Help with dual panels

installation
#1

I have 400a service in my new home. This is provided via two panels installed next to each other. Is there any way to monitor both with one unit?

I currently have mine installed in the right panel since that panel has most of the higher loads.

#2

Where the main wires come into from your street, do you know if it’s a single 400A line that is split into 2 feeds in one of those boxes below the panels? If it’s a single feed that simply splits before the panels then you just need to find the single main incoming line and hookup your sense there to aggregate the entire incoming feed.

If you do indeed have 2 fully separate 200A feed wires coming straight from your street hookup, then there’s no way you’re going to be able to use a single unit unfortunately.

Also take note that Sense isn’t officially supported for more than 200A services so although I will say that others have done so (here’s just one thread detailing such) it’s technically not supported at this point. But it seems to work OK, with caveats.

#3

Here is a picture of my meter. It looks like I could put the clamps in here but I would still need to run the power into the breaker box correct?

I would be willing to use 2 Sense units but setting up two accounts and having to log out of one and into the other makes that extremely inconvenient. I know Sense says they will support this setup but they have been saying that for 2 years from what I can find.

#4

Where do the mains enter your meter from the street. It looks via the connection on the top, but unconnected right now ? The thought would be to get the CTs around those once connected and run a CT extension wire through a conduit back to a dedicated 240V breaker in one of the two sub panels for the power supply and voltage monitoring. Or a Sense per panel.

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#5

This picture was from before they installed the meter or the mains from the street.

The Sense per panel is just a closer F* of an option right now since they do not support it. I do not want 2 accounts that I have to switch between or monitor from two devices.

#6

OK, then put your CTs around the incoming meter mains and run them appropriately via extension cables to one of the two panels, preferably one where you can dedicate a 240V breaker to the single Sense.

#7

I would agree, the wires above the meter just before where they split off to the individual panels is where you’d have to install the Sense main unit.

But that could possibly have some code issues, and yes, there’s then the issue of getting the 240v feed it needs. Depending on how you do that part of the wiring it could also present some code issues.

Your call there.

How far apart are we talking from the meter box to the panels?

#8

And in case you can’t find them see here


@RyanAtSense - am I just not seeing that there isn’t actually a link to store.sense.com anywhere on the sense.com homepage? - If you didn’t know that these were an option for extension and explicitly search the help docs which takes out the installation page which then take you to the store page, I’m not sure how the average person finds this. Or is it just me?

#9

Ben,
I too found that finding the longer modules was really difficult. I knew they existed and even with that knowledge it took a while to find them.

Jon

#10

You’re absolutely correct. They are currently pretty difficult to find. We’ve been doing a fair amount of (mostly invisible) web dev work lately and getting those better visible is on the todo list.

#11

The pix of your meter box is before power hookup. As shown, the only place to install the two Sense current sensor loops on single cables is at the top of the meter socket where the mains will eventually come in. It might be possible to put sensors around each cable pair at the base of the meter, but would probably require a larger sensor to encircle both cables in a pair and also be calibrated to operate with the Sense unit.

However, if you now have power applied and the meter is installed, that box should be closed, sealed and have a tamper-evident seal device attached. Only your utility has access to the interior of that box. The whole point of a separate meter box is to ensure you do not have access to the mains prior to the meter, else you have access to un-metered power. Taking advantage of that is theft, for which your utility will be most unhappy. (The Sense unit itself would be powered downstream from the meter, so ok. But you shouldn’t have access to the un-metered mains.)

I have your exact setup. Yes, I have two Sense units. And yes, it is a pain in the anterior. It is one of the main reasons I have backed off correlating detected items with actual. Between the two Senses, I probably have 10-15 items I have not specifically identified. There is also the ancillary issue of items that may roam between the two units, so really you have two profiles for the same device.

You really need to be logged into both accounts at the same time with everything set to notify to begin sleuthing. That, combined with refinements in Sense’s learning and classification algorithms with it’s occasional renaming of items I have already nailed, has put my interaction with Sense on the back burner. I am waiting for account aggregation. And waiting, and waiting…

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#12

I think you could easily put the clamps here if the wire is copper. Aluminum is twice the size of copper for the same current rating.
The copper is double the price of aluminum but your probably only going a few feet.
I don’t understand why an electrician would cut corners by using aluminum in this day and age.

#13

I have this exact setup. I did have to call the utility to come out and remove the meter cover as it had one of those tamper seals. The utility guy actually helped me get the CT’s on the mains and run their cables thru the conduit to a breaker box on one side. Luckily no extensions needed. Works well, no issues with CT saturation as far as I can tell as it would take quite a load to exceed 200a. Makes me wonder why anyone would need 400a service but they are common.

#14

Forward thinking for EV’s is a common reason.

They used to say the same thing about 100A service but now with 2 EV’s in my driveway charging every night, plus all the other household loads (some of them heavy, like my hot tub, stove/oven, etc) I’m sometimes not far from 100A.

If both of our EV’s charged at 32A (which is common) instead of only 16A each I would probably be experiencing issues already.

Is 400A overkill at this point? Yeah, probably. Will be be in another 20-40 years when we are almost certainly going to have a much higher saturation of EV’s likely charging at possibly very high amp rates? The picture is apt to be different then. :wink:

#15

In our situation two 200 amp panels was driven more by the number of circuits than load demand. Both panels pretty full, few empty slots.