Issue with Generator Sensing with non-ATS Generators

One suggestion as a hack to be able to monitor your generator as drawn in the diagram is to hook up the probes as shown, but leave the generator probes unplugged from Sense. When you switch to generator, unplug the main probes and plug the generator probes into the same port. That will let you see how much power you are consuming while running the generator. Sense will think that the 2nd set of probes are the main probes and not even realize you are running on the generator.

@gbertocci Thanks for the suggestion. This idea would work for me because I mounted my SENSE monitor external to my breaker panel. Other users would have to remove their panel cover to make this change. I am guessing that the switch would have to occur when no electricity is flowing through the clamps and the power is off to the SENSE monitor. I’m not certain other users would feel comfortable opening up their panel to make this switch, but still - it’s a good suggestion.

My History: I have had a SENSE monitor installed for almost 3 years. I already have plenty of history on my appliance loads. When I need to run my emergency portable generator, I am not concerned about how much power any particular appliance is using. What I am more interested in seeing is how much power my generator is supplying. My goal was to monitor total input power so that I do not overload my generator.

Request to SENSE software team: Please consider writing additional code that allows the SENSE monitor to meter the wattage input from a portable home generator without an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch). Thanks

@capngeo I am considering purchasing a local meter and installing it at my panel to monitor my generator during emergencies. Do you have any experience with this product? I would need 2 units - one for each leg (or phase).

Dcdyer,
Like you, my SENSE is exterior to my panel; I’m wondering if (until Sense gets software written to address the matter) a simple rotary switch 4PDT could bring the separate CTs to the “Mains” port?? I’m still stuck with the conundrum of why the Flex CTs won’t read the generator even when in the main port, yet the main CTs read in either. In my most recent correspondence with support, they claim the differences in the CTs are only cosmetic. This doesn’t wash with the observations.

I have no experience with the Amazon panel, but at their price-point, I wouldn’t mind taking the risk to try them (not to mention Amazon is very good about taking things back)

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On Jul 27, 2020, at 3:32 PM, Dcdyer via Sense <sense@discoursemail.com> wrote:

Dcdyer
July 27

@gbertocci Thanks for the suggestion. This idea would work for me because I mounted my SENSE monitor external to my breaker panel. Other users would have to remove their panel cover to make this change. I am guessing that the switch would have to occur when no electricity is flowing through the clamps and the power is off to the SENSE monitor. I’m not certain other users would feel comfortable opening up their panel to make this switch, but still - it’s a good suggestion.

My History: I have had a SENSE monitor installed for almost 3 years. I already have plenty of history on my appliance loads. When I need to run my emergency portable generator, I am not concerned about how much power any particular appliance is using. What I am more interested in seeing is how much power my generator is supplying. My goal was to monitor total input power so that I do not overload my generator.

Request to SENSE software team: Please consider writing additional code that allows the SENSE monitor to meter the wattage input from a portable home generator without an ATS (Automatic Transfer Switch). Thanks

@capngeo I am considering purchasing a local meter and installing it at my panel to monitor my generator during emergencies. Do you have any experience with this product? I would need 2 units - one for each leg (or phase).

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CrocSee AC 80-260V 100A CRS-022B LCD Display Digital Current Voltage Power…

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In Reply To

| gbertocci
July 27 |

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One suggestion as a hack to be able to monitor your generator as drawn in the diagram is to hook up the probes as shown, but leave the generator probes unplugged from Sense. When you switch to generator, unplug the main probes and plug the generator probes into the same port. That will let you see …


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@Dcdyer Thanks to everyone for the feedback here, I’m going to move this to a public thread. We’re going to update the installation guide with the feedback provided from this thread. Regarding non-ATS generator compatibility - it’s not on our short-term roadmap, but I do encourage folks who would like to see this to continue upvoting this thread and sharing feedback. As with our product wishlist threads, we’d love to see how many folks here would like to see this added in the future.
That being said, we do hope to build on this integration moving forward.

