What is OCPP?
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an open communication protocol standard that ensures interoperability between Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations and central management systems (CMS).
It bridges charging stations and central management systems, fostering seamless communication and data exchange. With a standardized set of messages and data formats, OCPP streamlines monitoring, control, and management of EV charging, from start to payment, promoting interoperability and hassle-free integration in the charging network.
OCPP is a key driver for universal EV charging. It ensures smooth communication and data exchange among EV charging stations and central management systems, making EV charging networks more accessible and user-friendly.
What is the difference between OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0.1?
In 2015, OCPP 1.6 was introduced. It comes with an open network and some extra features, one of which is load balancing. This feature is quite useful because it enables a single circuit to connect multiple charging stations, distributing power intelligently based on the number of electric vehicle (EV) drivers. This helps reduce installation costs as only one circuit is needed for 2-4 charging stations.
Later, in 2020, OCPP 2.0.1 was approved. It includes all the features of OCPP 1.6 and adds new improvements, including better transaction processing, enhanced security, and plug-and-charge functionality.
The most significant enhancement in OCPP 2.0.1 is “plug and charge.” This simplifies the charging process for EV drivers. To start charging, all they need to do is plug their vehicle into a power source. There’s no need for a credit card reader, RFID sensor, or a smartphone app to connect and charge. Charging becomes much more convenient and seamless with this feature.
Importance Of OCPP In EV Charger
OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) is crucial for both software and hardware aspects of electric vehicle (EV) chargers. Let’s break down why it’s important in a simple way:
– Visibility and User Experience
OCPP-compliant software makes your charging station visible to a wider audience and provides a great user experience.
– Centralized Management
It allows you to manage all your EV charging hardware in one place.
– Software Flexibility
You can easily switch your EV charging software, encouraging competition and innovation.
– Open Networking
OCPP enables open networking among EV charging stations, similar to choosing between different cellular networks. This means you can change networks without changing the hardware.
– Affordability and Access
OCPP makes EV chargers more affordable and accessible by setting up open communication standards that invite multiple players, fostering innovation and cost efficiencies.
OCPP provides a common language for different charger brands to communicate seamlessly, ensuring that any OCPP-compliant charger works with any EV, regardless of the brand.
– Flexibility and Scalability
OCPP allows easy integration into various charging networks and management systems, making it simple to expand and scale charging infrastructure to meet the growing demand for EVs.
– Remote Management
OCPP lets operators monitor and manage chargers from a distance, improving efficiency, reducing maintenance costs, and enhancing charger performance.
– Smart Charging
OCPP supports smart features like load management, demand response, and dynamic pricing, which optimize charging, balance energy use, and enhance grid stability.
What To Consider When Implementing The OCPP Protocol
When implementing the OCPP protocol for your electric vehicle (EV) charging system, there are several important factors to keep in mind. Let’s break them down in simple terms:
Make sure to protect your communication and data. Use encryption, authentication, and authorization to prevent unauthorized access.
Choose the right OCPP version that fits your needs. OCPP 1.6 and OCPP 2.0 are the most commonly used versions.
Decide how your charging station will talk to the central system. You can use methods like HTTP, SOAP, or WebSocket for exchanging messages.
Define how your charging station will work. This includes things like the maximum power it can provide, how long a charging session can last, and the pricing information.
Dealing with Errors
Plan for how your system handles problems. This includes issues like communication breakdowns, timeouts, or mistakes in requests.
Ensure your system follows the rules of the OCPP specification. Test it against the OCPP compliance tests to ensure it works with other OCPP-compatible systems.
Design your system so it can grow as more charging stations and users are added.
Figure out how you will store and handle the data generated by the charging stations. This includes storing, retrieving, and using the data for reporting.
Plan how your system will work with other systems, like billing, energy management, and fleet management. Define how they will talk to each other for smooth integration.
Documentation and Support
Provide clear instructions for your implementation, including installation guides and guides for using the API. Offer ways for users to get help if they run into problems.
By considering these factors, you can ensure a successful implementation of the OCPP protocol for your EV charging system.
How does OCPP work?
OCPP uses messages, like texts, to let the charging station and central system chat. They send these messages through secure channels, like Wi-Fi or Ethernet.
Think of these messages as letters. Each “letter” has a header (the title, version, and length), a body (the main information), and sometimes a signature (like a stamp of approval). The body has details, such as info about charging sessions or settings.
OCPP has different types of messages for different tasks, like saying “hello,” giving updates about charging status, or sharing info about transactions. Each type has its own job and a particular way of organizing information.
Central Management System
The system is like the boss. It manages lots of charging stations, tells them when to start or stop charging, and collects information about charging sessions.
It is a manager who talks to the electric vehicle and the boss (central system). It does what the boss says, gives updates on what it’s doing, and shares data about charging sessions.
In conclusion, OCPP is a critical consideration when selecting an electric vehicle charging station. It provides a range of valuable features at competitive prices, thanks to its open network. OCPP systems are regularly updated to meet evolving standards, ensuring that your chargers can meet future requirements.
If you’re looking to install electric vehicle charging stations in your company, EN Plus is here to assist you.