OCPP: 4 letters to remember when investing in EV charging stations

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What is OCPP?

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is an open-source communication protocol for networked electric vehicle chargers. It can be considered a syntax language in which EV chargers are able to communicate between electric vehicle charging points and central control systems. As an open-source protocol, anyone can access and contribute to it. OCPP also doesn’t favour any charger or software over others, so any OCPP-compatible charger will be able to utilise any OCPP-compatible software.

Why OCPP?

Open standards are key to propelling the clean energy industry forward and making EV chargers more affordable, accessible and flexible. From 2019 the use of OCPP is required for new charge points in the UK and it’s only a matter of time before this transpires to other countries. It is a way to future-proof your charging system when EV adoption grows in the future.

OCPP Hardware Benefits

  • Allows you to choose the EV charging management software that is right for your business needs. Every EV charging network is different.
  • Flexibility to switch your EV software at any time and retain the ability to adjust your setup based on your needs at the time.
  • Remain competitive in the market by having freedom of choice with the selection that doesn’t lock you into a single provider.
  • It is easy to change equipment and scale the system as per required. This allows owners to optimise the cost and risk of one-time investments.

(All hardware provided by EVSE is OCPP compatible and ready to use upon arrival)

OCPP Software Benefits

  • The ability to keep different EV charging hardware on the same network
  • Owners can easily add new options and capabilities to existing chargers
  • Interoperability
  • Backend management/tariffs

Through EVSE software such as Exploren, users are able to load-manage, as well as monitor their energy usage across chargers.

There are currently over 700 known programming languages. Within each device that is programmed, there are usually proprietary restrictions, and quirks of individual companies and programmers that make the software hardware-specific. Knowing this, it can be understood that having all these different languages trying to communicate with each other would be like having Apple trying to run on Android. It simply wouldn’t work. Application protocols are what allow your iPhone to play Spotify with your JBL speaker. And Android to play Pandora through your Sony headphones. Protocols provide a common ground in which these different mediums can communicate with each other.

How Does OCPP Relate to EV Charging?

EV charging areas are complex weblike systems that primarily come in two parts. The charging station and the central management system govern the voltage, output and other factors depending on the system. These two parts can be made by different vendors, some of which only provide the station of only the management system.

Since there are two different providers in this instance you would require an application protocol to translate the two different vendors. Hence OCPP in a way can be considered to be a translation tool. The ultimate goal of OCPP is to provide a way in which different EV charging stations can communicate with different central management systems.

To future-proof and lay the groundwork for a long-term scalable EV charging system, choosing to install OCPP-enabled hardware is hence a critical step for site owners to consider when starting their electrification journey.

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