Generator “sense” pros & cons….any real value I’m not aware of

I have a gas powered outdoor whole house backup generator, for my computer systems, but mainly only in the case of storms and local outage, and even then its not even been needed in the two years I’ve had it. It runs for 15 min once a week.

So is there any real reason to take the time to add the sensor for it. /
Am I missing anything here?

I have my sense monitoring a generator and here’s the data that I think would be of use, or is of use to me.

I have a Generac with Mobile Link so the generator already sends me notifications as soon as it goes into an excercise stage or if it triggers due to power outages. Sense however will notifiy you if you don’t have a mobile app or other form of notification from your generator itself.

Power use durring the generator on is what I find to be most usefull. I have a 24kw Generator so when it’s running I can look at the actual load being put on the generator. You would think that this is something that would be in the mobile app from the generator itself, but it’s not. Even if it was I’m sure they would only provide an aggregate amount and not itemize the usage. With this insight you can make sure you don’t exceed the limits of the generator.

At the end of the month you can see exactly how much energy was supplied by the generator vs the utility company.

Issue with Generator Sensing with non-ATS Generators - Technical Questions - Sense

Read this thread. SENSE must have a ATS system before it can monitor your generator. Do you have an ATS?

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If you don’t have CTs on the generator feed, you’ll miss its 15 min per week contribution to the incoming house energy and usage. Doesn’t seem like you will miss much.

Doesn’t this assume a non ATS installation? If there is an ATS in the system, the weekly exercise should not contribute to home consumption because the generator isn’t connected to the load.

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That is correct. When the ATS is connected to Utility Power there’s no load on the generator. The Sense monitor does however realize that the device is online and generating power and shows it as such at 1w.

If your propane is $5 a gallon and your generator uses 4 gallons an hour I would disagree with your assertion that you wont miss much. You’ll miss a lot when it does come on. Keeping my generator at 1/2 load which only uses 2 gallons an hour is very important and when you have 6 days without power that can add up to hundreds of dollars. Managing the load can pay for a Sense multiple times over in one single winter.

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Thanks for your insights. I was only trying to answer for @jimauger s specific situation - A generator that hasn’t been used to provide house power in over two years, and only run 15 min / week, just to keep everything working.

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Understandable, however I guess it comes down to the mindset of why should one own a generator. Of course there’s those that might live in the boonies that need one for every day living, but for the majority of purchases I would assume it’s to keep the lights on when you loose utility power. No one who owns a Generator “wants” to go on gen power. It’s expensive.

That being said I’ll agree that you wont miss the “excercise” of the generator, but when the power does eventually go out, it could save you hundreds and pay off the cost of the extra CT’s in just a couple days.

To me, at least, it appears that the OP is attempting to justify the cost of the Flex vs non and he’s leaning towards not monitoring the gen. I’m attempting to show the other side as to why you should and based on real world experience, why I monitor mine.

So in a nut shell I’m saying don’t focus on the 15 minutes a week, because true, who cares all that much. Focus on the money you’ll pour out in propane cost when it does come on and you actually need it.

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