Issue with generator sensing

Greetings. Been searching but have not seen this come up. I was happy to see generator support for the Sense, so I order accessory CT clamps and an extension cable to take advantage of this.

My Setup

  • Generac 22kw generator
  • Generac ATS
  • Standard 200A 2 phase power
  • Single panel (No sub-panel or any load shedding configured as the Generator is large enough for the whole home)

From meter, mains goes into ATS and is fed from ATS to the main panel so when power is on, it is funneling through ATS and into the main panel. When the power goes out, the generator starts and load is transferred to using it and the main panel is energized.

Per the instructions, I put the CT’s on the lines in from the meter in the ATS with the house label oriented towards the power source.

The Issue
When I go to set up the generator in Settings->My Home->Connected Devices->Generator it has instructions to stand by the panel. I do so and it gets ready and then says start generator. What it does not say is if it just wants the generator started or if it wants load transferred. I found through experience that it wants the load transferred. So I go out and shut off the switch to disconnect the ATS from the meter and the generator starts and load is transferred. At this point, Sense detects the generator and all is well. The issue comes where I then transfer load back to the meter and the generator stops. The Sense app continues to report the generator is running even 5 mins after it has stopped. I should mention that previous to this I have done a factory reset that deletes all of my data, so I am starting out with a fresh account with nothing identified.

I am out of ideas as to what could be wrong with it not sensing the generator has stopped.

Would it be advantageous to try the CT’s on the generator lines into the ATS instead?

Hey @majorgearhead - just to confirm, this issue is stopping you from completing your generator installation?

@majorgearhead Can we take a look at your monitor data? Still recommend reaching out to support@sense.com so they can confirm. You can copy and paste your insights from here into your support request.

I reached out to support but have not heard anything yet. Don’t know if my data is too interesting as I factory reset the Sense after trying and failing to add the generator. Was waiting for support to come back and tell me if I was doing something wrong before trying to add again.

No it has not blocked generator install. That was previously installed. Just wanting to set up Sense monitoring for it.

Sorry I didn’t specify. Is the issue preventing you from completing your Generator with Sense installation? example: Are you able to see the Generator in Sense at all, or are you getting blocked in the set-up process?

Sorry about that. I can see the generator when I go through the setup. The issue is it always lists as on regardless of if it is running or not.

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@majorgearhead having our team look at monitor data just lets us make sure nothing’s out-of-the ordinary on our end. I’ll let you know what we see here, but keep an eye out for a response from Support.

Fantastic. Just to set expectation, the generator is not configured on the account at this time, since I did a factory reset. I can add it back to the account a little later today when it is a good point for me to actuate the generator and transfer load to it (as part of the setup process).

I just wanted to circle back around and share what I learned in working with support.

Within the manual, it states that you should put the accessory CT’s around the service lines coming into the ATS. It also goes on to state that if they don’t fit on the service lines, then you can put them on the generator lines. These instructions may be in error, and support is going to bring this up with the engineers who came up with the directions.

With the CT’s on the service line, they will detect nearly the same Voltage/wattage as the main panel CTs and will not catch when the generator is feeding those. When you move them to the generator lines, all works well, and the Sense can sense the generator is in use. From the point until my ATS transfers load for the house from utility to generator, Sense tracks that time. As soon as I transfer load back to the utility, it reports the generator as being off and gives the aggregate time it was on.

So a couple of takeaways from my experience.

  1. Always connect the accessory CT’s to the generator line instead of the main service lines
  2. When you set up a generator on the app, and it says to turn on your generator, at least for me with my Generac 22kw and ATS, I had to flip the utility switch on the ATS to simulate a power outage and then wait for the generator to come online.

My last takeaway was that support was excellent. Support helped me get generator support working with my Sense.

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Can someone fill me in on the benefit of sense generator monitoring in this situation? If the ATS is protecting the whole panel, what benefit do the separate generator CTs provide over just putting the main CTs on the ATS output? Notification of when the generator is running?

For now the benefit is to know when and how long the generator is running. I am told in the future there will be far more functionality. Support emailed me this:

The first and current iteration of the generator setup will only show you when the generator is supplying power to the house, for how long, but also will eventually track the same learned devices during those times. For the latter, you can eventually see how much power for a specific device is coming from the utility or the generator. Other functionalities are likely to be added as we see more houses in the community with them.

For me this offers a better solution than the Generac MobilLink notifications that are currently broken in their outdated app. With this info in the Sense app I can act and alert on it.

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@majorgearhead Love to hear this. We work with some awesome folks in the Support team who really try hard to resolve any issues that come up from users. Glad you’re up and running, your now our defacto community Generator expert :slight_smile:

I have found that using the Solar configuration to monitor the generator transfer panel is much more useful. That allows you to see the total power consumed at primary utility panel while simultaneously seeing the power at the transfer panel. This will let you know how much power the generator needs to provide before power goes out. You can determine if your generator is properly sized. Knowing how long your generator is running can easily be determined by seeing that the power at the main panel is zero during a power outage.

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