and sales. In other countries including Germany the Product­ Safe­ty­ Act ProdSG (European directive on general product safety 2001/95/EC) governs adherence to EN 60335-2-76 for consumer products. Thus for brand control purposes, a presumption of ­conf­ormity applies in that electric fence energizers constructed in accordance with the EN 60335-2-76 European safety standard are safe. In France an external test in accordance with EN 60335-2-76 is necessary for national homologation (approval).