Maybe this should be a product wishlist suggestion, but I’m wondering if Sense is weather aware. Or temperature aware anyway. Many electrical devices run in some proportion to the outside temperature. For instance the inducer motor on a furnace, electric floor warming, heat tape for freeze protection, and furnace blowers. I’ve done linear regression analysis of my daily gas usage using heating degree days from degreedays.net. Using this analysis I was able to see changes to the way that my house uses energy after making energy efficiency improvements such as air sealing and insulating. It might help Sense interpret the devices it finds if the machine learning had this data available as well.
This is a neat idea!
This is where expanding integrations comes in. Having both Ecobee and several SmartThings devices - including temperature sensors both inside and out, I can see the benefits of this sort of thing. Not just on a small, single home scale, but neighborhood, city, etc. You’re basically collecting your home’s “caloric intake” on a real time basis, without any real understanding of what’s driving those expenditures. I can see this comment fitting under “Meta” as well
One of my ultimate goals is to be able to pair Sense, through SmartThings, to my Ecobee to help drive HVAC decisions like when is the best time to turn on the AC or heat during the day. Then my wife reminds me it’s cold in the house and our newborn doesn’t really care if it’s sunny out or not
Collecting the Heating Degree Days for each building should make the data even more useful, but I think just the data feed from degreedays.net would help inform the identification of devices. I keep my thermostat setpoint constant so the HDD’s from degreedays.net worked pretty well. There is a really good article on the degreedays site that talks about how to do the analysis. In the end you come up with a therms per degree day relationship. Much like you can use MPG to figure out how much fuel you are likely to use on a trip you can predict how many therms it will take to keep the house warm given the outside temperature. If Sense calculated a kWh/HDD for each device and then calculated some statistics on that data set they may be able to determine that the device is weather sensitive. That would have to help with assigning usage to a device.
I have a boiler pump that Sense has identified. It’s usage is tracked until it gets really cold at which point it just stays on 24/7. Then no usage shows up in Sense even though the total usage seems to reflect it’s average wattage. Maybe it’s this plateau that needs to be accounted for… A kWh/HDD does imply a limit. It can only use so much an hour. Maybe this limit is what is causing my pump to disappear. Maybe it’s included in always on? Anyone else have any devices that disappear when left on for longer periods of time than normal?
Long Running Devices
Yes, this would be awesome. My Trane heat pump has 5 stages of heat (2 independent compressors, and 3 electrical “AUX” heating elements) and 2 stages of cooling. The thermostat shows the duration of of stage on a Monthly or Daily scale (those are the only 2 choices unfortunately) as well as the average indoor and outdoor temps.
My power company online access also gives me a graph that shows kWh usage relative the temperature:
After almost 2 months, sense has still not properly figured out my heat pump, but hopefully that will come. So yeah, if sense could incorporate weather data (and learn all the stages of my heat pump), I could begin to tie all this together and look at how I could make my heating (and cooling) more efficient.
Maybe Sense should allow us to specify which already learned devices are currently on in the “Always On” or unknown category.
Hi all -
“Weather awareness” is definitely something in our roadmap and that we are looking into details of. Even more specifically, we are very much interested in doing direct integrations with popular smart thermostats like Nest and Ecobee. I can’t offer any dates for the time being, but please know its in our radar. And we certainly appreciate the enthusiasm and ideas, so keep them coming!
For your specific boiler pump point @vdblu1 - because it sometimes stays on 24/7 my guess is it is getting ‘lost’ by Sense in the signals and included in the Always On. This is helpful data to our data science team though that I will pass on. Certainly as Sense becomes better at weather awareness, it would help it realize the shift to being on more often (or all the time).