Installation help; two parallel main panels

installation
technicalsupport

#1

I have single phase 200 amp service with two parallel main panels. I want the Senses CT sensors around the wires that feed both panels; Rather than purchasing a second Sense unit.

The fed wires disappear into conduits at the bottom corners of panels ( see picture ) and lead to the meter. Good news is that right behind the panels on the exterior wall is the meter ( see picture), but it’s sealed and I need the utility to come and open it and place the senses CT sensors around the feeding phases.

Can the sense be installed this way?

The Sense uses 240v. Does that voltage need to come from the panel the CT sensors are installed in? Because that will be an issue for me. Being that I have to parallel panels.

Have any of you dealt with this setup at your home?

Have any of you dealt with this setup at your home? How is it working for you?


When will 2 sense device work together
#2

Anyone?


#3

No idea, but I don’t see why wouldn’t work. You will be putting the CTs on after the meter, correct?


#4

Yes just after the meter; just before the two service mains split into the breaker panels


#5

Which neutral bar will you tie the Sense meter to?


#6

Which neutral bar will you tie the Sense meter to?.. I didn’t think about that. I guess whichever panel i decide to pull the 240 from.

So I called the utility Co and they said it will cost over $400 to have them come out and do a disconnect at the transformer and then open my meter to put the CT sensors around the mains. What a joke. I’m pissed.

Looks like I have to purchase a second Sense unit.


#7

Yup - way cheaper!


#8

So, using two Sense accounts. I’m gonna have to log out of one and log into the other to get data. And of course get push notifications from whatever account I’m logged into at the moment.

Does anyone know how long it will be till two Sense monitors can be joined under one account?


#9

I ordered my second monitor this morning. I hope the Sense team is working on the ability to join two or more monitors under one account.


#10

@jmbetcourt, unfortunately I don’t have a specific timeline for multi-monitor functionality quite yet but it is something that we plan to tackle in the new year.


#11

Really enjoying having double sense monitors installed. Can barely wait for the ability to joint them both under one account.


#12

I didn’t realize I had Parallel Pannels until I went to install sense. Lucky for me the split to the boxes was in a box below my two pannels. So I installed a breaker and the sense in one of the boxes, and put the clamps on the main lines coming in before they split to the boxes. Everything seems to be working fine.

I can see a change when I turn stuff on and off from both boxes.


#13

A suggestion for Sense developers to consider for parallel panels:

Develop a software toggle at installation or something on your back-end that could allow the user to buy the solar version (or add the extra set of solar CT’s) and use them for panel #2 (with the “mains” CT’s on panel #1)


#14

You have some interesting features there. I note the heavy copper (not aluminum) incoming wires that your CT’s are clamped onto. Your panel also appears to have copper busbars and lots of room for future breakers. I also see what look like a pair of lightning arrestors on the left side of the open panel (those foil labeled cylindrical things). Some consideration seems to have been put into your home’s electrical system.


#15

It’s very well made!


#16

To revisit this topic a bit, I have two panels as well, but the split happens on the outside, by the smart meter. I can get into that box just fine, and here’s what I was thinking:

  • Run the sense connected via a 15A MCB with alligator clips to the main line for power. Ground going to a ground located there and the CT’s would go around the main incoming lines.

Aside from the obvious danger of electrical shock by messing with the main lines at all, does anyone see any problem with that setup? The sense would rest outside of the home in a weather-proof electrical box. The temperature where I live rarely gets below freezing, but I see the operating temp range of the Sense is 0 - 50 Celsius. It’ll be in range of my wifi just fine and I would presume with some measure of doubt that the operating temperature of the Sense would keep it above freezing.

Worst case, I could move the sense inside the garage and splice it into a an electrical outlet there to keep the temperature more within spec, but I’d rather not do this (much more hassle).

Any ideas or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


#17

It should be fine I would think.


#18

Thanks for the vote of confidence! :slight_smile: Just waiting on my MCB to arrive then I can post-back on if this works or not.


#19

I posted a photo of my pre-meter install here. I had success but have easier environmental conditions than you have.

  • My service cabinet has co-resident WiFi access point
  • NorCal weather plus service cabinet protection for meter location
  • 400A service but never real usage above 160-180A

#20

I read a post by costa that he put two sets of current transformers into one sense unit by wiring them he said in “series” but I thin he meant in parallel. I sent a message to him but now don’t know how to find his original post on May 21st according to the screen shot I made.