Question about Solar production numbers


#1

Does anyone else feel it would be useful to see the numbers for kWh returned to the grid?

Two situations (well maybe three occur when my solar is live:

  1. Power consumed is greater than solar is producing. (consuming from the grid)
  2. Power consumed is less than solar is producing (returning to the grid)
  3. Power consumed exactly matches solar production (not very likely).

Seems to me that it would be useful to have individual values for:
Total Power Consumed (already have that number)
Solar Produced (already have that number)
Solar Consumed
Solar Returned to Grid ( I can read it off my meter by looking at it daily)
Power Consumed from Grid. ( I can read it off my meter by looking at it daily)

Here is what I see now from Sense:


#2

Agreed on all points - we probably care more about how much we put back on the grid than how much we produce - it dictates how much we can use at night in many cases.


#3

This is sort of why I bought Sense because I was missing actual consumption, as my utility does not care about how much power I consume or how much I produce. All they care about is the net power they send to me and the net power they take from me. My meter has only four registers: In and out Peak, and In and Out Off-Peak. I have a separate meter that measure solar production that I report to the state for SREC credit. But I have no way to know consumption except to take the difference of five separate meter reading at two points in time. Sense gives me that number in real-time.


#4

Howard … Looks like your system setup and utility company work a bit differently than mine. My meter just measures kWh DELiverd (to me), and kWh RECeived (back to the utility). I’m billed for the DEL amount at one rate, and get a credit for the REC amount (at a lesser rate). My Enphase microinverter system measures and tracks the kWh produced by my solar array. I can do the math using those three numbers to figure my kWh consumed, but, as you did, I hoped that Sense would track those things for me.

It seems to me that adding some psuedo Solar devices that track.those things would be really helpful.

As I see it, the following would work for me:

Usage” already exists.

Solar” already exists, and seems fairly close to my production numbers. Today Enphase shows 62.5 kWh produced, whiles Sense shows 60.6 kWh. My best guess is that there is some line/conversion loss (roughly 3%) between the array, and the power reaching the electric panel.

Solar Out” would be Solar minus Usage (only if Solar is greater that Usage"

Solar Used” would be Solar minus Solar Out

All seem fairly straight forward to implement, so we can just wait expectantly.to see what happens as Sense matures.

Now I’m just waiting for the system to identify:
GE Hybrid Water Heater
Pool Pump and Heat Pump Heater
Refridgerators
Auxiliary Heat in my HVAC system


#5

Yes my utility does it very differently, and much more to my advantage. Think of my meter in terms of an old style meter which spins one way when I pull power and another when I generate power even though there are separate registers. They net the peak in and peak out and separately net the off-peak in and out. Thus nine or 10 months out of the year I have no peak usage and build a bank since most solar production takes place during peak hours. My only usage is typically off peak power. At the end of each fiscal year they cash out the bank at a lower rate than what it would cost me to buy power, but I can set what month that takes place. I have it set for February and I typically have little if anything in the bank at that point of time.


#6

I’d like to have these numbers as well, I bought Sense about 2 weeks after I got solar because it looked like my util was not billing me correctly in the last few days of my bill cycle where I went on net metering. Just got my first full bill on solar and it’s way off. My numbers (and my meter) show me at a 275kw credit but they billed me for 359kw net used. Since Sense does not show what I put on the grid I don’t know if my meter numbers align with what I believe I’ve used/produced.

Either way the Util will need to justify why the meter does not match what they are billing, but it would be nice to have independent numbers.


#7

@linkrunner What you put on the grid should simply be “production” - “usage”. If that’s a negative number, you’re in the red.

You can find it by clicking usage and then the trends field for a bar graph and numerical data.

If you can’t find it, let me know!


#8

@NJHaley Not quite true. Those numbers will show me the net of what I put on the grid for the given day, but not how much I put on the grid and used back in a given day. If I’m generating 6k and using 6k at the same time nothing is hitting the meter vs me generating 6k during the day when I’m not home and then using the 6k at night. The net is the same, but what I put on the grid that day is not. I’d like to be able to correlate the meter numbers to the Sense numbers.

**Edit - Just to clarify, I have a digital meter that doesn’t “run backwards”, it shows positive and negative W separately, and each always moves forward.


#9

Does your utility have net metering?

I’ve got two meters - one that shows solar production, the other shows pulled from grid, and sent to grid. With those three numbers, I can calculate daily usage, but what’s important for us is putting in more than what we pull out, and is the same as (production - usage). If I make 45kwh and use 42kwh in a given day (per sense), I’ve effectively sent 3kwh net total to the grid (which is all the utility cares about). My production meter shows 45kwh, while my usage meter may show 35kwh to the grid and 32kwh used. 45 produced - 35 to grid + 32 from grid = 42 total used. Sense, however, will show 45 produced and 42 used for a net of 3 sent to the grid. As long as that number is positive at the end of the billing period, we’re ahead.

What figures are your meter(s) giving you?


#10

Yes, it’s net metering, shows KW sent and received. The point is that Sense should be able to tell me the same sent/received info that the meter is to see that they are in agreement.


#11

Of course, it’s been a request for about 6mos as this thread shows :slight_smile:

@BenAtSense can maybe comment on the prospects for calendar billing, entering kwh rates, and this - they’d be a great group introduction as a new or updated tab in the app.


#12

Sure can! Billing cycles and kWh rates are things we’re working on, and that you’ll see in the app in the near future.

Better net metering and other solar tracking is something we’re considering but I don’t have a specific timeline for at the moment.


#13

Thanks for posting this question. I got a Solar sense unit installed not long ago. The solar system was finally commissioned on Monday and immediately went to work on the Solar sense unit. Unfortunately the installer did not leave an instructions manual nor installed it properly (left the CT solar clamps at the bottom of the box). It has taken me a while to learn how to read the app also. The app is user friendly but counter intuitive for someone who has a little more technical knowledge.

I expected the graph to display an x, y axis with negative numbers to account for energy sent back to the grid. I noticed that after the install if you reverse the CT clamps on the main line, then you will see a negative number on the specs screen that account for the difference between energy produced against energy consumed. However, I don’t think this is the way it was designed to work.

I did a factory reset this morning and left the CT clamps untouched. The system now says that i will have to wait until sunset in order to conduct the check. This is something i did not see back on Monday. Like you, bduthie, I would like to see and account how much is flowing back to the grid. Perhaps something else will show up at the completion of a full billing period. I would also like to see the same number you have suggested along with the dollar value. The graph could remain the same as long as an explanation is provided for the new user. I would suggest to include an on/off option for viewing this additional data points on the graph or below the graph. Some people may not want to see as much data displayed.

I hope this all makes sense to someone out there.