Let's see your setup


#1

I didn’t see this anywhere else, so I thought I’d share… a lot of installs here I’m sure are done by owner/friend, even though there is risk of injury… and given that this forum is closed to the public, maybe this would at least help others if current owners are advising or helping with new installs…

I have a Square D Homeline SC3042M200PF PowerCenter…

here you can see my CT placements, they fit very nicely in the box and even though this center uses bus bars, the CTs worked just as they should… now, you don’t see my Sense Monitor… that’s tucked away in the compartment below my meter…

here is the overview… with my SunPower Monitor and sub Panel for the PV system… you can see my Sense WiFi antenna coming out the bottom of the PowerCenter… and…

my Sense Monitor tucked neatly in the compartment and out of the way… using the internal cable passages to get CT cabling and power from the main breaker compartment to the Sense Monitor…

like I said, I’m just sharing in hopes to help someone else with their setup… I didn’t do the wiring in this box, its a very nice job and kudos to the contractor that did it when my home was rebuilt from fire destruction… I bought the home 1yr after rebuild, so my handy work is the sense install, and the whole house surge protector I installed this morning… enjoy…

I am NOT an electrician… so if there is something wrong, please let me know… so far, the sense has been doing its job, and finally getting my first electric bill after the PV install, 35-days $1.58 in charges in the dead of winter, the PV is doing its job… woohoo…

and let’s see your setups…


CT inductive clamps and placement
Power Use Not Showing Up
#2

HiTechRedNeck - by no means is this meant to criticize, as you can tell from my questions/comments, I’m not an electrician either, not even related to one!! I’m curious, obviously, it’s outside somewhere right ?

My first thought when I saw your post was questioning the overall location of the Sense Unit. I haven’t checked the specs, but just by the look of the sense unit that I have, I don’t think it’s really designed to be “weather resistant” are they ? Even though you have it tucked inside the metal box, I’d be concerned about extra humidity, rain, damp weather, bugs/spiders (maybe not as much bugs) impacting the unit. Unless the box is more weather sealed than it looks. And even a more concerning question that I liked to know, or ask is about the breaker box itself.

Do you live somewhere where its usually very dry?? Even so, I can’t imagine this being even reasonably safe being outside like that (I’m not big into following the rules, but is that even up to code ? What about possible shorts/electrical fires?) Maybe it’s designed to be like that, but just from the pictures posted here, it doesn’t look like it seals up to be basically air/tight and water proof, or is it ?

Even if it seals up to be weatherproof - if a breaker trips, let’s say due to heavy rain, or something, do you actually have to go outside and OPEN THIS BOX TO RESET BREAKERS ?? IN THE RAIN ? Personally there is not way I would want to be going outside, standing on wet ground, or near any puddle of water and having touch the box, let alone open it up !

Other than that, yeah, wow… very clean setup ! Put the old box in my garage to shame !

Stay safe !


#3

@matt.rantala I do appreciate the concern… I’m in the central valley, california… basically a dessert… not much for humidity… with the exception to the past 2 days and for the next 3-4 days, we don’t get below freezing… our highs are 105-108 in the summer… given the Sense Monitor specs: Tech Specs… specs are 32-140 F degrees…

as for code, its standard practice (here anyway) to put main panels on the homes outside wall… the panels are not weatherized like an A/C unit, but they are built to keep the inside dry… think of it like flashing, its not about sealing the box, its about controlling the flow of water around the box… so I have no concern of water getting to the Sense Monitor… per the specs linked above, the Sense can withstand <90% humidity… example: the compartment where the Sense is, cover slips underneath cover above it and a single screw secures it at the bottom-center of compartment…

as for standing in the rain, trying to reset breakers… that could happen, but thankfully in the last decade I can count on one hand how many times I’ve had to reset a breaker, and I don’t recall ever having to do it in the rain… but as you say, I’d think twice before doing it… lol…

and, bugs are the fun part, lol… nothing like opening a box up and finding the worlds largest black widow, lol…


#4

Hey HiTech… thanks for responding, and the good information (hope my message doesn’t hijack your topic). Seems like a foolish question on my part now, but, who knows, maybe get someone else thinking about placement of their SENSE + external conditions, etc. Alright, yeah, California - you’d be more concerned about wildfires and hi temps, rather than the rain that seems far and few between. I guess the way the weather has been lately, we never know what any of us will have from one week to the next. Interesting, you pointed out the temp specs for Sense. I’m guessing those #s have a large variable factor-at least on the low end- because here in WI, and for certain, in my garage, it gets well below 32 F. Maybe I can set it to slow my energy consumption for every degree under 32 ? lol… I wish. I know one thing - with a 100% certainty - I’d rather take my chances standing in a puddle and flippin’ a breaker outside in a thunderstorm, that I would having to deal with a Black Widow…!!! No Thanks ! LOL, Happy Holidays !


