Sense Solar Illogical Consumption Values; Did I Install Wrong?

Hello! I’m a new Sense Solar user in Kentucky. I just got my solar setup activated this past week, and on Friday I installed Sense Solar. It completed the solar setup in the app, but I was seeing odd data so I submitted a support ticket. An hour or two later I got a reply that they had seen an issue in the data and made a configuration change. However, I still think it’s either incorrect or I misunderstand how to use the Meter page.

I see two values and lines on the Meter page. The lighter line and solar # seems to be correct, it’s maxed out at around 5.3KW through the middle of the day when there are no clouds, which matches the AC spec of my inverter. However, the Consumption values (number at the top right of the Meter page and the darker colored line on the graph) doesn’t make sense. It’s been partly cloudy today, with the solar generation fluctuating. When there is a change in the Solar graph, however, there is a corresponding change in the Consumption graph as well. It also appears that my consumption values are reading backwards; I have a light fixture that’s rated at 200W. When I turn it on, the consumption number drops by 189W. And when I turn it off, the Consumption number/graph rises by 189 W.

I’ve attached a screenshot where you can see the general mirroring of the Consumption and Solar numbers. At around 3:36 or so the water heater kicked on, and then turned off again at 3:40. That’s the huge drop to a negative value that you can see in the consumption graph.

My working theory is that the difference between the solar and consumption numbers are my actual consumption. I pointed all of this out in the support case, and I received a reply that they had looked at the data and that everything looked correct. Is this really how Sense is supposed to work?

I’m wondering if I installed my Sense wrong. My solar is connected through a backfeed breaker in the panel (like the left image on the install instructions at Install Guide : Sense Solar – so I put the solar CTs on the wiring between the inverter and the breaker, and the main CTs on the wiring between the main breaker and the panel. Due to the line in the instructions “The direction of the labels on the sensors should be facing towards the power source.” I pointed the labels on the solar CTs towards the solar inverter, and the labels on the main CTs toward the utility meter. Did I interpret this wrong? Do I need to flip the Solar CTs to point the label toward the panel and reset the device/go back through configuration?

Thanks for any suggestions and advice,

Edit: Just realized I forgot to attach the screenshot; adding it now.

@scott.spearman , Welcome to the forum. Two things to know.

  1. There are default conventions for installing Sense Solar in the install guide, including label directions, etc. But the installation check / configuration and solar calibration can detect and adjust to any mix of reversals. Unfortunately it sometimes gets those wrong and users end up with somewhat mirroring solar production, as you are seeing. Keep working with They have the ability to analyze and switch configurations manually until things are right. Your other option is to try reversing CTs to match your configuration, but that can be a little harder without all the diagnostics tools.

  2. One other helpful place to look is the real-time Signal display in the Sense web app under Settings > System, because it shows power info and polarity for each CT. One important note is that the Mains reflects Total Usage and isn’t really just the Mains CT. In the case of my solar install, the actual mains are set up to “see” my home’s Net Usage, so the Mains in the Signal section is really Net Usage + Solar Production for each leg. None of them should ever be negative.

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Hi Kevin, thanks for your input. I’m starting to feel like Sense just isn’t what I’m looking for. The marketing sure talks a good game, but actual functionality just isn’t working out for me.

After some more back-and-forth with support, they were finally able to get things configured in a way that looked correct on Monday. Consumption and generation looked reasonable, and the daily numbers matched what my utility meter is reporting. I thought we had things sorted out.

Then Friday evening a notification popped up in the app that there had been an issue with my install detected, and they were trying to correct it automatically. One of the two main values on the Signals page was back to reporting negative numbers overnight, and consumption started tracking solar production again.

Today the device itself has gone offline. I’ve tried restarting Sense, restarting my router, and have gone back through the wifi configuration. When it does the connection test it reports it failed, but the details show that it’s connected to my router OK, was able to get network time from the Sense time server OK, but can’t connect to the main Sense server. I checked and it’s showing no issues.

