Unusual readings when we were not home

Could I have something cross-wired? I cannot imagine that I would have a device that is vaguely tracking the solar generation. Not sure how long this has been going on, but whatever it is that is drawing this odd power curve is only identified as Other.

The two giant peaks are just our hot tub cutting on. I want to get this phantom use fixed so I can send less of my power back to the grid and use it locally. With this phantom reading, I am unplugging my car when I think there is too much usage…

Check in with support@sense.com. When your Total Usage starts tracking your solar like this, something is amiss.

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OK, thanks. For those interested, I opened the Sense Monitor in the Settings tab in the app and noticed that the second side of my Mains signal is a DUPLICATE of my Solar signal on that side. I went outside and flipped one of the three breakers that brings the power from the banks of panels and immediately the mains dropped to look more like the one on the left. Even after I turned the power back on and the panels booted back up all four signals were different, but by the time I got back inside the second two were identical again. I flip another one of the breakers and they are all different again.

I think this has been a problem all along but since I installed the system Sept. 1 there has just not been enough solar to cause whatever is happening until recently. I added another three panels during the winter but I was still not generating anywhere near what I was on Spet. 1 of last year. But off to Support I go…

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Well Sense finally got back to me. Sadly they only offered a boilerplate response w/o any actual issue tracking. They want me to install their new extension cord to cut down on oxidation of the connectors. Sorry, but the oxidation of the connectors is an issue when connections fail. My issue is that the software is reading my solar and displaying that as if it were also my mains signal. How is this issue going to be fixed by making sure my connections to the sensors are good?

Guess they are too busy to work on individual problems. First I had to power cycle the unit to be sure that wasn’t it, now I have to wait for them to send me a greasy plug to be sure there isn’t a connection issue. At least they got back to me in the same week, wonder if their shipping dept. is closed during the lock down.

Three thoughts:

  1. I had the connector oxidation issue as well, a long time ago. Can’t remember how it manifested itself, so I’ll have to look back. I added the extension cable and things did get better. But you are thinking of digital signals when you talk about “connection failures”. Oxidation on analog CT lines adds series resistance, which would reduce induced current, lowering the power detected on a leg.
  2. With most Sense solar installs, the solar reading and total usage are inextricably linked. With my install, the main CTs are really watching net current to my house, coming from the pre-meter mains. Total usage, and the 2 mains legs power readings presented in the My Sense tab are equal to the net usage (from the mains CTs) plus solar production. If the mains CTs get attenuated (corrosion), then your total consumption and the mains readings on the legs start to approach your solar readings, except where you have very large excisions in the net usage.
  3. Sense is open for shipping - I have some new CTs coming today that were shipped last week.

Perhaps I am not being clear. The signals I get on my Sense normally look like this:

Normal

But intermittently they do this:

Normal

This make it look like there is more draw during the day than there really is and less at night than there really is. And by intermittent I mean it may look normal for 5 minutes and then go half an hour abnormally.

Good illustration… The way my solar is configured, this is what would happen if I was producing more solar than the house was using, and I had an intermittent connection (due to oxidation or other reasons) on one of the two mains CTs which are actually reading the net usage of my house. When one of the the mains CTs raises (because power is native when I’m putting out to the grid) to near zero due to a bad connection, the corresponding legs in the Signals Mains will approach my solar production.

I’ll take your word. Hopefully my new cable will arrive next week and I can find out if this is the fix.

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Hey @israndy. If the new cable doesn’t fix the issue, let me know so I can follow-up with Support on my end.

Thanks, I will. I got an email from them but the cable hasn’t arrived yet. I cannot tell from the instructions which end of the extension cable I have this cable fix is supposed to attach to. Is it the connectors on the box that get corroded or the connectors on the sensors that I need to plug into…

Yeah, the cable fix arrived and I installed the extensions on the two connectors on the Sense unit. But after rebooting the issue came back practically immediately. I reported THIS to support but they didn’t get back to me before they closed for the weekend. Hopefully tomorrow will get some progress.

Well, they got back to me and asked for photos of my system. That was first thing yesterday. Looks like I may have stumped the pros.

Perhaps my unit has gone bad…

Anyone know what the warranty on these are? Does Sense provide repair or do I just need to buy a whole new unit after a year and a bit of ownership?

Image 5-23-20 at 9.24 AM

Getting worse. I now have NO idea how much power I am generating vs using


Closeup view of the morning as the Sense transitions from working to not. I didn’t turn anything on during this period and all night the power usage was just like that first period before it starts to get noisy. This is the first time I noticed that the solar gets noisy during the transition from working to not working.

Got a response early this week from Support saying they were sending me a replacement unit. I’ll let you guys know when it arrives and hopefully fixes my issue.

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