Installation help; two parallel main panels

installation
technicalsupport
#21

Hi,

If you’re still around, I have a question for you. I’m not an electrician, but I do understand things a bit. My problem seems similar to yours. Here’s my set up (installed by previous owner):

I didn’t quite realize that the sub panels are running in parallel and I had an electrician install the Sense in the big panel that you see. The other sub-panels are elsewhere in the house with the shutoffs next to the large panel. Because I have that run under the large panel and the subpanel shut offs, can I move the clamps down there around the main before the split and then keep the Sense powered from within that larger panel? I’d get an electrician to come back to do that if it would work. My only worry is if there is some reason that running the Sense off of only one panel will affect whether it can detect devices that are connected to the other sub panels. Would love any help!

Jeff

#22

Welcome to the forum, Jeff. For specific compatibility questions like yours, I would suggest reaching out to Support. https://sense.com/contact

#23

For anyone curious, I did get an electrician to come back and get this to work. He popped the panel on the trough below the larger panel and connected the clamps to the mains before they split to the subs. So now the sense is reading all electric usage in the house! Success!

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#24

That’s great! I believe I misunderstood your panel setup. I thought you were saying that the subpanels were in parallel to the main panel (which wouldn’t make them subs) rather than parallel to each other. Thought it was some configuration I had never heard of, thus why I sent you over to Support! Glad it was a simple fix.

#25

Actually, they are parallel to the “main” panel. My set up is that there is a single main line coming out of the meter into the trough at the bottom of the picture. Then it is split into 4 parallel runs. One goes to the panel in the picture, and three others go to other panels throughout the house. So, really, there is no ‘main’ panel. I have the clamps on the single line that is BEFORE the branching occurs (right off the line coming out of the meter). So yes, these are all in parallel, but because I’m reading the main before it parallelizes (not sure that’s a real word!), it seems to work. I’m reading everything correctly and the app seems to be happy with the setup.

#26

Ah, ok. Yeah that’s not a configuration I’m familiar with! But that’s why I’m the Community Manager and not Support :grinning:

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#27

That’s exactly how I hooked mine up in the picture above. Still going strong. No problems!

#28

Yes please! I’ll also be looking for the unification feature to join three senses under a single account.

#29

I have been waiting to be able to combine 2 sense units into one DISPLAY. I’m not interested in exporting and combining, I just want to see on one application the results from my home, shop and separate panel for office/well pump/furnace. It’s now late March 2019. I’ll read theses posts and when the improvements are available I buy the necessary equipment or at the end of the year my unit will be available for a penny-on-the-dollar price. Thank you.

#30

What’s your setup @dave4?
Is it two panels you are monitoring at the same location? If so, how many electric meter set by the power company do you have?
What I’m getting at is you may be able to monitor two panels from one sense. I know it’s rated for 200 amps but I’ve read where others have done it without issue.

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#31

Hi Sam,

I will draw the layout of my system and send it to you right after dinner (lunch if you are on the coast).

Some details – One meter for power from Electric company

One meter from Solar. Net metering.

The sense is on the main panel in my shop.

There is no sense in the house – 75 feet away.

There is a Generac auto-switch connected to the main house panel and a feed to the shop where it goes to a panel controlling the well pump, office, and gas furnace.

So when the power goes off the house can remain livable and office housing all computer/internet equipment stays workable including heat.

House 200A (guess), Shop 200A (guess), Generac 11kw.

I’ll draw it out and email it.

Thank you very much your response.

Dave

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#32

Your First question – one panel is 100 feet from other one – same wifi available both places.

I think I’ll have to have another sense in the house.

However, it would be nice to use the shop sense to monitor the feed for the well, office, etc.

I have a set of “solar” connections and they work to see total draw from the smaller panel but don’t recognize separate things connected to it.

Dave

#33

Here is sketch

(Attachment Dunlavy-layout.pdf is missing)

#34

@dave4
I see your setup and the difficulty involved. I’m assuming at the pole that you have 2 meters, one for solar and one for grid power. If that’s the case then I’m wondering if sense could be installed there instead. You’d have to enlist the help of the power company because the tamper tag would need replaced and you wouldn’t want to mess with power directly at the meter. Placing the sense CT’s directly after the meter where the lugs are would be possible to monitor both of your panels. As for what sense would do at those distances with detection is something I don’t know about.
There was a picture on here where someone had a similar setup but had a picture of their meter service panel. I ha ent been able to locate it again but if I do, I’ll give you the link.
Maybe @kevin1 or @pswired would know if sense would be effective at those distances. It all depends on how your meter is wired and if you can get the clamps around the wires feeding the house and the shop.

#35

For anyone interested, I did get Sense installed outside at the main panel, and it works!

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#36

Great, this picture could be very useful for others with 2 panels that are having trouble getting them both monitored. There is another thread where people share their setup that this would be an excellent candidate for.
The only thing I would suggest differently is to place the Sense monitor inside, through the conduit into another panel or on the wall. That way, reception would t be an issue and you would ha e access easily.