What can I do to help Sense identify my large appliances?

Hello,

I know this question is a repeat of something - as I cannot be the only one asking it. I searched a bit but could not find a good approach.

My main issue is - that while Sense has found many things it also has not figured out my TV/AV Center stuff/ Computer and the like. These things I guess require the smart plug approach and I can look into that one more when/if I am really interested.

The main thing that bugs me - is the lack of identification of my bigger and more complex appliances - all of them are in the kitchen

  1. Oven - it shows SOMETIMES but other times it does not. It comes across as other. Could it have to do with the power it is drawing? So say it is cooking at 500 degrees - that it finds. But when I have it at warm, it never shows up and is other.
  2. Fridge - never shows up - only other
  3. Cooktop - mine is an induction, always other.

It took a long time for it to find our AC, but it figured it out. The gas-driven furnace is crazy - and creates a new heater every few weeks. Again, just annoying!

In the end, my question is what do I do to help teach Sense the high-energy appliances (though the fridge is not “high enegery appliance”)? TIA

Same thing for my family room lights or my dining room lights and so on. In the end, things I cannot plug in and unplug are far harder to track or get any data on, other than looking at the app and when I turn it on seeing how much “other” goes up.

If your oven and cooktop are 220V, your only practical option is likely to be the flex sensors. Your fridge may be compatible with a smart plug as long as the compressor isn’t too big. None of my LED lights have been detected, but my incandescent and fluorescent tube circuits have been. I’ve given up on the LED circuits.

If your energy data is a high priority, there are other DIY projects that you could tackle, like using a DIY current sensor with Home Assistant.

What’s still needed is a 240 V module that talks to Sense, because many of us have solar (the real reason for the Sense current probes…e.g “flex sensor”, and only one at that), and many of us have multiple 240 v devices that Sense has been totally unable to track. Those are often the bulk of our power consumption, making Sense pretty useless.

Really poor design!

Exactly my issue! I have Sense Flex it is called Sense Solar, so no, I cannot do that sadly. OK, that is unfortunate - thanks!

It’s not about how much energy those devices use, once they get past a certain minimum. Much more about whether they have distinctive on / off transitions that fit into a 1 second or so time window. For example, your oven on 500 degrees looks like an entirely different device from an oven on warm - 2 different devices to be discovered.

Thoughts

  1. Oven: a regular electric oven achieves “temperature” through switching one or two heating elements on/off for varying amounts of time. Higher oven setting = higher power over time and longer on-time pulses. You will see that in the Sense Power Meter.
    What that equates to, I believe, is a high temperature setting (if you set it consistently that is, with, say, a digital thermostat on the oven) will likely be detected better by Sense. That said, frequent pulsed power demand from a device may also be a more likely candidate for native detection.
    The in-between presents challenges.

  2. Fridge: one of the best candidates in your house for a smart plug for several reasons.

  3. Induction: I’d like to see an induction cooktop waveform. Does anybody have a pair of Flex sensors monitoring induction? I assume as induction becomes more popular the native detection will improve. Does the out of phase current & voltage make it easier or harder to detect?

All this makes me ponder having both Flex CTs on all circuits in the kitchen. Invariably a kitchen has quite a few circuits so in most panels it’s probably a challenge to clamp around all those circuits. Ground truth on total cooking power. Watts per calorie!

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