Life with Sense

Hello All

It has been a few weeks now since I installed sense. I have been hunting down different energy wasters and have been taking steps through my Home Automation and the use of smart plugs to build more intelligent timing on several energy users. A couple of examples are two entertainment systems that are now shut off rather than keeping them in stand by, a network storage drive that shuts down at night when we are asleep, a bathroom bidet toilet seat that shuts down at night, but starts backup with a motion sensor should someone getup in the middle of the night and an air cleaner (not a smart device), that I outfitted with a fingerbot to turn on and off at night.
Since sense has yet to identify most of our major appliances (which I am really disappointed about and seems to be a common theme of many posts) I am seeing patterns that I cannot identify that might be compressors from refrigerator/freezers cycling. During the early morning hours, when energy usage is very low, and the usage is very smooth, I am seeing the pattern as shown in the following screenshot. Does this seem familiar to anyone?

1 Like

One comment and one question.

  • The on transition for the device causing the cycles is very long, well beyond the limit of Sense AI’s current “sight”. The off transition might be too long as well since you’re not seeing power value tags on it. Bottom line is that it is an electronic ramp-up and off of something, not a device with a simple on/off cycle, maybe a charger or an inverter powered device. More info on why Sense AI might not be “seeing” it here:
    What to Expect When you are Expecting (Detections) - Sense Blog
    Figuring this one out might call for a “roaming smart plug” (if a plug-in device) or a trip to your breaker box with Sense app in hand to see which breaker makes it disappear.

  • How big is your Always On bubble ? Looks like it could be 300W of that 377W.

Thanks for the information. The always on is around 309 watts on average.

I had purchased some more KASA smart plugs :electric_plug:. I got some of the newer KP125M plugs and did not realize that while sense does support the KP125 plug it does not support the matter version of the plug. They still work with my home assistant setup, and hopefully future versions of Sense will support many other plugs and manufacturers like Meross and Sonoff.

1 Like

Two thoughts.

  • You have a substantial amount of energy going to Always On. It you are really trying to dial things down, then it’s probably a good idea to itemize the device level Always On contributing to the 307W. That’s where a Roamer Sense-compatible smart plug could help fill in the blanks, though you could do similar with Home Assistant.

  • Given how painfully fragmented and often undocumented most smart plug access protocols are, I would bet on Matter support from Sense, ahead of any any other legacy smart plug protocols. Too many other brands out there, each with their own approach.

ps: Sense also supports Wiser/SquareD/Schneider smart devices in the context of the Wiser ecosystem and green version of the monitor, but that’s an expected part and parcel of Sense’s partnership with Wiser for smart panels.

Thanks, I have itemized the always on items. Since Sense has yet to identify my Fridge/Freezer and stand alone freezer, the number is still high. Like many I have a number of electronics running, but all tolled it might be 40 watts. I am struggling to identify the other items that might be causing the always on, until sense identifies the two major appliances and I can eliminate those.

Put the Fridge/Freezer and standalone freezer on a roaming smart plug (if physically accessible) for 48 hours and you will know the Always On for each of those. Unless I’m missing something here ?

Not missing anything, other than I am waiting for some more smart plugs to arrive to do that. All my other smart plugs I actually use to sequence things on and off through my Home Assistant.
I guess the annoying thing is that I really should not have to put them on smart plugs if Sense identified them as I expected them to. I would expect that in 2 weeks that both the refrigerator and stand alone freezer would have easily been identified by sense, as I would expect that the compressor states would be easily recognized.

1 Like

If the fridge and freezer have old fashion AC on/off compressors, I would agree. If they are inverter-based units, then I would disagree. States aren’t so clear with an inverter powered DC motor.

ps: it looks like you have a lot of very dense 10W or so noise baked into your usage. That can help obscure 50W on/offs.

The stand alone freezer is 11 years old and pretty basic. The fridge is new within the past 4 months. Our fridge, washer and dryer are all LG and are internet connected with power monitoring available through their LG Thin Q application. The fridge is an inverter type for sure.
I have many electronics running constantly including Internet range extenders, powered cameras always on USB devices and hubs for many electronics. I expect this will be causing much of the 10 watt variations.

1 Like

As I was doing some other stuff today, I happened to take a look into the Community Device Library and spotted an old-school standalone deep freeze that Sense did learn and detect using Sense AI.

So Sense can detect them. Your situation might be a matter of household usage noise or could it be a weird ramp that doesn’t fit the model.