Usage Increase / Power Meter Decrease?

I have this weird issue, when certian devices draw power, the power meter view shows my usage go down. When the device goes back on, usage goes back up.

Does this have to do with my CT’s not being connected properly? What troubleshooting should I do next?

My guess would be some sort of installation issue, but to be sure i would file a Support ticket so that our team can see if there’s anything else we can see on our end.

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I also should have mentioned that i moved the sense recently from the subpanel where it was incorrectly installed to the main panel which includes the solar. I would think sense should be able to split out the energy being consumed vs the energy being pushed back to the grid. Do I need to change any settings, or just hang tight and let the sense recalibrate?

Justin, I should have mentioned that I have solar and the CT’s are currently connected to the buss bars. Is it possible that I’m metering the power being sent back to the grid and when i turn on a device it causes a dip because less is going back to the grid?

Does this mean I installed it incorrectly or does the sense take some time to callibrate?

My assumption is that there is an issue with how your Sense is currently installed, but our Support team will be able to confirm that suspicion. I don’t have access to your monitor data, so Support is a better resource for reaching a resolution.

Please submit a support ticket and if they don’t get back to you by Monday end of day, let me know and I can check on your ticket status.

Here’s what my panel looks like with the sense installed.

I have a feeling that what I’m seeing is Net Production = solar produced - usage.

Is this the normal view based on my situation?

It looks like you are not using your middle port on your Sense. If you have a complete Sense solar install, as second set of CTs comes out of that middle port and goes around each of your solar feed-ins. Without the solar CTs, you’re only going to see your Net Usage as you suggest.

If you have a second set of CT on your solar feeds, you will see this - two different readings where one is solar production and the other is total house usage (including solar)

You’ll also get a special Solar display that looks like this:

Kevin1 thanks for sharing!

I ordered the solar CT’s just now.

So when I setup solar the “net production” time series will basically split into “solar production” and “total house usage”?

In your graph with the two time-series i’m assuming every “total house usage” data point greater than “solar production” is usage that will pull from the grid. If so that is a pretty useful graph.

I feel that the “net production” graph that I have now is normal until i add the extra CT’s that help the sense understand the generated solar. I’ll find out the offical answer via support and report back!

Kevin do you know if it’s possible or any value to use a sense without solar CT’s on a home system that has solar?

Two answers

  1. When you add the solar CTs, you’ll go through a setup and calibration that will change things. Solar will show solar production. The Total Usage will show the full usage / load of all the devices in your house (combined from grid and from solar). Sense essentially adds the Solar Production to the Net Usage your existing CTs are providing today to produce the Total Usage waveform.

  2. You can run a Sense on a house with solar, but without solar CTs, but the results wouldn’t likely be very satisfactory. Sense is set up to operate and display everything based on Total Usage, which is always positive. But operating as Sense off the mains in a solar household means that Sense is really seeing just Net Usage, unless you add solar CTs. I have a second Sense unit that I use solely for DCM (monitoring two 240V circuits in my house), and it is essentially what you are describing (Sense without solar CTs). This is what happens when you display Net Usage on a Sense that is expecting Total Usage.

There are plenty more knock-on effects from a Sense operating off of soley Net Usage.

  • Sense will detect devices but will have a horribly skewed view on their power consumption
  • Always On will always be zero

Thanks so much Kevin, this makes a lot of sense (excuse the pun)! Everything you explained is inline with what I’m experiencing.

I’ll get the solar CT’s hooked up and will go from there and report back.

Thanks again, very helpful!


Hi Kevin,

I was able to add the Solar CT’s and now I’m seeing:

I see the solar production no problem from the app but I’m not seeing any home usage show up.

When I go under Signals I see that “Signal check” is 0% complete but mains signal show -1,202W -1,479W.

I also reset my data. Do I just need to give the system some time to finish the signal test?

Time for you to wait out the Signal Check process. The mains shouldn’t be negative once the Signal Check is done, but that could take 24 hours. If the signal check doesn’t finish / fails, you might need to finish the configuration.

Ok cool. Do you have any idea of what is actually happening during the signal check process? Would be cool to understand what is actually happening during the calibration process.

Info in the link below. Sense does two things:

Kevin solar monitoring is now setup. Does this make sense to you?

Sun power shows:

4.1 solar
1.9 home usage
3.1 to grid

Sense shows:

3.8 solar
2.8 home usage
1.0 grid

My understanding is the green plug represents home usage. It feels like the green plug lines up with sun power is showing going back to the grid. This numbers don’t align with sun power. Thoughts?

Glad to see you made it through Signal Check.

One warning - Comparing power (W and kW) values is very tricky because each is a snapshot in time, which fluctuates quickly throughout the day as devices turn on an off. Sense gives you half second snapshots. Not sure what the interval SunPower invert and the app use for updates. The best thing to do is to look at the ENERGY (kWh) results for an entire day, once Sense has run for a full day.

As for comparisons based this one moment in time - I would guess that the solar number is more steady state than home usage. So the 3.8kW is comparable with the 4.1kW. I have seen Sense run about 3-6% lower than the inverter data, mainly because the inverter looks at total produced, not total delivered to your main panels (there are losses along the way).

Something is wrong the green plug calculation looks to be solar - usage. Tonight when I’m not generating solar the green plug is -1000w which translates to the energy I’m using.

It feels like the plug is calculating +/- from grid.