Non-lethal Electric Fence Prison Retrofit Application

Mar 20, 2019 | Case Study

Due to US Department of Corrections protocols, we are not allowed to provide specific details as to the location of the prisons described in this security case study.

Project profile:

  • A US State, Department of Corrections prison
  • Perimeter length approximately 1.2 miles
  • 2 sally ports
  • Inner perimeter fence is chain link with inward facing attached Non-lethal Electric Fence
  • The NLEF system is a bipolar design (all wires are energized)
  • The perimeter is broken into 14 operating zones each has a separate upper and lower zone
  • The headend control is computer operated and is connected to the field NLEF field boxes via fiber optic cable
  • NLEF controls are software based using a proprietary software system
  • Dog run monitored by passive microwave system
  • External fence is a combination of razor wire and chain link fencing


Issues needing to be addressed

  • Electric fence energisers failing
  • Energiser replacement parts not available
  • Proprietary software control system experiencing frequent shut downs
  • Proprietary software control system difficult operate
  • Client unable to obtain support from the system supplier


Solution Criteria

  • Suppler must be a proven reliable manufacture
  • Retrofit solution system is compatible with the existing fence array
  • Control system will be computer based
  • Software is to be of an open protocol type
  • Software is to be user friendly
  • Control system is compatible with the existing fiber optic network
  • Non-lethal electric fence energizers fit within the existing field boxes
  • System must be installed within 10 working days
  • Replacement parts must be available within 24 hours
  • Solution is to be turnkey


The Solution Provided By Advanced Perimeter Systems:

Advanced Perimeter Systems Limited is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of security, non-lethal electric security fence systems. At the last count, there were more of our high security non-lethal electric fence energizers installed in the United States than all other competitors combined.

In working with the installing dealer and end user, we were able to provide a bipolar energiser that easily integrated with the existing communication protocol and wire array configuration. The energizers supplied exceeded the performance specification in all areas including, output voltage, resistance to voltage spikes and reporting and control capabilities. The footprint of our units is 50% smaller than the existing units making the field boxes installations quick and easy.

Control System

Our specially designed, computer based control system is a windows based open protocol system that is intuitive and extremely easy to operate. After a 20 minute user training session all of the attending security officers felt comfortable using the software. Even we were surprised when one of the officers led a second training session and did an outstanding job.
The units and control can operate on a variety of communication backbones. For this particular application, a media converter was used as an interface between our 485 bus at both the energiser and headend control points.


Our system was easily integrated with the existing wire array and communications network. Understanding for a speeding install and the limitations in accessing the field boxes, most of the assembly work was done prior to entering the prison. Once the parts were located onsite, the retrofit turnkey installation with operator training was completed in 5 working days.

Product Support

In the event of a unit failure, with the removal of 4 screws and quick disconnect wiring connections a unit board can be replaced in minutes. The prison maintenance staff is fully qualified to replace units if needed. To address the replacement parts mandate 3 replacement parts stocking sites were established; an immediate emergency spares stock was established at the prison, a second emergency spares stocking point was created at the dealer location and a third emergency spares stocking point is located at our US site.


After successfully operating the system for 5 months, the client installed an identical system that we supplied at two additional prisons. These were of similar size and design to the original site. As of this date, all three of the noted prisons have been successfully operating our retrofit solution as described above.

We were told by the prison staff that the decision to add our retrofit solution to additional sites was made based on four key factors:

  • the reliability of the system
  • the speed at which the system can be installed
  • the intuitive operation of the controls
  • the responsiveness of Advanced Perimeter Systems Limited

More Information

Contact APS on (01786) 479862, or email us here: