Solar Commissioning Fails at "Waiting for off"

I have an existing Sense monitor that has running fine for a few years. I had a SunPower PV system installed in 06/2020 that is working fine and producing ~10kW on a sunny day.

I decided to add the Solar option to my Sense system. I have the CTs hooked up to the PV wires that feeds my main service panel, according to the Sense installation instructions. I try to commission the Solar option (on a sunny day). I get past “Starting setup” no problem. The app shows “Current solar production” at 10,008 W. I get the “check” next to “Starting setup” and then I get the “Waiting for off” message. I turn OFF the main disconnect breaker in the PV Service Panel. I wait…wait…wait…nothing until the “Solar Setup Failed” message.

Obviously, I am connected correctly because Sense sees the 10kW I am producing.But Sense can’t sense (punn intended) that I just turned OFF the breaker and the CT’s are no longer seeing any current?

I have emailed support but don’t have the patience for “one business day” reply and in Illinois, I might not get another sunny day for a week!

Any help is most appreciated!

DZ

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@Zimbrich,
I have the solar option as well, but added it at the same time I added the Sense unit. I really like the combo, but I have done a few cycles of going through setup and solar setup and the solar calibration step that you’re describing seems like one of the most sensitive - I’ve had a failure at that step in the past as well.

That said, a few thoughts:

  • I believe that the solar calibration step asks you to turn off your inverter, NOT turn off the feed-in breaker. For my SolarEdge inverter, that’s a tricky thing because it takes 300sec (5min) before the inverter starts to produce again, but Sense has baked in the 300+ sec wait.
  • If you can’t get through the solar calibration, I think the only recourse is via support@sense.com.
    https://help.sense.com/hc/en-us/articles/360001431787-Troubleshooting-Sense-Solar
  • Just because your app is showing solar production, the full job’s not done. I believe that the calibration (off) step is used to do couple of other important tasks, including figuring out the type of feeding your solar install is using.

Good luck - hoping that support touches base with you soon.

Installed sense just a few days after switch on a SunPower PV system (with Solarbridge labeled Enphase micro inverters and SunPower PVS6 monitoring system). Installed solar clamps directly on the feeds (2 groups of 12 panels, each on separate cable) from the PV system to the breakers in the main panel. Main clamps could not be installed due to no room (breaker bar goes directly into closed-off meter portion and no room around them). Electrician bundled all wires from all breakers to circuits, separated by phase, and put a clamp on each of those two bundles.

All this works and did so immediately from initial setup, which was all done at once as per instructions. Never had sense change polarity around or anything. May be I just got lucky?

Only thing I noticed is a slight disagreement (typically < 1 kWh/day) between my utilities reported readings and my sense reported main readings. I am going to write that off due to the fact that there are many wires running through each (main) CT, a slightly varying angles. Just a theory. The difference is not worth the headache to further figure this out.

Kevin,

Thanks for the reply. I have a SunPower system with the inverters built right into each panel (I have 28 panels total and 10,000 W capacity). So there is now way to turn off “the inverters”. The only think I can do is turn the disconnect breaker to the OFF position.

I do understand that there is more to the configuration process but if Sense monitor is telling me “Current solar production” is ~10kW, one would assume the monitor is seeing this trough the CTs (unless Sense can make a really good educated guess of my system capacity).

I have already reached out to Sense support and (trying to) now wait patiently. And now I have another issue (perfect timing): Sense app says my system has a “Network Problem - There was a problem talking to the Sense service”. I can ping the Sense monitor locally on my network though. I just wnet through this with Insteon last week! I hope this is just a temporary thing…

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@Zimbrich, yup there was a known incident on the Sense cloud this aft, but that’s not your issue and has been fixed.

There’s a note at the bottom of the Solar Troubleshooting Guide I linked to:

Note: If you have micro-inverters, and run into issues during the solar setup process, please contact our support team so we can help you get set up.

@kevin1 I got it all working with the help of Sense support. I got an email yesterday afternoon from support saying that they were able to remotely enable my Solar option. Everything is working great now! Thanks everyone for the help!!
DZ

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