Introduction to OCPP
OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) is a universally adopted protocol for communication between electric vehicle (EV) charging stations (often called “charge points”) and a central system, usually referred to as a Charging Station Management System (CSMS).
The Evolution: OCPP 1.6
OCPP 1.6, developed by the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) to enhance the capabilities of the protocol and ensure that it kept pace with the evolving needs of the electric vehicle (EV) charging ecosystem. This version continued the tradition of OCPP being an open, manufacturer-agnostic standard for communication between charge point and the central system.
Being an open, manufacturer-agnostic standard, it set the tone for a universal language that different EV equipment manufacturers could rely on.
OCPP 1.6 encapsulated various functionalities:
- Flexibility in Communication: With its support for both SOAP and JSON messaging, developers gained considerable flexibility, opening doors to diverse system integrations.
- User-Centric Innovations: Recognizing the shifts in consumer behavior, OCPP 1.6 introduced a reservation system, allowing users to reserve charging slots, giving them more control over their charging schedules.
- Smart Charging: As the name suggests, it empowered charge points with the intelligence to adjust EV charging intensity based on various parameters, such as grid status or user preferences.
- Data Transfer and Diagnostics: This version’s ability to manage custom data transfers and offer enhanced diagnostic tools epitomized its forward-thinking design.
However, with technological advancement, new challenges and requirements emerge. And while OCPP 1.6 was a giant leap in its time, the EV landscape demanded more.
The Leap: OCPP 2.0.1
OCPP 2.0.1 stands as a refined version of the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). Building on its predecessor’s foundation, it elevates the functionalities and intricacies of EV charging communication. This advanced iteration not only incorporates the strengths of OCPP 1.6 but also introduces enhancements that address its limitations, showcasing the evolving nature of charging protocols.
- Enhanced Security: Addressing security concerns was a prime focus of OCPP 2.0.1. It introduced support for WebSocket Secure (WSS) and Transport Layer Security (TLS), encrypted and secure communications with support for mutual authentication using X.509 certificates, ensuring both charge point and CSMS can validate each other.
- ISO 15118 Support: This allowed for Plug and Charge (P&C) capabilities, letting EVs (electric vehicles) and charging stations authenticate and authorize without requiring physical input from the driver.
- Advanced Smart Charging: OCPP 2.0.1 took smart charging to a new level, offering detailed energy profiles, power limits, and charging schedules with direct support for input from Energy Management Systems (EMS) towards a charge station, improvements in smart charging from a local controller and support for integrated smart charging of the charge station management system (CSMS), charging station (CS) and the Electric Vehicle (EV).
- Display Messages: The protocol enabled the central system to send messages for display at the charging station, enhancing user communication while showing messages in their preferred language along with an added transparency by showing before, during and after costs.
What is the difference?
The jump from OCPP 1.6 to 2.0.1 in electric vehicle (EV) charging highlighted better security and improved user features. While 1.6 had basic safety measures, 2.0.1 added stronger protection and ensured devices and management systems could securely communicate. It also made using the charging points easier. Users now see messages directly on the charging screens, and issues or errors get fixed faster. Plus, costs related to charging are clearer. The new version also brought in features that let management systems handle specific parts, like RFID readers or screens, more efficiently. Overall, 2.0.1 is a big step forward, making EV charging safer, more user-friendly, and up to date.
Unlocking the Full Potential of Bidirectional Charging
Bidirectional charging allows not just electricity to flow from the grid to the vehicle (as in traditional EV charging) but also from the vehicle back to the grid. This capability transforms the electric vehicle into a potential energy storage device that can provide power when necessary.
With OCPP 2.0.1, this vision is closer to reality. Through features like Energy Transfer Mode and advanced transaction event data, the protocol provides the necessary infrastructure for this two-way energy exchange. Moreover, the integration of standards like ISO/IEC 15118 ensures seamless communication, making bidirectional charging a tangible future.
Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G): Shaping the Future of Energy Grids
Grid Support: OCPP 2.0.1’s bidirectional capabilities enable EVs to provide crucial support to the grid during peak loads or supply shortages. Imagine a world where your EV becomes a mobile power station, helping to stabilize the energy supply in your local area.
Dynamic Control: Electric Miles utilizes OCPP 2.0.1 to dynamically control the direction of energy flow based on grid conditions or specific algorithms. This means that EVs can intelligently decide when to charge, discharge, or simply store energy, optimizing grid performance and reducing energy waste.
Revenue Generation: In a high-demand scenario, energy stored in EVs could be sold back to the grid, generating revenue for the vehicle owner. Electric Miles is pioneering the concept of your EV earning you money while parked.
Virtual Power Plant (VPP): Turning EV Fleets into Energy Hubs
Aggregation of Resources: With OCPP 2.0.1’s bidirectional capabilities, Electric Miles aggregates fleets of EVs to form a Virtual Power Plant (VPP). Imagine a collective of EVs working together as a large energy source, providing not only clean power but also an additional layer of grid security.
Energy Balancing: VPPs, controlled by Electric Miles, can actively balance energy demand and supply on the grid. This results in enhanced grid stability, reducing the risk of blackouts and ensuring a consistent power supply for all.
Enhanced Grid Resilience: In the face of power outages or grid supply shortfalls, Electric Miles utilizes the energy stored in EVs to offer emergency power. EVs become an integral part of grid resilience, ensuring that essential services and homes remain powered during emergencies.
Optimized Energy Trading: Electric Miles, with advanced transaction event data and power profiles, makes informed decisions about energy trading. This means buying energy when prices are low and selling it back to the grid when prices are high, saving money for EV owners and contributing to a more efficient energy market.
Empowering All Stakeholders
The adoption of V2G and VPP technologies by Electric Miles not only benefits EV owners but also utility companies, grid operators, and society as a whole. For users, it means reduced charging costs, the ability to earn money from their EVs, and the satisfaction of contributing to a greener future.
Electric Miles & The Future of Energy
Electric Miles’ ongoing collaboration with Verbund in deploying Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) technology is a work in progress, with exciting developments anticipated. As the project unfolds, Electric Miles remains dedicated to exploring the full potential of V2G, aiming to showcase its practical applications in real-world scenarios. This dynamic partnership is actively shaping the future of electric vehicles, contributing to the evolution of energy ecosystems, and paving the way for innovative solutions that align with sustainability goals. Stay tuned for the forthcoming outcomes of this impactful collaboration between Electric Miles and Verbund in the realm of V2G technology.