The solution to arcing

July 2009 Perimeter Security, Alarms & Intruder Detection

Smart electric fence technology, APT, helps deliver higher power, reduces false alarms, and introduces a greener energiser into the industry.

Coastal areas have always been a problem for electric fencing systems, as the salt builds up and the humidity increases, the likelihood of an electrical arc is high. Arcing reduces the efficiency on the fence as most of the energy generated by the electric fence energiser is lost into this arcing condition and this energy is dissipated into the ground. This will result in higher false alarms rates and a much lower power available on the fence, irrespective of the size of energiser at the source. Electrical noise generated by this arc also creates interference with other appliances such as intercoms and telephones.

Traditionally trying to resolve this problem is done by either reducing the actual voltage on the fence bellow the breakdown voltage, resulting in many fences running at a very low power and voltage thus defeating the objectives of having an electric fence. Other attempts to compensate for this loss into arc are been done by increasing the voltage and power output of the energisers, but all that does is increase the size of the arc and the additional power from the larger energiser is also lost. Larger power energisers exacerbate the situation because the arc-over potential is reached sooner.

As the electric fence characteristics change during different weather and environmental conditions, and over time as the fence ages, the energiser needs to be able to cater for these variations and changing parameters. As no two fences are the same, energisers must be a lot smarter and take into account the fence conditions on a realtime basis. To transfer the maximum power and voltage onto a fence means that the energiser must actively adapt to the needs of the fence depending on the type of fence and the current prevailing environmental and weather conditions.

Nemtek has pioneered a solution to this by developing a new technology in the electric fencing industry. An energiser that incorporates a control algorithm called adaptive power technology or APT. APT analyses the fence conditions continuously and adjusts the pulse characteristics to maximise the energy that the fence can accommodate. It dynamically determines the arcing potential and then allows the fence voltage to operate just below this potential. Arcing is not totally eliminated but much reduced. False alarms under changing weather conditions due to borderline faults along the fence are much reduced. Much like ABS brakes in motor cars has not stopped all accidents, very few people would choose to drive a car without ABS technology.

APT allows the fence to run at much higher voltages increasing the deterrent factor and making contact with the fence a far more unpleasant experience, but without compromising safety. As power lost to arcing is reduced, this Nemtek innovation results in a greener energiser consuming less energy by operating at a greater level of efficiency.

APT technology has been recently launched in the Druid LCD range of energisers at the IFSEC 2009 conferences in South Africa and the UK, and was very well received.

For more information contact Nemtek, +27 (0)11 462 8283, [email protected],


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