#5

@matt.rantala, you didn’t hijack anything… the topic was installation related and your comments were as well… it’s all about how it fits in your environment… and, I remember a proverb from my youth: the only dumb question, is the one that is never asked…

thankfully, I’m not in a wildfire area, but my area is the two extremes of CA… 25~108 F temps… not enough rain, Google Project Sunroof says I get 1900hrs of full sun per year… we’re testing that with my new PV system… 6.12kW system, estimated to generate around 1.1MWh/yr, which should eliminate my electric bill once I sock away some kWh credits… with Dec 21-22 being our winter solstice, my use in 35 days was only 106kWh more than what I generated… awesome considering they are just getting crazy with rules around here, lol…

anyway, lots of good stuff here… people asking the best questions… for me, Sense will aide my personal and professional goals… I’m not a contractor, but I’m an energy consultant… so I can monitor my own home and insure that I keep below my solar generation budget, and I can use my home as an example for others here to follow… so I can show “I practice what I preach” here regarding energy savings and efficiency…

happy holidays… enjoy…


#6

Those are the lowest and highest specs for component ratings in the monitor. We’ve had users exceed both ends without issue, but can’t really guarantee proper function beyond those points.

Here’s the full specs for outdoor, from our compatibility page. :

To install Sense outdoors, it must be enclosed inside an appropriate NEMA-rated enclosure, and adequately protected from the elements. Sense is compatible only in the following environmental conditions:

Relative humidity <90%; IPX0 rating, no water ingress
Temperature: 32-122ºF (0-50ºC)
Elevation < 9842’ (3,000m)


#7

Ryan -

I live in Wisconsin too an my panel is in an unheated garage…which is common in this area. The temperature often gets down to 32 F and sometimes stays well below 32 F for many days. What techniques have others used to make this work in this situation?

The network healthy and works. Right now my Sense is down. Is that because it’s about 09 F?

I didn’t notice or give a second thought about this unit not working in the cold when I bought it. This is kind of disappointing…

Steve


#8

Mine is subject to below zero all the time and doesn’t seem to cause issues. I can see it possibly changing accuracy slightly with temperature…?


#9

We do list all of these specs on the compatibility page and they’re in the installation guide.


#10

HITechRedNeck, Your setup looks clean. I think your white circuit breaker line should be tied into the neutral line bus bar on the left rather than on the unshielded ground bus bar on the right, but I am not an electrician either. Here is a photo of mine and as you can see my white line is also tied into the ground bar since I don’t have a neutral in my box.


#11

@gary.meyer yes, actually the neutral bus and ground bars are one in the same in this box… the large service neutral is connected to a huge lug on the neutral bus, and that has a bus bar running horizontal in the box and ties the neutrals & grounds all together in the box… I then have a 10ga ground running out the box and to (2) grounding rods…

I questioned it, just as you did… but upon advise from my dad (HVAC contractor of more years than I’ve been on this planet), and an electrician buddy, that’s the way they do it these days… they both said its a little better is its separate, but putting them together works also…

from the point of the Sense Monitor “detection” algorithms, I have no idea if this is better or not… its a bit above my pay grade, but I am trying to understand it… that’s one of my main pet peaves about Sense and why I posted the: Wifi signal & AC line quality to the Product Wishlist…

I feel that if the Sense Monitor was able to show/tell us what it sees as far as wifi signal & strength, as well as the AC line noise, we could make better installs and reduce some of the load that support has to deal with… I know that if Sense could tell me these things for my house, I would try to make it better… that’s why I put in the Whole House Surge Protector… since that install, I feel that my AC line is crisper… I see more sharp peaks and valley on the meter than I did before… it may not be the way to interpret that, but sounds cool… lol


#12

@gary.meyer looking at your pic, I see your excess CT cable is coiled… a CT clamp is essentially a coil of material, like an electromagnet… depending on shielding in cables, I’m curious if coiling like that will hurt any of the numbers… there is not much else to do with them unless you run them up the box and back down to use up the length… but you may want to ask support about coiling… I’m sure they’ve tried it in their own testing, and may have a better opinion/advice…