Sense rolled out cost-effective add-on Flex sensors for its Sense Home Energy Monitor. These Flex sensors connect to the auxiliary port on the Sense monitor to track alternative electrical sources in the home. They can be used to support 400A split-service panels or monitor important appliances that are on dedicated circuits or track home standby generators if the power goes out. Flex sensors are available immediately for $50 as an option for the Sense Home Energy Monitor.
Flex sensors can monitor the biggest energy hogs in the home with exceptional accuracy, immediately upon installation. Track anything that’s on a dedicated circuit in your electrical panel, including mini-split heat pumps, EV chargers, electric dryers, electric water heaters, and variable speed motors found in energy-efficient HVAC and pool pumps. Flex sensors can be used to monitor up to two 120V or 240V circuits in the electrical panel.
In many homes, a few appliances, like water heaters and HVAC, can account for a significant chunk of the utility bill. Tracking and gaining insights into these home energy hogs can lead to greater efficiencies and savings. Devices tracked via Flex sensor’s dedicated circuit monitoring appear along with all the other devices in the Sense app, with the ability to review historical data by day, week, month, year, or billing cycle, or set notifications for when the device turns on, off, or runs for a certain time period.
Now Sense has three ways to gain insights into the devices in a home:
- advanced machine learning automatically identifies devices by their energy signatures;
- Flex sensors track appliances on dedicated circuits; and
- Sense integrates with energy-aware smart plugs and smart strips so you can track and control individual devices.
This combination of capabilities allows Sense to track individual appliances in the home to see what’s on or off in real time and know their energy usage.
Flex sensors for 400A Service
The Sense Home Energy Monitor supports a wider range of home electrical configurations, now including split-service electrical systems rated up to 400A with Flex sensors. Most new homes have 200A service, but homes with higher power requirements can require 250A or 400A service. For instance, 400A service may be needed in large homes or houses that rely entirely on electricity. With Flex sensors, users with split-service 400A service can now see their whole home’s energy usage in the Sense app with a single Sense monitor. The new Flex sensor also supports other dual-panel systems, like dual 100A or dual 140A.
Standby generator tracking with Sense
Alternatively, Flex sensors can be used to track a home’s standby generator. During a natural disaster or rolling blackouts, if power is interrupted in the home, Sense will alert the homeowner when the standby generator takes over, track its operation and report how much energy the home is using. The Sense app gives homeowners peace of mind, knowing their generator is functioning correctly even when they’re not at home.
Flex sensors support standby generators that power the entire home or an individual subpanel. They don’t currently support setups where the generator feeds directly into a breaker in the electrical panel.
— Solar Builder magazine