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Wednesday, June 02, 2021
As utilities, municipalities, businesses and residences turn to alternative forms of energy to meet increased energy consumption and demand, the need to protect these investments grows. Solar arrays located in rural areas face perimeter security challenges that are best met with high-tensile woven wire fence solutions. Agricultural style fences also blend more aesthetically with rural environments compared to chain-link fence.
Bekaert’s exclusion fence designs allow beneficial small animals and pollinators through but deter larger animals like deer and humans. Unlike chain link, which can require poured concrete posts for stability and has a thicker, heavier design, high-tensile wires are lighter and stronger and don’t always require concrete for installation. This flexibility and performance makes high tensile wire products ideal for rural installations. They can be installed quickly and more cost-effectively while providing less shadowing over the solar panels. They are more tamper-resistant to animals and humans.
Our Solidlock® Pro fixed knot fence is the strongest exclusion fence available. It performs best against deer pressure in exclusion applications. Our Solidlock® Pro 12.5 gauge fixed knot products carry a breaking strength of up to 1,500 lbs, which easily excludes even aggressive deer.
Aside from breaking strength, the high-tensile wire itself is more resistant to human tampering – cutting, pushing and bending – than softer low carbon wire used for chain link fence. The woven fixed knot design also allows the fence to maintain its strength and integrity even when cut, helping to minimize damage if the fence is breached.
When considering a product choice for solar applications, the fence design is important. The fence design determines the height of your fence and the spacing of your line and stay wires. You want to choose a fence that will have spacing large or small enough to allow certain small animals in, but also deter larger animals and humans.
Spacing also refers to the distance between your posts. High tensile wire requires fewer posts between braces than low carbon chain link. This reduces the overall cost and time needed for the installation, and also the time needed for future maintenance of the fence.
For perimeter protection and security of solar array installations, we recommend a 96 inch fence height. However, some solar farms and array installations have a specification for 75 or 84 inch height. Make sure you comply with local and federal regulations.
Bekaert’s proprietary Bezinal® zinc-aluminum coating protects against the rust and corrosion that cause breakage and failure in uncoated or minimally coated wire. Bezinal® coated wire can be guaranteed against corrosion for up to 30 years.
We recommend a 96 inch tall fence to provide optimal security for your solar array. The best option is our Bekaert Solidlock® Pro 2096-6, 12.5 gauge with a high tensile Bekaert Cattleman® Pro 14 gauge barbed wire on the top and bottom. The coating you choose should relate to the region of installation. To further ease installation, our 12.5 gauge 2096-6 products come pre-installed with Gripple Medium Joiners on each line wire.
Another option is our Bekaert Solidlock® Pro 12.5 gauge 1796-6, fixed knot fence, which is also 96 inches tall. The line wire spacing for this fence allows for ingress and egress of small animals at the bottom. The 1796-6 fence design starts at the bottom with 6-inch horizontal line wire spaces for the first 3 openings. The remaining horizontal line wire spaces are identical to the top of the 2096-6 above. See below for the difference in the fence designs.
Some solar farm perimeter projects have a specified perimeter fencing height of 84 or 75 inches. For an 84" height, the best recommended option is the Bekaert Solidlock® Pro 1584-6, 12.5 gauge fixed knot with high tensile Bekaert Cattleman® Pro 14 gauge barbed wire on the top and bottom is a good option. To further ease installation, our 12.5 gauge 1584-6 products come pre-installed with Gripple Medium Joiners on each line wire. The fence designs for this fence are also shown below.
Bekaert's recommendation for a 75" height fence is our Solidlock® Pro 12.5 gauge 1775-6, fixed knot fence, again with Bekaert Cattleman® Pro 14 gauge barbed wire on the top and bottom. To further ease installation, our 12.5 gauge 1775-6 products come pre-installed with Gripple Medium Joiners on each line wire. The fence designs for this fence are also shown below.