I’m going to give it a few hours and try again, but I have to admit that I’m getting exceptionally frustrated. At this point it doesn’t seem like it’s going to meet my needs, if it’s not going to deliver correct data or even stay connected…

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I can understand why you might be frustrated. I only have my 7 year personal experience as a Sense solar user to go on. I put in my first one (Solar) in 2017 and added a DCM-only Sense in 2019. The hardware on my 2017 unit went out sometime around 2020, and replaced it. By and large I have avoided the issue you are encountering, where a successfully configured system, suddenly becomes misconfigured (I think I had it happened once). But over the past year I have seen a few of these so-named “spontaneous bookings” happen to users on the forum. It’s interesting in that yours is the first case where the user has caught or reported the Notification about an install issue. That probably explains a little more about the trigger for “spontaneous borking”.

As for the networking issue, if you aren’t making it through the Connection Test (Settings > System > Connection Test), then I might push Sense support for a replacement.

Good luck.

Alright, well I managed to get it reconnected. Had to reset the AT&T gateway completely back to defaults and then reconfigure everything, but at least it’s reconnected now.

I’ve still got the incorrect data issue, but maybe it’ll figure out how to correct it eventually? I’m hesitant to ask support to try fix it, considering I did that last week and it still screwed up yesterday anyway…

In case it yields any increase in collective knowledge, here’s a screenshot from the app; the message showed up concurrent with the readings going incorrect again.

@scott.spearman ,
3 thoughts:

  1. Hard to tell cause and effect on this one from just this snapshot - whether Sense saw something off (maybe incorrectly) and decided to reconfigure and screwed up the configuration, or the configuration got borked by Sense and the monitor decided to reconfigure.
  2. It will be interesting to see the state it is in when configuration gets to 100% / finished.
  3. Sense support generally cures these configuration issues. They have better diagnostic tools for fixing, than the Sense monitor.

Yeah, there was obviously something that the automated system didn’t like in what it was seeing. Of note, it never did get to 100% on the signal check. Monday morning it generated a new event in the timeline “Uh oh. Sense has detected an installation problem that we are unable to fix automatically. Sense Support has been contacted and is taking a look for you.” Before that there was a whole variety of different-looking data on the meter page over time, I guess where the automated process was trying to change things and see if it made the situation better or worse.

Roughly concurrently to that, I got a note on my support case from James that you had directed him to the my ticket, and he was going to review. I provided some information on my install, solar setup, and a picture of the panel to him, and he’s been working on it, periodically making some adjustments and then monitoring the data to see how it looks. Yesterday afternoon he applied a configuration that is possibly correct for my install; the data in the app looks logical and reasonable, and everything moves in the correct direction when it gets sunny or cloudy, and as we turn devices on and off. James is going to continue to review the data for a while and make sure there’s not anything he can see behind the curtain that still looks odd.

On the settings page it still shows the signal check at 50%; my assumption is that once he confirms that everything is good that will complete and it will be able to start analyzing data and trying to figure out what my devices are.

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I just had my Sense solar installed and I’m seeing this exact same issue. Hoping support can correct it

So I don’t have a final confirmation from James yet, but my data from when he last made changes on Tuesday forward to now all looks good from what I can see. They have had a system-wide issue with solar data not aggregating properly that just seemed to resolve earlier today, so he may well have been busy trying to help get that resolved. He may also have just been waiting to have several day/night cycles of data to review before giving it final sign-off.

Based on my experience, I’d probably recommend waiting on the signal check process; it seemed to try some different configurations automatically and then when it couldn’t find something it thought was right, it contacted support on its own. And it also overwrote the earlier config that first-line support put in place, so that’s why I’d suggest waiting.


Did you get this resolved? I am having a similar issue right now.

My Sense Solar was configured in late July and had been working great. Yesterday Iogged a ticket to fix something Solar related … today my consumption now mirrors generation.