How Do I Improve Detection and Use Alternative Measurement Sources?

I am starting to question the Sense of a Sense system since there is no mechanism to help them with the integrations. A smart company would allow for folks to help them with their development strategy and coding. I actually need to integrate 3 sense units if not later 4.
The KP125M is for “Monitoring Enhancement” and it works well. As for Sense actually sensing devices and being an electrical engineer and one of the folks who brought TCP/IP to the heathens in the early 80’s I can tell you that Sense has missed the key opportunity of how they could sense equipment. And any of you that want to make a competitive product I will be more than happy to show you how. Hey Sense, get some common sense and prod your programmers to do their jobs, or let me have a crack at it for a day. Add the KP125MP4(US) or I’ll send back the Sense that cant read a single smart appliance in my house, read the 2 fridges, or the freezer, and only found one water heater. The clue is the timing and the inductive reflection. And since I have two 200 amp panels side by side for the north and south side of the house. the 4 amperage sensors could make short work in what you are clearly not grasping. I am giving you a chance here. Call me 408-431-5595

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@vance.turner, the non-Matter Kasa KP125s work just fine, if you want something that works right now, out of box. I have a bunch. If you want to use the Matter model (125MP), you can do some programming with Home Assistant to enable them to talk to Sense.

Given your programming skills, I’m betting you could make that work quite easily !

Point me to Home Assistant. What I need though is the mechanism to train the sense to discover. it clearly can’t properly reconcile the inductive load reflection to differentiate devices. Each amp clamp will see the reflection differently, but that helps to set the path to match the devices. Sense has a good start, but cant see the trees from the forest. And it doesn’t even begin to address smart appliances of which the majority in my house are. And not obscure brands. And is Home Assistant going to get the sense to work correctly or just integrate it to another control app?

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Gonna move this to a new thread because your question is veering way off from the topic of the original thread. The real question you seem to be asking is how to improve detection using Sense. The answer is that to do so, you first have to understand a little more about the current underlying Sense AI detection mechanism, what it is good at, bad at, and why. Once you understand that, you can take aim at using alternative measurement approaches like smart plugs and Home Assistant w SenseLink to feed device usage data to Sense, for devices that are unlikely to be “seen” by Sense. Take a read through this so we can talk the same language about detection:

How is your house setup with Sense and the two 200A panels - do you have one Sense on each panel, or the dual 200A 4 CT configuration ? FYI - I have 2 200A parallel panels but have my Sense on the pre-meter 400A mains - works the best for me, because I need the second pair of CTs for solar.

ps: Here’s a link to Home Assistant home automation hub and the Sense Integration.

pss: Sense definitely uses changes in phase angle for identifying and fingerprinting inductive and capacitive loads.

I looked at the TP-Link KP125MP4(US) and what it offers. It is built for "Monitoring and is doing a good job. Sense needs to make it a priority to integrate with the “MATTER” protocol. This one thing would open up the most devices to SENSE hardware, This is a no brainer. Also it is clear that Sense isn’t reading the local network for devices correctly. If they did they would have the MAC data for devices that they can compare for such devices. From here they would know how to interact with the device. This is nothing new and the device shouldn’t of gone out the door with out this consideration and implementation. Now I have two 200 amp panels being monitored. One for the north side of the house and one for the south on a 400 amp service. The feeder lines are 25 feet long back to the meter distribution cabinet. What is nice about this is that any device that powers on will be sensed on the mains at different times and have the same signature. This should give sense a clue in differentiating devices. We have two water heaters. Sense sees them operate both with differing performance but can’t make the call. These are resistive loads easily distinguishable. What gives SENSE? And there is an API from PG&E that could be used to inquire the smart meter. If you haven’t been paying attention the batteries run out and then they are bogus charging customers, That is the key reason I purchased the sense in the first place. My bill is way too high for what the SENSE is reading. I will work with you if your willing. I am currently building a SCADA system for my research project on Oxyhydrogen Pulse and Rotary Detonation Pump. I am working with WAGO and they gave me the equipment because of the breakthrough research it represents. I can approach them and take the PLC I have to do a better job. And in doing a much more accurate and cheaper approach that you may force me to travel. And SquareD better get their act together on smart breakers for existing panels. Seems your all in bed together. Start being responsive or I will. Discusse how you are bringing smart appliances onboard, and what the status of MATTER devices is. Sincerely Grouchy Old Physics Researcher

