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With the cold weather rapidly approaching consideration must be given to the effectiveness of your electric fencing.
This may be effected in a few ways;-
12v Battery systems. Cold weather has a serious effect on batteries that are left out in freezing weather. This is caused by the cold affecting the chemical processes. All normal batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy to enable it to push electrons into the circuit and most of these chemical reactions happen faster and freer at warm temperatures (perhaps between 15 c and 37 c) so a cold battery won't deliver the current or life of a moderately warm battery. When an increase in temperature occurs the electrons are excited. A decrease in temperature inhibits electron flow. This is a natural reaction on electrons in most systems. Furthermore, the combination of a rapid temperature change and high humidity can cause condensation to form and a potential hazard for your battery and device for that matter.
Cold enough and it won't work at all. The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals. When the terminals are connected, a chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. Lowering the temperature causes these chemical reactions to proceed more slowly, so if a battery is used at a low temperature then less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand.
Temperature has a pronounced affect on battery life (Recharges and length of use). For every ten degrees of change in room temperature, Up to 50% of its' life is lost. So a battery with a life of a 100 charging cycles is reduced to 50. Usually a cold battery will be fine when thawed again, however a lead-acid or other wet-cell battery could rupture and be destroyed if frozen solid.
Interesting that hot weather has a similar effect on a battery. The table above showing 25°C to be optimum.
Snow Build up. Obviously if there is a build up of snow such that a conducting wire is engulfed in snow there will be a transfer of energy through the snow rendering the fence powerless.
Plastic and cold weather. As the temperature drops so the pliability of plastics is reduced caused by the molecules being unable to slip past each other.
A key factor in the molecules’ ability to slip and slide is temperature. Specifically, there is something called the “glass transition temperature” (Tg), which is the point below which an amorphous solid (such as glass, polymers, tire rubber, or cotton candy) goes from being ductile to brittle.
Many plastics exhibit their transition at everyday temperatures, and can be “frozen” into brittleness. One example: polypropylene, an inexpensive material often used in fencing tapes has a Tg of between -20 and 0 degrees C, so it can easily lose its molecular mobility and become shatter-prone on a winter day.
Wind. The above comments regarding brittleness are exacerbated if there is wind around. This is explained in this post on using Tape as a medium.
Solar Powered Energisers. Under normal sunny conditions a solar panel will easily cope with maintaining a battery but the amount of available light varies hugely throughout the year. This post indicates the variability of available solar energy in winter is seriously depleted - on occasions down to nothing for extended periods . Batteries must be closely monitored if you have this system in place. In addition to the low output achieved in the winter period, battery output is severely affected by cold weather as outlined above. The electric current generated by a battery is produced when a connection is made between its positive and negative terminals. When the terminals are connected, a chemical reaction is initiated that generates electrons to supply the current of the battery. Lowering the temperature causes chemical reactions to proceed slowly, so if a battery is used at a low temperature then less current is produced than at a higher temperature. As the batteries run down they quickly reach the point where they cannot deliver enough current to keep up with the demand.