I bought and installed the device in early June and am pretty happy with device detection so far. It is progressively finding the big loads (has the water heater, heat pump, dishwasher, fridge, dryer, microwave, plus a potpourri of small loads). My question is about complex devices, like the heat pump. When it finds the heat pump, is it only finding the compressor in the external unit or does ‘finding the heat pump’ also insinuate that it knows there should be an air handler, pump, and other smaller components associated with it that aren’t necessarily firing at the same time.
I’ve had Sense installed since middle of March, and I have a heat pump. Sense has never detected my air handler fan, but picked up the compressor the first week or so. It also thinks there is a Heat Pump, an AC, and a Heat Pump Defrost (I named it that as a guess). I’m not sure what I should merge together, as sometimes the AC is thought to be on at the same time as the Heat Pump, but the AC only turns on for a few seconds then turns off (??), and the Heat Pump doesn’t always have the same wattage usage, so it’s like it only registers one side of the 240…weird. YMMV.
I think the answer to your question depends on whether the other devices behave in consistent and predictable ways during a heat pump cycle. For example, if you have a constant speed indoor fan, or variable speed fan that uses a consistent ramp-up pattern, it will likely be grouped in with the compressor and condenser fan in the “heat pump” device. Other associated devices, such as auxiliary heat strips, condensate pump, etc. will not be lumped in with the main device since they don’t operate in lockstep with the rest of the system. Sense may discover them later as separate devices.
These questions come up frequently. Here’s a recent example:
And to add to the question/answer in a way that might help explain the learning of complex devices:
Sense is constantly attempting to disaggregate Devices so from the perspective of the machine you might ask “Where do I stop?”. I’ve found a multi-speed fan (in my case an iQAir HEPA filter with 6 speeds) to be an interesting device to ponder in regard to the “learning of complex devices”. For example: If I only ever use it on speed #3 then you would guess Sense will learn it more quickly. But it’s a multi-speed fan so it does get switched to other speeds. Is it actually “complex”? What I arrive at is: “Yes, the use of it is complex!” so I would expect to wait longer the more I fiddle with it.
I think those Swiss engineers made the motor a little too smooth for Sense and the speed switching is electronic/DC (and it’s not a common household item) so I lost patience and just as I was putting it on a Smart Plug (Wemo) I got a notification that Sense had detected a new Motor! Well at least now I can ramp it up when things feel dusty … and it seems the Wemo will be giving good data to Sense.
My heat pump was detected early. The compressor is the only component that Sense has detected since January of this year. The other two major components of the HVAC system would be the fan above the compressor and the air handler fan motor.
While Sense doesn’t provide a complete picture, it’s enough for me to see the information I want to know.