What about the TV in my EV?

@davidpdevine’s intro (Hi David) …

… got me thinking about the complexity of “devices” (in the Sense term of the word). Here we often talk about all the components (sub-devices) of devices like HVAC and heat pumps and so on that make device disaggregation a serious challenge. Add to that multiple similar or identical devices in a household and you start to understand why smart plugs and DCMs (Flex sensors) are used.

An EV in many ways is a household device so I’m wondering out loud here whether eventually Sense disaggregation can go beyond “simply” detecting EV charging or perhaps EV battery use in car-to-house power scenarios? Meaning: Sense built in to an EV would be quite informative. I don’t mean just to monitor charging, I mean for all the active electrical components in an EV. Even without bothering to do (VERY difficult) disaggregation on an EV’s electrical system, just having the active electrical use data of an EV would seem quite handy.

Here’s an odd (deliberately irony-laced) scenario to demonstrate the point:

  • EV owner in a Winter power outage can use the EV battery to keep the electrical components in their oil-fired boiler running OR
  • They could sit in the car with the heat running to stay warm.
  • OK, yes, the pipes might freeze, but you get the idea. How much energy does the EV HVAC use? Can we play the radio loud, surf the web and stick the kids in back watching Netflix while making the windows go up and down (“I’m too hot!”) just because we can. Why bother with calculations if SensEV can guide you?

And don’t get me started on a solar-capped SensEVRV.

Great point. We obsess on powertrain efficiency and kW/mile → what is the penalty to have the headlights on, run the cameras. How much does the heated steering wheel draw? I don’t know. Maybe I am happier not knowing? I would hate to stop using the toys just to save a few watts.

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I’m thinking more about a future where, with solar everything, we care less about watts alone and more about watts in context.

A few mW/hrs for an emergency communication for example.

One of the prime features of Sense in a solar context is a detailed window into optimally time-shifting your usage (probably #1 there is EV charging) to fully exploit the sun. This will become more and more crucial with the increasing proportion of solar, at least until proper trans-national and trans-continental UHVDC cables get run around the planet.

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My 1st gen Volt has a realtime power consumption readout. The resolution is only 500W, but it’s still helpful. There is also a display on the HVAC control that shows what % of max power usage the HVAC is responsible for based on your current settings.

Also, most of the data you mention is available on the CAN bus and there are projects such as https://docs.openvehicles.com/ that make this data available with nice interfaces.

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True! And indeed.

Though the thrust of an argument for Sense in an EV is the actionable magic that comes from high frequency electrical monitoring and then the integration of that data into the house. If nothing else it could be redundant data (also available via the CAN bus in some form). OK, the EV already has “smart plugs” as it were, but the data is not useful in the same way that Sense (at scale) is.

I see it like Sense Solar, which is often a redundant view of solar output and lacking the bells-and-whistles that a proprietary solar monitor might have, yet through integration with the Mains interface there are things that can happen outside of simple power level monitoring.

These thoughts are basically just reactionary: using native Sense detection for EV charging or even putting a DCM on the charger circuit is still not the only place where you want to tap the EV … putting CTs on the battery load terminals would be nice. I also sense it would keep everything more honest.