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Hi @vance.turner ,

I’m just a long-term Sense user here who helps moderate the forum, but three thoughts for you on your questions and issues:

  1. I wouldn’t expect Sense to engage with you in an extended dialog on your ideas. If you have a very specific support need or specific feature request, there are ways to do it, but the open forum is mostly for users. Sense has tens of thousands of users garnered over 7 years, with another 3 million users with Sense-powered meters coming online, so they re not likely to engage with a individual user on a feature.

For support issues, there’s a link here:

For feature requests, you can look through the Wishlist and add one (i.e. Support for Matter devices) if it doesn’t exist.

There’s also a link for feature requests here:

  1. I’m with you on Matter support. I would like to see that as feature ASAP because that is the newish direction for a broad range of smart devices. But it’s not helpful on your part to ignore all the previous integrations that used pre-Matter protocols over the past 7 years. Sense has implemented a bunch of integrations using the available protocols at the time, one the past 7 years, with some successful, some not so successful. Everything from smart plugs (Kasa, Demo, Wiser), to thermostats (Ecobee and Nest), to lighting (Hue) to EV chargers. Some proved robust, but a bunch had idiosyncrasies that rendered them useless. The old Kasa protocol has proved the most durable and useful, until Kasa started offering plugs with Matter, without backward compatibility.

  2. You have a bunch of interesting ideas, but it behooves you to learn a little bit more about Sense’s theory of operation, so you can filter a little. Sense doesn’t rely on reflection measurements via transmission line theory for a lot of reasons, but it does use phase angle change when an inductive or capacitive load turns on or off for identification. Another example: The PG&E idea is DOA - Current PG&E smart meters only produce energy readings every 4 sec. That’s useless for the kind of energy disaggregation that Sense does, and it’s not even useful for the 1/2 second update power meter or for providing the net offset to solar. Quite honestly, if you want to experiment with integrating data together from many, many sources (including PG&E via Zigbee, Sense, Matter devices), I would highly recommend Home Assistant. But you’ll also discover the hard challenges of bringing together energy and power data sampled at many different rates.

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Update - I just added a wishlist item for Matter support. Please like and feel free to add additional commentary here:

Kevin, it bears repeating that it is nice to have you on the forum. This thread displays your knowledge and grace, among other traits. I wonder if you could expound on the knowledge portion for those of us who are not electrical engineers. What is an inductive reflection? And If you are up for an even bigger question, why couldn’t it be one of the 20+ dimensional space of clues that Sense already parses?

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Thanks @jefflayman, it’s really fun for me to help educate this user base (and be educated by others). I’m digging back into my least understood electrical engineering college class, Theory of Electromagnetism, but based on the @vance.turner’s notion of reflections from an inductive load, he’s talking about this:

Basically, varying loads on the other end or termination of a pair of wires (a transmission line, but a different type from the ones utilities use - transmitting signal, not power) will reflect waves traveling through the wires differently as the load varies. There is a device called a time domain reflectometer that will tell you about the load at the other end and its interaction with the transmission line. But Sense doesn’t do time domain reflectometry, and even if it did, homes are so filled with lots of branches, and each branch is it’s own transmission line, usually with multiple loads distributed along the lines. So it’s not easy to isolate a load change reflection. Add in multiple devices turning on and off, plus the circuits delivering power, it would be very hard to find and associate the reflectometry reflections. But perhaps he was referring to something else.

The second half of the story is that the change in phase angle from a motor or transformer being energized (inductive load) is much more obvious and measurable way to classify a load.

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Then publish the mechanisms we can use to help you. “20+ dimensional space of clues that Sense already parses” is nice , but you can’t even query the majority of internet enabled smart devices on the network. Its nice you think you have a handle on all of this, but I like the majority here have 85% of my load defined as “OTHER”. Can I mention that in a goal oriented business model, “THAT DON"T CUT THE MUSTARD!” Hell the smart plug from SquareD don’t seem to be working and your in bed with them on a tied product. Do you get my point here? 70% of companies are vampire companies that the banks are too afraid to pull the plugs on because they are not the industry leaders. Where would you objectively put yourselves. I was an engineer at Sun Microsystems and I know exactly what your up against. And to make it short, I miss the days when an old guy berates the under achievers because they are not pulling their weight. I see a lack of clear leadership.

