How well does sense detect various Heat Pumps?

Right, I can never expect sense to detect my ground source heat pump system, because it has so many moving motors, and speeds of operation of each motor. As this is a big component of my usage, winter and summer, this basically cripples Sense for ever as far as I can tell.

Note that you can repurpose the second set of Sense monitoring plugs using a feature called “Dedicated Circuit Monitoring”. I do this for my heat pump (a very efficient unit that has entirely unpredictable behavior from a Sense perspective). This monitoring works excellently for me.

See this forum post that gives some explanation of this feature.

Before they introduced this feature, I had essentially all of my “always on” devices on smart plugs (thereby tracking their usage), and all of my other commonly used devices were well detected by Sense… leaving the “other” category almost exclusively this one device. So, I could track it as essentially “Other”… I know this won’t work for many people, but it’s something to keep in mind if you are able to get most of your other usage tracked (though the dedicated circuit monitoring is far superior).

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Now all Sense needs to do is to provide a solution (or workaround) for all of us who partially bought Sense because we DO have solar and need to monitor one or more 240v systems also. This is still missing after multiple years.

There are workarounds. But they all cost as much or more than an additional Sense unit.

I’ve been at this for several years now and I haven’t seen any alternatives other than using the Sense solar system probes, so I’m very curious about other options. A second Sense still doesn’t detect more than two 240 circuits (I need at least 5 and could use 9) and AFIK doesn’t report thru the primary Sense, leaving scattered data.

For my impossible to detect 120v loads, I’ve used the Kasa HS110 (around $20), KP 115 ($10-$20), etc with great success. And while these do become costly if you need lots of them, they certainly don’t “cost as much or more than an additional Sense unit”.

What’s needed is a 240v module, suitable for “wiring in” (terminals or wires for connect) that communicates like the Kasa plugs. That shouldn’t be all that expensive (European versions…240v…of the Kasa plugs sold for not that much more than the US versions), but of course should have higher current ratings for the kinds of devices we here in the US need to monitor.

If you have solutions, that work with Sense and are legal here in the US, PLEASE share that or point us to the right threads/web sites.

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I feel your pain - been trying to work through the same issues as you. What I have done today for a workaround has been to make Home Assistant my top-level energy monitoring system. I still use some natural gas (furnaces and hot water), so I really need some place other than Sense to bring it all together. With Home Assistant, you could pull Sense data for aggregate usage and device usage, plus add something like Shelly energy monitors with MQTT for watching those nine 240V loads. And if you really wanted it all in Sense, you could send the data back to Sense via the interface. Right now, I don’t use Shellys, but do blend in data from my 2 240V EV chargers, and use the Ecobee integration to make sure Sense is detecting my AC compressors reliably.

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Huge thanks, now I have some places to look. I really appreciate your info.

When I built my geothermal solar home about a dozen years ago, I installed WELserver throughout, which monitors just about every on/off, temperatures throughout the house and in about 20 points in the geothermal, house power consumption, and solar generation…pretty complete but lacking any monitoring for device by device power drain.

So, when I saw Sense on This Old House (I fussed at Ross for his severe oversell), I went out and bought it. Big mistake. Of my 177 devices, I get some results on about a dozen and those not very reliably, plus a bunch monitored thru KASA. Sense engineering did provide some assistance but eventually gave up and said “your constant pressure deep well pump (key art of the geothermal and provides domestic water) is non-detectable by Sense’s algorithms, and is so noisy that it interferes with Sense working properly with other devices it might normally find”.

So, after all that I still do not have the device by device monitoring I was seeking. What I do have is two systems (three including the power company meters) that monitor utility draw and solar generation, plus a very few other devices.

Here are a few pointers on Home Assistant used for whole home energy monitoring.

Getting started - all you need is a Raspberry Pi, Old PC or Linux server with containers. I use an old Intel NUC with the Home Assistant Operating System

The new Home Assistant Energy Management Capabilities (very new)

The Sense integration

Using a Shelly with Home Assistant

SenseLink - To send Home Assistant energy data back to Sense

Many thanks. I have about a dozen old PC’s and servers, some of which I designed and built myself…my career was computer engineering. I’ll definitely give this a look.

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well, it has been three more years and my Sense box has never found my mini-splits. Out of the 40 some devices found only about 60% are identified correctly. Now I just use my Sense box to show me total power usage for the house.

These new alerts that I’ve been getting on the percentage of usage are completely wrong. I’m wondering if I do a complete reset and start over from scratch would that be a good thing???

I have probably a notoriously difficult mini-split scenario (Mitsubishi NAXMMX42A152AA outdoor unit and five indoor units (two different capacities1x24 and 4x6) connected to it. Still, Sense detected a “heat pump” and it shows in the timeline from the first day after install. However, I am still not sure if it really detects the entire system. All six parts are variable speed, of course and all indoor units go on at different times and some are mostly off (e.g. unused guest rooms). What should ease the detection is the fact that this is the only 240V system in my house (except the solar system and the sense unit), so one would think that a 100% correlation between the two phases should aid in detection. I’ll keep a watch on it.