Table of Contents
| WHAT IS OCPP?
Open Charge Point Protocol abbreviated as OCPP is an initiative of ElaandNL and is maintained by Open Charge Alliance based out of the Netherlands.
It is an open-source communication protocol used to exchange information between electric vehicle chargers and the backend management systems. Open-source networking allows the protocol to be adopted without much hassle.
OCPP intends to enable inter-operability between charging equipment or chargers and the backend management systems by creating a common language between EV charging points and the online billing and management platforms.
| Understand the role of OCPP in EV Charging Infrastructure
A brief about the EV charging infrastructure to understand the role of OCPP
An integral component of the infrastructure is the Charging Station Management System (CSMS). It is a cloud-based system that is controlled by the backend management system through which operators manage charging point operations such as managing tariffs and generating reports of the charging facility.
Communication between the CSMS and the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE) present at the charging stations is vital for smooth charging operations.
OCPP aids in this communication between CSMS and EVSE, i.e., the charging station and its management systems.
| Why Use Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) for EV Charging?
OCPP being an open-source protocol enables easy usage and implementation. As long as the vendors and manufacturers are OCPP compliant, EV charging is made vendor-independent, this ensures inter-operability between different brands on the market.
This safeguards competition in the market, keeping service charges reasonable in contrast to the closed systems which binds a customer to one service provider.
Using the OCPP, Electric Vehicle Users can locate charging stations and reserve the EVSE, if required.
At the charging stations, the protocol allows for the pre-authorization of charging sessions. This is done to start the charging process and it helps keep track of the Electric Vehicles.
During the charging process, the backend management system is updated with real-time data. This real-time data transfer includes information with which the backend management system can track which of the charging equipment are functional, which are non-functional, and which ones are being used.
On receiving data, if any errors and faults are detected in the charging equipment, they are diagnosed and repaired.
OCPP provides remote access which enables the charging station owners to remotely control charging processes, using web-based applications. It also allows them to upgrade firmware and configure new charging points.
It also provides billing information to the backend management systems which creates a space for choosing online billing and payment options.
| Why is OCPP Important in Electric Vehicles?
OCPP is advantageous even concerning the Electric vehicle. It provides the ability to regulate charging patterns constructed on charging schedules. Version 1.6 and onwards allows the CSMS to optimize scheduled charging of the EVs.
This regulates energy consumption. It allows priority charging for select vehicles by enabling control oversupply of energy by limiting power supply to each gun.
OCPP compliance allows integration with the Grid which supports the peak time demands. This ensures competition in the market, keeping in check the costs related to energy consumption by weighing out factors such as load capacities, tariffs, and availability of power.
The latest OCPP versions are ISO 15118 standard compliant, which means the protocol is defined for bi-directional energy transfer to expedite communication between the EV and the Grid.
Another major area of advantage with OCPP is that it does not depend on the charging techniques. It works on EVSEs regardless of their charging protocols.
- CHAdeMO: an abbreviation for ‘Charge de Move’ or ‘Charge for Moving’. It is a fast-charging method that is safe, reasonably priced and offers interoperability.
- CCS: an abbreviation for Combined Charging System, it uses Combo 1 and Combo 2 connectors for charging and supplies up to 350 kW of power.
- GB/T: it is a Chinese compliant standard of charging which offers higher compatibility and improves the safety of charging.