How many Sense users have both EVs and Solar Arrays?


It does seem like many Sense users are EV owners. Sense is also equipped with an optional solar monitor. This might have been a question asked in a previous survey. A secondary question is of that subset, how many are able to charge primarily during solar hours? Might that data help the Sense algorithms in any way?

  • I have both an EV and a solar array
  • Null [Don’t click this]

0 voters

Detecting EV devices

We have solar (grid tied and net metering) and an EV, but charge at night as that is when we are home. I would guess most charge at night due to work factors and/or time of day pricing for electric.


That is the norm but when you factor in the world of second and third shift workers, retirees, and satellite workers, the group is significant. Also 1-in-4 in the US do not have access to net metering. As battery storage arrives, utilities will most likely swap net metering with some form of TOU. A lot of retirees happen to be in the first wave of EVs as well.

We fit in the category of retired and without net metering. I posted the question to see if that is indeed the minority. Very likely, but either way, it adds to the learning base of the Sense unit.


My understanding is that the algorithms rely on the energy signature of an individual device, therefore the type of end user or time of day will not affect detection of the device, or help with algorithm development.


Yes that is my understanding too. Definitely nothing to do with time of use, or number of devices used. But those of us with the solar option have a second set of CT clamps. I am using a Myenergi zappi EVSE that also has a CT clamp in the box monitoring the household usage. The zappi is designed to only use excess solar for charging, if you choose to do so, and it works very well when in the eco+ mode.
It may not help at all but I see other suggestions for an additional CT clamp for EVs only since they seem to bring quite a challenge to the Sense algorithms. Curious if you @bjeffblack are able to monitor your EV yet? I am not.


We have a Solar array that was very generous to SCE (~$350 refund each year). Amounted to about 7 MWH per year. I figured if we got a plugin we might be better off. The last two years since we got our plugin we
have been getting about $150 refund each year. That means I put about $200 into my car which I drive about 8000 miles per year, mostly electric.

On to the details.
The Solar is grid connected.
We charge during the day as I tend to go out during the day. Once in a while I go out in the late day which gets the car charged after sunset.
This house is completely retired.
All of this on a Sub panel while the Sense is connected to the main panel.
Also this house is almost completely disconnected from the world except
for the SCE Grid connect.

I am using Sense to help me make a decision on how much of a Battery I would need to
disconnect from the Grid. I do not like to depend on SCE, as when they turn off the power
to my home also turns off Solar generation. This has happened a couple of times in the last 2 years.
Once was for 8 hours.

Carol (Glad to have solar and an EV).


I have both a solar array and an EV. I do not charge the EV during the day in order to get the lower off peak rates. Also unfortunately, my Solar and primary Sense account is on one panel and the EV is on my second panel/Sense account, but that is a story for another thread.


We have rooftop solar with net metering plus 3 EVs and a plug-in hybrid. We also use 100% renewable electricity via an choice supplier, Peninsula Clean Energy. The rooftop solar was sized to replace about 50% of our electricity expense pre-EVs, given PG&E’s tiered pricing. That equation went out the window with the additional of the EVs starting in 2013. Today, the most cost effective approach is Time of Use, where we use net metering to offset and produce during peak metering and to charge during off-peak (12AM-7AM) except when we absolutely need to recharge.

Sense works fairly well given all this:

  • Sense is within 2% of my net meter results on a daily basis, though the SolarCity/SolarEdge inverter shows about 4% higher solar production
  • Sense identifies the charging cycle of only 1 our 4 cars, but that car, a Tesla Model S P85D, is the biggest EV consumer (about 20% of our entire electricity usage)
  • Still hoping for Sense to offer ToU metering costing that also includes net-metering. Would also be smart for Sense to offer alternative costing so one could compare tiered net metering vs TOU with net metering (Utilities should do this as well, but they are not anxious for you to find the lowest cost solution)


This is kind of what we are doing as well. We are leaning toward at least the size of a Tesla Powerwall 2 which I think is around 13-14 kWh battery. The Sense has helped realize how well we can make it on cloudy days with some minimum planning. I do need the Sense to recognize our Chevy Volt and our Tesla Model 3 on order.


Mark, I hope you don’t mind that I added a poll to the thread.


I use my 240V 50 amp circuit that I originally put in for my electric brewery control, along with a level 2 charging cord and a plug adapter I built myself. It would be great to see how much electricity I use to brew beer, ha, ha! To answer the queastion, I am not yet seeing Sense register the EV charging, although it has been only one week since I installed it.


