What is OCPP & Where it is used?
What is OCPP & Where it is used?
What is Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)?
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an open-source communication protocol and a standard way of communication for charging stations with EVs. It is widespread for networking electric car chargers with their respective cars. It is a defacto communication path between an EV charging station and Charging Station Management System (CSMS). OCPP allows different brands and models of EV charging stations to communicate and interact with central management systems (CMS) or charging networks, enabling interoperability & compatibility between distinct charging stations & network operators. Although it is prominent in the market now, it took ten years to develop & optimize it as a standard.
It got established in 2009 by the Open Charge Alliance. The design of OCPP is such that anyone can use it for free, open-source, and easy-to-implement protocol. The open nature of OCPP enables interoperability and versatility while using different EV charging ecosystems. It allows network operators, charging station manufacturers, and EV charging service providers to develop and deploy innovative solutions, and communication systems, integrate with other devices, and provide seamless charging experiences for EV users.
Different versions of OCPP available
- OCPP 1.5 got released in the year 2012
- OCPP 1.6 (S/J) got released in Oct the year 2015
- OCPP 2.0 (J) got released in Apr the year 2018
- OCPP 2.0. 1 (J) got released in March the year 2020
Roles of OCPP in EV Charging Operations
OCPP has become a global benchmark for interoperability in the EV charging industry. It has become compliant and offers seamless interaction with open and closed network EV chargers. Here are some of the roles and responsibilities of OCPP in EV charging operations.
- OCPP helps in modifying & altering the EV chargers and their configurations remotely.
- This protocol also helps EV users authorize themselves to start charging their electric vehicles, including the Local List of Authorization.
- OCPP also helps to transfer real-time charging sessions and data to the central system.
- The protocol can also provide insights if any EVSE fault get identified.
- Any EV charging station that offers smart charging leverages this protocol.
- Any firmware management in EV chargers uses this protocol.
- It is also responsible for the remote unlocking of charging guns.
- Various statuses about charging data like the charging are unavailable or available, suspended or faulted, initiating the charge or finishing, etc., uses OCPP for the real-time update.
Different Situations where we Use OCPP
Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) helps in the electric vehicle (EV) charging industry as a standard communication protocol. It works as a solution for interoperability & compatibility between different EV charging stations. It can help interact between the central management systems (CMS) & charging stations through the open or closed networks. Here are some common areas where we can use OCPP:
- EV charging stations: Every type of charging station uses OCPP installed in public areas, residential complexes, workplaces, commercial properties, buildings, highways, etc. Charging stations manufactured by different EV charging manufacturers use OCPP to communicate with CMS or charging networks. Through this protocol, manufacturers enable remote monitoring and changing management.
- EV Service Providers: EV service providers are enterprises & manufacturing firms that offer different EV services like charging station management. They also deliver EV-oriented services like bill handling, payment processing, data analytics, etc., to EV charging station operators, owners, and users. The EV charging interface and the firmware used in EV charging stations – use OCPP for gathering data & value-added services to consumers.
- EV Central management: Central Management Systems in EV charging also use OCPP. These software systems offer central monitoring, management, and control of multiple EV charging stations. CMS employ OCPP to communicate with charging stations to compile data related to charging sessions, customer authentication management, billing, and other operations. All these things also help improve analytics and reporting.
- EV charging networks: Network operators manage various charging networks. Charging networks are interconnected systems of EV charging stations. These network operators inter-communicate with each other through OCPP. This protocol also helps communicate with different charging stations for managing EV charge sessions within the network.
Example of OCPP in action –
Let us understand a typical situation in sequence as to how electric vehicle drivers will leverage OCPP while charging their cars.
- The EV driver will generate a ticket for the reservation of a particular charger before coming to the charging station.
- They can open any app that offers such online booking for charging.
- As soon as the order completes, the charger remains on hold for the driver. All other order requests and ticket generated resides in the charger’s database.
- As the driver arrives at the charging station, the driver has to identify themselves. The charger will authorize the driver and use the OCPP protocol for data verification.
- The charger unlocks the connector. The driver plugs it into their car physically.
- The charging session starts.
- Meanwhile, the driver can go shopping or buy a coffee. The moment the EV charging gets over, the driver will receive a notification that the charging session gets completed. It is again where OCPP come into the picture.
- The driver has to physically put the charging connector back into the EV station’s socket.
- The EV charger will start generating a bill. The driver can pay via cash or through the app.
Top Features & Benefits of OCPP –
Here are some features and benefits of OCPP:
- Interoperability: OCPP permits various brands and EV charging station types or models to transmit data and interact with CMS. Its interoperability feature also helps in communicating between charging networks based on compatibility.
- Remote Management: Another significant benefit of OCPP is that it allows remote monitoring, governance and administration of charging stations. EV charging service providers can also diagnose and maintain charging infrastructure through this protocol.
- Flexibility: OCPP is easy to deploy. It enables charging station manufacturers, EV charging service providers, and network operators to develop and deploy innovative solutions by leveraging OCPP. It can easily merge with various systems and apps to provide flexible charging experiences for EV users.
- Scalability: As manufacturers can use OCPP in different EV charging devices and stations, it is perfect for large-scale deployment. One can make it suitable for expanding EV charging networks. It can connect multiple stations making a chain of networks.
- Innovation: The EV charging industry uses OCPP to provide a common standard for communicating with various EV charging units. Through OCPP, manufacturers & EV businesses can develop new technologies, services, and business models.
We hope this article provided a crisp idea of Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP), its benefits & how it benefits EV charging. The comprehension also discussed the role of OCPP and different situations where