Installed my sense today. All good. Nice and easy. My only comment so far is that the connector for the sensors is to big to fit through a standard panel connector (I installed sense externally) and had to just pass through knockout. Would like to have the ability to tighten cable at the panel. Guess I could have gotten bigger connector but too excited to get it up and running.
There are ways:
You highlight, though, a flaw I believe in Sense’s guide to external mounting.
There are no details about passing the CT connector back through a panel knockout and then how to clamp it (a split-ring clamp for example). This is somewhat up to local code and your electrician but a “standard” method could be detailed and perhaps even accessorized though those parts are readily available. Sense?
I know how you feel … I threw mine in the panel and got it running ASAP with complete disregard for elegance.
Hmmm. I just read their external mounting info. They mention a plug and no more than 1’ from panel. I just passed the power cables through a knockout on a subpanel and connected to a 240v breaker. The sensors are connected via knockout to the main panel and clamped onto the mains. The sense is mounted about a foot and a half above panels. Will that be an issue? Does the sense need such proximity to the panel? Why have such long sensor cables?
I always assumed the the plug requirement was about NEC code. Between a user serviceable device being hard wired, or cable leaving the panel not in a conduit, or something like that. Someone more up to speed on code may be able to speak to it more.
1’ away is probably their best estimate for people who are hiring an electrician to install said plug and being able to give a “spec” for the install. At 1’ from the panel, there is a good chance that with the length of CT cable they provide, depending on size/ shape / kind of panel, you’ll be able to get the CT’s to where they need to go. I don’t think the distance has to do with sensing ability. Again, more just so that there are installation instructions.
Panels come in many sizes and the CT cable lengths allow various routing options in bigger panels … I believe the “One foot from panel” is just to accommodate the shorter power cable length. There’s no technical reason why the Sense couldn’t be many feet from the panel (they sell a 40’ extension!). You also need to extend the power cable in a code-compliant way.
@ben is right about the NEC code and not, strictly speaking, having a wire exposed (the power cable) outside the panel is not up-to-code. Sense can’t advise any other install method. You wouldn’t necessarily need a plug/socket … you could extend the power cable in conduit to a NEMA eclosure and put the Sense and antenna in that.