Electric fences are a relatively new technology, but they’re also an important one for rural communities across Australia.
Now a new report suggests the cost of electrifying fences has risen dramatically.
In recent years, fences have been fitted with a range of electrification options, from wire crimp connector (CSFC) connectors to electrification wire.
But there is a big difference between these two approaches.
Electrical fencing has come with many advantages and is a cost-effective solution, says the report by a leading research group from the University of New South Wales.
“It’s a very high quality product and it can be used to provide more security than other options,” says Dr Andrew Tew, lead author of the report.
“So it’s an attractive option for many households.”
What is electrification?
The CSFC wire is a wire used to connect two separate wire strands to form a fence.
Each strand has a fixed, high-speed connection, but can be electrified to provide an increased level of security.
The problem is, most of the wire used for CSFCs is not suitable for electrification.
Some are very flexible, which is a problem for some fencing systems.
Other types of wire are not suited for electrified fencing, and can cause a problem when it comes to securing the fence.
To address this, researchers from the Australian National University, University of Sydney and University of Queensland created a computer model that identified the potential benefits of using a CSFC.
They then ran tests on a variety of fencing systems, including CSFC fences, fence-mounted gates, and fence barriers.
“This work highlights the need for more research to understand and evaluate the best practices for securing fences and fences-mounted systems,” the report says.
“The study also indicates that in the context of electrified fences, the cost savings and security benefits are substantial and provide significant advantages over other solutions.”
Dr Tew says the study provides valuable information on the effectiveness of electrifications for fencing systems and how the technology can be scaled to other types of fencing.
“In many areas where fencing systems are currently not currently available, electrification could provide a cost effective solution that could increase the security of fencing for rural households,” he says.
The researchers say the research should be considered a potential gold standard for future research on electrification of fencing in Australia.
The report says a range to choose from is available.
“These studies have provided a wealth of information for the development of a cost benefit analysis that is applicable to all types of fences,” the authors write.
A CSFC fence in the Australian outback. “
For example, fencing systems that are designed to protect against natural and man-made hazards can be a good choice for natural barriers, such that the benefits of electritation are greater than the cost and the disadvantages of electrization are smaller than the benefits and costs of the existing technology.”
A CSFC fence in the Australian outback.
Source: Alamy “The research suggests that, even when it is used for a natural enclosure, CSFC systems can provide significant security benefits.”
Dr David Lohr, from the CSFC consortium, agrees.
“We think it’s important that we look at how fencing systems interact with the environment,” he told the ABC.
“Fencing systems can be an important contributor to protecting livestock and wildlife.
They can also be an effective way of controlling the flow of vegetation and nutrients.”
The research was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.