Solar Energy back to the Grid?

Hi All

I recently had solar installed along with the Sense Monitor; so far, I really like the Sense.

I got my bill last month and it said I didn’t net any power back to the SCE, but they said they most likely haven’t converted me over to the Solar Net Metering Account and would do so.

Being skeptical, I took a look at my Sense readout and noticed something odd. I was hoping I can get an explanation here to help me understand what’s going on.

From the picture of the last 3 days, It looks like I’m generating a good amount of solar power; 30+ on the first two days and ~25 on the third day when i got cloudy in the afternoon. My usage seems relatively constant with spikes occuring when my 2 fridges kick on. We used the oven to bake dinner on the 22nd and that used a lot of power.

My question is why isn’t the solar lowering my consumption from SCE? I would think that as the array started to generate power, my dependancy on SCE would reduce. And when the array generated more power than my home usage, I would get a negative reading for my usage.

Is something strange going on here with my setup? I just wanted to make sure before another month goes by and I’ve wasted sunny days not backing.

Thanks

Sense visualization shows ALL house consumption vs. ALL solar production, even though Sense really only meters net usage at the CTs on your mains. It secretly adds the solar back on for visualization and all downstream usage graphs.

ps: I have solar and prefer seeing it this way since I can get my net meter readings directly from my meter - I would rather see full usage and full production.

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That view will not show you the net usage. It is showing all solar production, in yellow … and all consumption in red. To see or compare total production vs consumption… go to TRENDS tab, the usage. From there you can look at the data for a day, a week, month or even define the billing period. The Sense data and your power company will never be exact, but I have found it to be dang close.

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Thanks for the quick replies. What I don’t get is why why consumption from SCE isn’t being reduced during the day and going negative as power flows from the panels through my box and finally back into the grid.

I was totally expecting my consumption to gradually diminish as the array starts producing power.

Here’s the trends, usage page. It shows the same Trend as the power page.

It’s working perfectly… the graph will not show net. The yellow is solar. The green is consumed. The difference is net. Look at the info below the graph… Usage = 1c. Solar = 3… so you sent 2 to the grid.
If you click on each… it will report kWH produced and consumed, the difference is the net. (Now… in settings , my home… you may need to fill in your approx cost per kWH for the cost to be relevant. (Florida is about 12 cents)

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Okay, thanks for the clarification; Sense doesn’t show net energy usage.

This leads me to wonder how sense is actually working with solar. I thought the clamps measure the flow of electricity. So if the incoming solar current was higher than the distributed usage in the home, I would expect the current to flow back through the clamps on the two main hot wires.

How is sense measuring total energy usage when there is incoming power from the solar array? Is it doing the math behind the scenes? If so wouldn’t a net energy usage graph be more intuitive to the end user.

@ketchup318. I believe that most customers are concerned with total energy consumption and total solar production. The monitor does indeed do math to display those characteristics. Most of us would find it harder to visualize actual consumption if the monitor displayed net usage. Most utilities have customer web interfaces that can show you your net consumption at a glance. The actual consumption C/T’s measure bi-directionally so true consumption and solar can be determined. Hope that answers your questions.

As to “how” I don’t know - I just know it works. I also know the accuracy of production and consumption data beats the Enphase Enlighten data that I also have from my Solar installation hands down. My Enlighten app does have a net power graph - but have to say it is not very good.

As for a net energy graph - in my opinion, it might make a nice addition - but not as a replacement to the info available now. Keep in mind that Solar is an optional add on so not every user has it. The primary purpose of sense is to try to track and manage individual usage loads. Anyway there is a section here on this forum to request new features - give it a shot.

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I don’t know your background, but I prefer to see the two independent variables displayed in a graph rather rather than seeing a combined function of both (net power), especially since my utility and power meter only show net metered usage. Much easier to take aim at Total Usage when you can see all of it.

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One thought to bear in mind - if the meter to your house is NOT a bidirectional meter, then current flowing EITHER way will register as power you consumed…