Now about those 20+ items. Willing to bet you cant identify the same artifact on two mains and correlate that they are identical events. And in the GUI why cant you set two points as an event and name it the device you know it to be so Sense learns and gets a hand. I got this GE smart dishwasher you cant identify, and you can clearly see its behavior day after day. I think you could use a couple of days with me in engineering to talk to your crew. Maybe this 65 year old engineer has a few tricks still up his sleeve. Send me the white paper on the 20+ and I bet I can point out what you are missing. Its called Peer Review


Three quick answers, but once again I’m answering as a user with a little knowledge of power systems, DSP, and machine learning. So my comments are based on learning how Sense does things from public information like blogs, educational videos, etc, plus me putting the pieces together. I presume that most of the in-depth details are proprietary, though you can certainly glean more from their filed patents.

  1. Not sure how anyone would “query the majority of internet enabled smart devices on the network”. There are literally 50+ different company-specific protocols for querying power / energy information from smart devices that provide power/energy usage data (you see many of these protocols in the various Home Assistant integrations). Matter might help, but 90% of the devices in use today don’t support Matter today. And some of the data supplied today isn’t an appropriate fit for real-time monitoring. And some devices, like the Wiser/Square D plugs, mix in a little garbage with good data, so one can’t just read the data as golden.

  2. I can’t tell you all 20 parameters or “features” used for detection, but this screenshot from one of their internal tools indicates clustering based on at least 17 features.

There’s a video associated with this screenshot in my perspective on how Sense detection currently works. Worth reading if you really want to know more.

  1. My “perspective” also highlights some of the challenges of this identification methodology - variability & clustering, home noise, and devices that don’t fit the simple on/off model, like a dishwasher, which is really many devices in one (heating element, DC motor, controller).

My perception of your posts is that you are under the impression that the other members of the thread are employees of Sense. I don’t believe anyone involved in the thread is actually a representative of the company. Nor do I believe there is a history of Sense Engineering staff hanging out in these forums. In sort, you’re grousing at other end users rather than employees who could affect change. Perhaps you want to reach out directly to the company instead?


No, it’s a forum. But as the only person here working on a technology that others are telling me that it will spur more $1B companies than any other tech ever, I ask myself. How will I transform that money into time to groom the fields for those with ideas to plant them to grow.
As the Electrical Engineer who presented ideas at Sun Microsystem only to watch them dismissed and then show up at Microsoft or Apple, I have some experience in electronics and coding. Working with the Linux on WAGO I see how easy it is to build Oracle Enterprize Linux to replace WAGO’s version. Then I have what you all miss that came from SOLARIS of which I am the expert. And since I was involved as the release engineer on the C2 version of the OS for NSA, I can harden it considerably. There I can take what SENSE had an inkling of what to do and take the 15 years I was involved with monitoring, build a company that builds communications into the existing breaker designs to signal on the power lines directly. Funny how good I am with messaging. Seems I wrote a proposal for Apple to message all MFG line data in an async method that keeps up with billions of messages. This old man is only getting started, and you all thought it was those that hired me. Who taught Steve Jobs the value of BSD. I’m just the stupid engineer sitting on the worlds most efficient work cycle and on Monday be back to work on the SCADA system to operate and monitor it. So for my house I looked for a commercial system to save me some time and find it lacking, and to all of you the day is coming when you’ll all wonder how come everything I put my hands to works. Hoping that just one soul actually can see the brick wall ahead that I’m building and the behemoth Proelian related companies will pose. Good luck Sense and SquareD parent co… You don’t have a clue what to do with what you have and I’m coming soon.

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Hey @vance.turner, lots of interesting history and perspective. Seems like your needs and motivations are way different than most users. Good luck on whatever route you take to SCADA and beyond.

ps: Home Assistant with integrations and associated add-ins like Grafana are a pretty reasonable foundation for SCADA of the home.