First impressions, first questions....

I’ve had Sense installed for a week now, and I’m extremely pleased with it so far. That said, I have a series of questions that I would love to bounce off folks:

  1. I have a 10 Kw solar array. Sense tells me my Enphase array is using, not producing, -2 Watts of power continuously at night. Is that normal? Should I recalibrate the Solar via the app on my iPhone or simply reboot the system? (I don’t remember the Sense app showing Negative power usage at night until I monkeyed with the positioning of the clamps a day or two after initial install.)

  2. I have a 2017 Chevy Volt that I charge on a Nissan Leaf 240-charging station (long story) in my garage. After one week, Sense still hasn’t detected the Volt, even though I read that it usually picks up E-V Vehicle Charging quickly.

  3. Final question: I have ordered a HS300 power strip from Kasa for my home entertainment system. Should I let Sense detect my Samsung TV, Apple TV, Panasonic Blu Ray player, Yamaha Receiver BEFORE I put these devices on the strip and name them myself???

Insight into any one, two, or three of these questions would be much, much appreciated!

Congrats that things are working nicely for you. All good questions. From my experience:

  1. My Sense Solar / Inverter reads about -2 to -3W at night. Either a calibration offset or more likely just what it takes to keep the inverter running in night mode. I wouldn’t try to recalibrate over something so small.

  2. EVs aren’t fast or easy for detection. I have two 240V EVs and it has been on again off again as far as detection is concerned, since every detection is fairly car/model/software specific. Good info explanation in this blog article:

  1. Don’t count on any of those devices to be detected since they are DC electronics (power supplies mask transitions that Sense looks for to determine on and off). It might find the Samsung TV using NDI, but I wouldn’t wait on that either. There’s not a huge advantage to it being detected before you apply a smartplug, that is going to be much more accurate in terms of predicting/measuring power usage. Take a look at the power usage of a TV and you’ll see why Sense can’t predict. Hint: power usage varies vastly with different content.
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  1. Don’t have solar, so can’t comment.
  2. Don’t have an EV, yet, so can’t comment.
  3. For my home theater, I already had a high-quality surge protector with my Yamaha Receiver, Xbox One, Linksys access point, AppleTV 4K, Samsung UHD TV, and a couple other devices plugged in. Instead of buying a power strip to plug into a power strip, I just got a HS110 and put it on the surge protector. This way if something big came in, at least I’m only frying the HS110. That tells me that my home theater “idle” uses 18 watts. Since my access point is plugged in, some, most, or all of that idle is really the Linksys. I keep meaning to unplug it and see what the 110 reports as actual idle, but I haven’t. I figured all those devices were so small and so unique power wise that they’d be neigh impossible for the sense to detect.
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Normal, Sense shows -3 or -4 on my Enphase inverter as well. The Combiner Box pulls power for the IQ Envoy.

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Agree with @Kevin1 here. I have all of the same devices you mentioned on a Kasa HS300 to ensure detection. Plus, there’s a lot of devices in my home entertainment system that stay in “standby” mode and it’s very helpful to just be able to shut of all power to the HS300 everynight.

I checked with Data Science on some best practices for device prioritization for smart plugs, and it really comes down to what matters the most to you. What knowledge do you value the most? Add a smart plug to the device that gives you that knowledge. Do you care about the amount of time they spend watching a TV? When their garage door opens and closes so they know if your kid is home before curfew? @kevin1 might have some additional thoughts as well.

For me, my personal prioritization of smart plugs is as follows:

  1. 120V devices that haven’t been detected (after a few months)
  2. DC electronics (Samsung TV, Apple TV, etc.)
  3. Devices using under <30W
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This was a pretty good thread on smart plug priorities that drilled down …

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I can’t add much more beyond the thread @ixu pointed to - tons of good info in there. The only other thing I would tell @mark7, is that he should also buy at least one HS110 so he can use it as his traveller and explore other devices in his house.

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