Home Assistant and Multiple Senses

I finally had a chance to convert an old Intel NUC that I had lying around into a dedicated Home Assistant server. I wish I had done it sooner ! Seems like a great way to pull data from multiple Sense monitors and multiple non-integrated other home automation systems together. Within a couple hours of having my HASSOS server running, I was able to integrate data from my 2 Sense units, my 2 Ecobees, 3 of my 4 NuHeat Thermostats (one isn’t playing nicely with the home network) into an integrated dashboard for my electric usage. One of the biggest benefits is the ability to “overlay” data from the 2 Senses while also seeing what is going on with my thermostats.

For context, all of my energy data is coming from my 2 Senses. 99% comes from my main Sense, but the second Sense has my Model 3 and the Floor Heater Subpanel (since my main Sense is already doing solar). In the shot below, I have forced my family room floor to heat up. Sense has done a native detection of my conflated Dryer / Floor Heater. I can also see that the DCM monitor picking up the same floor heating coil in action.

Also very nice to be able to arrange my biggest users a little more logically, with my furnace units paired with each ones AC compressor partner, and with all the cars close together. I’m going to be interested to see how my Sense detected Model 3 and the DCM Model 3 compare, but that only happens after midnight !


This is my thought with Home Assistant, as well. I didn’t even know it had Sense integration when I decided to set it up; I just wanted to control my TP-Link switches easier. The Kasa app is not fun with complicated schedules.

Even without an official Sense API, HA has such a robust set of integrations and automation capability that I think I can do everything I wanted to do with any potential official API. (For example, there was a “duty cycle” trigger someone suggested. I’m pretty sure you can set this condition up with HA and the Sense integration without too much trouble.)

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Quite interested.
Is this something that can be setup on an old PC I have laying around collecting dust and later transferred over to a Pi should I eventually get one? Would you happen to have any good (detailed) tutorial links for setting something like this up from scratch? I know nothing of Home Assistant or what it takes to run it. This can act like an add on of sorts without being forced to change how my existing devices interact? Meaning I can still use exiting apps and if I chose to remove it or switch to something else everything would act the same as before I installed it?

The official documentation is pretty good. They have a ton of options for installation.

I think the easiest way to get it running in all cases is through a container or VM – either Docker or VirtualBox (or VMWare or anything fancy if you happen to have that). That gets you a mostly isolated server, living on your PC.

It’s completely separate from anything else you have running. By default, as you set up most Home Assistant integrations, it just collects information to log and show to you, and you can manually toggle switches or state depending on what kind of devices you have. You can then start setting up automations to tell Home Assistant how you want it to act when it sees certain states and events.

You can stop and start running Home Assistant at will. It’s an external actor on what you have already.

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As @whee suggested, very easy to set up overlay on all your existing home automation. I had a couple of super-underpowered Atom processor based Intel NUCs, that had originally been running Windows Embedded. I just bought a cheap new SSD for each, then downloaded and flashed the Intel NUC image onto them using Balena Etcher (actually from a Mac). Popped them into the NUCs, I was up and running in no time. My only “D’Oh” moment was when the first NUC booted and succeeded, but didn’t give me the Home Assistant login screen, just a text “password:” prompt. Home Assistant is a web server based app, so you login and setup from any other device with a browser per the instructions.

A couple additional thoughts:

  1. Home Assistant seems to use a 3 minute sample rate for Sense.
  2. A NUC is just a very minimalist small form factor PC, so I think my approach could work for,you as well.

HomeAssistant polls the sense API every 60 seconds for realtime/device data and every 5 minutes for trend data

I was running HA on a raspberry pi 3 for a long time, just recently switched to an Intel NUC. If you just want to try it out, a raspberry pi works great

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