My Sense is also outside the panel, way too crowded to fit inside and also makes connecting to a second generator panel easier. I don’t think there is any concern about unplugging and reconnecting different sensors to the main Sense box while everything is still powered, as long as you are not reaching inside the breaker panel.:slight_smile:

The ammeter will work for sure, but it won’t broadcast to your phone. As long as you have internet and wifi with the generator Sense is more convenient since you can monitor generator load with your phone. I used to have an efergy system that I used exactly as you noted, to monitor power consumption with the generator. I would swap the probes when I powered up the generator, It had a small battery LCD display that sat on the kitchen counter that would show power. efergy was all battery powered so it worked just fine during a power outage.

If the power outage is local to our neighborhood block, then using the SENSE flex clamps would be ideal.

If it is a city-wide outage (power is off to the internet provider servers due to a hurricane), then maybe the local ammeter might be a better solution. @gbertocci You are correct, if there is no internet, then there are no SENSE readings available to the phone.

@capngeo I agree with your comments.

Dcdyer,
Shouldn’t the SENSE work when on the same (local) wifi even when the internet is down?

If you have working house power (generator or battery), but the internet is down, Sense will collect the data, up to its buffer limit, but you won’t see the new data collected during the outage in the app or web app until you can connect back up with the Sense mothership. The app doesn’t talk to the local monitor directly, except during setup or network test.

A post was split to a new topic: Survey: Does your home Generator have an Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS)?

So, yet another weekend with my nose buried in the spaghetti of my panel. I have support scheduled to “LOOK” at my generator from their end tomorrow morning. I have been able to spoof the SENSE into reading the generator by plugging the Flex CTs into the mains port. Today I fired up the genny in anticipation of tomorrow’s support event, it took the load, and WTF??? SENSE is now reading the genny!

The Flex CTs are the second set they sent me, in the center port, and are on the wires backwards from the instructions. BUT it’s working so the decals don’t bother me much. The display has my HVAC in the “other” bubble, and only is recognizing one device (Fridge), but clearly shows the load on the genny, which is all I ever really wanted.

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Can you please post a picture of your breaker panel wiring or post a diagram on how you made it work. Thanks

UGH, the panel is spaghetti and hard to follow.

Here’s my best description: I have a generator interlock which forces the main breaker off before the generator breaker is able to close, back feeding the buss. The generator breaker (double pole) is fed by an inlet box near the generator. There is a 10/4 SOOM cord with L14-30 connectors which plug into the genny panel and the inlet box bringing 2x hot, neutral and ground from genny to breaker. I installed the flex cables decal facing genny. NOTE: I have tried this config before without success. It only seemed to start working after spoofing the SENSE by plugging the Flex into the mains port. Since putting the flex back to the center port, they read the generator and several (but not all) devices while on generator power.

Hi everyone. Sit tight on a solution for this for a few, please. There was some experimentation done on our end to get this to work for @capngeo. Replicating his set-up / configuration will not get this to work for you right now. I will have an update this week on what we’d like folks without an ATS to do.

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@JustinAtSense Let me know if you want me to switch the load to the generator. I can do it at any time, but really need to be going off to work soon.

@capngeo We don’t need you to do anything on your end. We’re set.

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Thanks for the patience here, everyone.
Please reach out to support@sense.com if you have a generator without an ATS that you are trying to monitor.

As a note, there are several potential issues that could arise from the adjustments we have to make on our end that support will notify you of prior to making any changes.

Justin,
Is there any progress to change the way generator monitoring for those with an ATS? We need the power consumed on the main panel and the ATS panel displayed simultaneously just like Solar. Having only one or the other displayed is not particularly helpful since one is unable to ensure that the loading is correct before a power outage.

I need to use Solar mode to make the feature useful even though this is a bit of a hack.

Thanks

Hi @gbertocci.
For users without an ATS, our Support team is able to make several adjustments on our end to get it to work for this group of community users as they write in. With no additional Dev work required to make this change, we were able to roll out a solution rather quickly with our Support team taking the lead

There is nothing like you have mentioned on the immediate roadmap, but if it is something you would like to see in the future i recommend creating a post in the Product Wishlist community subcategory with this request.

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