240V 50 amp circuit, EVs, solar, and craft beer. That’s four things we have in common! Hope you brew a mean IPA! They seem to detect Tesla pretty well and claim they are working on LEAFs and Volts. They are pretty quick to declare that the unit is a long way from solving these EV energy signatures. I like their product and am in it for the long hall. I don’t really want to solve it with an additional CT clamp but would if that was the only option.


Hi there - add me. 7.6pkWh solar array and (as of yesterday) a Tesla Model 3. The Model 3 charging profile is just a big ~7.535 kW square wave - I’m able to see it on the timeline and measure the on/off times to get kWh. We’ll see if Sense recognizes it over time - but not a big deal for now; I can get the data I want to track.


Continuing the discussion from How many Sense users have both EVs and Solar Arrays?:

Not able to charge at home during the day but I do charge sometimes by work during the day.
2018 Honda Clarity PHEV
10.1 kW DC SunPower with micro inverters


We have a 7.7 kWp solar array and a 2017 Prius Prime (Advanced). Yes, it is a plug-in with only an 8.8 kWh battery, but we drive it daily on electricity only. This time of year, it gives about 30 miles/charge.

Both of us are retired, and prefer to charge it while the sun is shining.

We do a lot of over 300 mile drives, so most of the mileage is on carbon fuel, unfortunately. At 16k miles, overall fuel economy is in the low 80s.

Although realizing it is way down the list of priorities, still hoping Sense will eventually be able discern our vehicle’s charging signature!


In northeast Ohio we have net metering


We still have net metering here in NH, but the utilities have just negotiated a drop in the net credit…used to be 1:1 for both energy supply and distribution, now 100% for supply and 25% for distribution. The impact varies by utility, from about 2% to 20% less credit. There are also system size (quite large…doesn’t bother residential0 limits and caps on how much net metering each utility/area can produce…if you get in late, you may get zero.

In NH, as for so many other states, net metering is under attack by the utilities, less of an advantage all the time, and going away in the future…utilities HATE it.

Unfortunately, battery systems add a HUGE cost to the solar system…my 6.2 year payback would have become more than 11 years and I doubt I’d have done solar at all. The Tesla system to capture my daily excess solar production in peak months would have added a whopping $15,000 to my fairly modest system, none of which would have been covered by the federal and state rebates.


Don’t know if you get any electric miles directly from solar. The zappi charger that I added really helps maximize output. The unit cost around $700 which will pay for the difference in the first year. Had to have a level 2 charger anyway so only about $200 additional cost.


Nope, there is virtually nothing in this part of the world within range of an electric vehicle, so it’s not in our plans. For those in more electric vehicle friendly locations, I can see why solar (and Sense monitoring when they get it working) would be compelling.


We currently have a Chevy Volt and have a Tesla Model 3 on order. The 2016 Volt would give you 50 miles of daily range six months out of the year and 25-40 the other six before it switched to gas. It is a great transition vehicle to the full on BEV and you can buy them used for 10K-15K now MY2013. We have a used car dealer in our small town of 6000 that has sold over 30 used. You either lug an ICE generator or a big battery at this point. Volt drivers do 97% of their “trips” on electric yet only 70% of their miles. This is due to the long trips that you describe and cold weather. The Volt handles better in the snow than any vehicle short of 4-wheel drive. I am in NC, but my brother drives one in NY. The other issue is heating the cabin. With the ICE being 20% efficient, heat is a great bi-product. So 2013 Volts forward, you just start out on gas with a push of a button and convert to electric once the cabin is warm. You have to do two things to make electric work. Drive the miles and keep the car. At 100 MPGe, it is pretty easy to see that if you drive 15,000 miles per year and keep it 8 years, and paid 15K, you practically drove it for free is money savings. According to the American Chemical Society (not GM), a well thermal managed battery will last 20 years. So if you drive it for free, that’s pretty fiscally conservative. With the Volts serial drive train, you can always drive it 100% electric up to 100 mph or drive it like a gas car. No running out of fuel. 90% of charging happens at home and you can do it on a plain 110V outlet and be ready to go in 8-10 hours the time that you sleep. Speaking from experience, I have 60,000 miles on a 110V outlet. So less time fueling than you do now. You fuel about once a season or once a month at best. No more standing in the cold at the pumps, entering your zip code, and answering no I don’t want a car wash. I now have a 220V in preparation for the Model 3. Norway and the Netherlands are the large EV adopters at this point so as cold as NH. So don’t let infrastructure hold you back from saving money. You won’t ever use it.