Extracting detail from the power meter

I want to check if there is any way to extract details from the power meter. I see power cycling on and off with about a 50 - 50 duty cycle and a period of about 55 minutes. The peak is about 200 watts with a slight inrush tapering off and during the other 50 percent, about 60 watts, which could be the always on stuff. But once a day or so, every 24 to 26 hours maybe, I get a surge of 520 watts during the second half of the on phase and then the second off phase after that remains on. I’m guessing the fridge??? but what is that extra bit?? so could it be some other device? is there a way to see more detail from the Sense AI?

Ok, I figured out how to upload a picture. I hope it’s useful to illustrate what I’m asking.

This looks just about like my induction stove top… Gerry

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The picture is very helpful, @sense9150 . I’m amazed that your power meter for the whole home is so simple. Mine has lots more wiggles. My view of two whole days looks remarkably different than yours:

The only device I can discern at this scale is my clothes dryer, which draws 5,500 watts. However, Sense natively distinguishes many of the devices in my house.

Your pattern is so simple that you have identified the fridge on your own. The extra load you notice may be a defrost cycle. The 60 watt baseline you see is probably a combination of other devices. In my case such devices include the internet modem, WiFi router, Sense itself, a couple clock radios, the thermostat, doorbell, a Hue hub, and an aquarium filter.

I don’t know of any way to get detail out of the power meter. You can use a traveling KP-115 to measure energy usage of individual Always On devices. Once you know that data, there is a field in the Sense app where you can record such info to keep track of what is known versus unknown.

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Unfortunately the direct data at 1/2 second resolution is not available unless you know a fair bit about scraping data from the web. But there are things you can do to get more detail.

  1. Zoom in, Zoom out - plus use the measuring bar as you are already doing. Sense has done some good work in the UI to make sure your don’t lose peaks (maxes) and valleys (mins) when you Zoom out - in other words, a smart Zoom, so you don’t miss important details.
  2. Use the Phone/Tablet app - The Phone/Tablet app gives on additional clue / detail when the Power Meter is “running”. The Power Meter highlights “transitions of interest” that Sense typically uses to do native detection, via waveform tags that show the power change at that transition. If the transitions you are trying to understand are tagged, there’s a chance that Sense will eventually pair up matching ons and offs and identify that pair as a new device. Here’s an example of the tags from within the iPhone App.
  3. Wait for Sense to detect - If the transitions that you are interested in are tagged, then waiting might help. Sense looks for a substantial number of repetitions before “deciding” to do a native detection. It has to determine that the transitions are unique, and that there are matching unique ons and offs. Not always possible.
  4. Use a “roaming” smart plug like a KP115, as @jefflayman suggests. Plug your fridge into the KP115, and you will see exactly what it is using over time. Don’t spot waveform of interest - try the “roaming” smart plug on another appliance, etc.
  5. Use Home Assistant - Home Assistant is a “free” open source home automation platform that runs on lots of different platforms. I use a small, old headless (no monitor) PC NUC. There’s a prebuilt Integration that connects to Sense and captures both realtime and trend data from the Sense monitor via the Sense mothership (cloud). I’m not going not going to go into depth about all the things you can do, but suffice it to say if you want sub-hourly data, and are willing to do some simple coding, this is a great way to go.
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At the time this was captured, the house was empty. So the fridge was the main thing that was on. The defrost cycle makes sense. First there’s a large spike to melt the ice. Next it has to work harder to cool it back down again. And as I recall from an older fridge I once owned, the defrost cycle was controlled by a timer, so about every 24 hours makes sense.

I guess what I am thinking it that Sense knows which devices are on in the Now view. So it would be nice if the Meter view could/would show what it thought was on at the time under the cursor. Maybe even there could be another mode of the Meter view where we can filter to display the power from one device or selected devices instead of only being able to show us total power consumed. A request to the Sense developers please???

@sense9150, a few thoughts on your recommendations

  • First off, I neglected one other detailed view that you should be using once a device has been detected - the Device Power Meter. That view is only available in the phone/tablet app, not the web (browser) app. It looks like this - very similar to the main Power Meter except it only shows the power for a single detected device. To view the Device Power Meter, you have to go to the Device list in the phone/tablet app, pick one of the devices, then scroll down the tab for that device. Take a look there - you can click on the small 24 hour view, to get the full Power Meter view.

Here’s the Power Meter for my Recirc Pump.

  • For folks like me or @jefflayman who can have many bubbles on at one time, it’s probably better that Sense doesn’t try to show all the components.

You can do that in Home Assistant but it’s very messy.

The power meter under a device is very helpful. It’s part of what I was looking for. Thanks.

On mine, I see the main cycling of the fridge, but not what we suspect is the defrost cycle. So either it’s not the defrost or Sense hasn’t figured out it’s part of the fridge. Maybe it’s under one of the other devices like Coffee Maker or Heat 1 (But I don’t have time to search for it now. I’ll try later.)

My Always On shows as 58W so that was probably a good assumption when I said 60W.

I mostly use the PC not the phone, so if Sense is listening, maybe they can bring the web version up to the app version please??

I didn’t think how to make the display clean and tidy when asking for the extra information. I’m sure there is some way. Maybe click or double click pops up a dialog box to show the devices and clicking one of them shows its individual meter display.

Thanks for the follow up…

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Glad that was helpful. There’s quite a bit of functionality built into the Sense apps if you know where to look. But there is also a lot to tour through. The web app and the phone/tablet grew up at different times (phone app was first), and there are some differences because PCs/browsers don’t always have as consistent a set of functionality as iOS and Android. Example - the phone app uses Bluetooth for a variety of features including initial setup, network testing, factory reset, etc., where the phone talks directly with the monitor. That stuff is not likely to be added to the web app. But I’m with you on including the Device Power Meter. Here’s a reference on the main differences between the Web App and the Phone/Table App.

I found the defrost cycle as device Heat 3. I don’t suppose there is any way to tell Sense that it’s really part of the fridge???

Actually, there is a way to tell Sense that Heat 3 is part of the fridge, and it isn’t difficult. Go the the device page for Heat 3, then on the Manage tab, choose Merge device, then your fridge. That will make Heat 3 disappear from your list of visible devices, although it still exists behind the scenes. Each time it activates, the bubble for your Fridge will expand by the amount of Heat 3.

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Thanks for the tip. I had to do it the other way around though. When I did what you said, Fridge disappeared and Heat 3 remained. So I reversed the sequence and it’s all good now. And I can see the combined result under Devices, Fridge, Power Meter. Thanks again and sorry for all the newbie questions. Oh, btw, I did the merge on the web version, not the phone version so maybe that’s why it was different???

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@sense9150 , you are absolutely right about the order of merge. I did that process just now from the app because Sense just found the Defrost in my Fridge. Your feedback helped me get it right the first time. I’m sorry I told you the wrong order, I was working from memory and haven’t done the process often enough to be sure. I’m glad you figured it out, though.

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