V2G (Vehicle-to-grid) communication protocols are standards for the interactions between the Electric Vehicles (EVs) and the grids. Open communication standards like OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol) allow interoperability and are suitable for V2G technology. They use a common framework and allow anyone in the underlying framework to share information. In doing this, they allow the back-end software of the charging management system to get updates on the status of electric vehicle charging going on at the time.
Launched in 2018, OCPP 2.0 is the latest version of OCPP from the open charge alliance – a group of private and public EV infrastructure companies (160 members as of 2020). The previously popular OCPP 1.6 has been improved to meet the new needs of electric vehicle infrastructure. That is, while OCPP 1.6 is great, OCPP 2.0 is better. Its first adoption, OCPP 2.0.1, was in March 2020 and has proved to be the one for the future.
However, before I begin to talk about the new version of OCPP, you should know a bit about how OCPP operates generally.
How Does OCPP Operate?
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) exists between the charging stations (also known as Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment) and the central system. This central system is a back-end software that receives and controls information regarding charging sessions, reservations, and updates. In addition, OCPP 1.6 allows for smart charging, a highly desirable feature for load balancing and other advantages.
Smart charging involves a system where elements of the electric vehicle network, including the EVs, charging stations and charging operators, share data connections and access specific details. All versions of OCPP also use an open platform to connect EVSEs with the cloud-based back-end system to aid communication.
What you should know about OCPP 2.0 V2G Communication Protocol.
OCPP 2.0 is an improvement to OCPP 1.6 and 1.5, which, in itself, is of highly significant importance. While the features of open communication and smart introductions of OCPP 1.6 are still in place, OCPP 2.0 adds more significant changes that welcome the future. Allow me to walk you through five things you should know about this protocol.
1. OCPP 2.0 supports the ISO/IEC 15118 v2g communication protocol
The IEC 15118 protocol allows for easy two-way communication between Electric Vehicles and the charging stations. It also has a feature that allows for automatic identification. So, as a user, you’re free to decide whether to use external identification means (EIM) by using RFID (Radio-Frequency Identification) cards or by using the automatic identification system to get identified based on your initial data captured.
You may ask, how does OCPP 2.0 come in as a support for IEC 15118 in this case?
With the EVs’ plug and charge and smart charging requirements in place, OCPP 2.0 allows smooth cooperation. This support is simply in place as it works with IEC 15118 efficiently, and together, they both give grounds for smart charging even though they have not yet been fully adopted.
In addition, the central system can set constraints to the amount of power during a charge transaction for smart charging.
2. Better security arrangements come with OCPP 2.0
OCPP 2.0 is more secure, and this is needed in every smart system to avoid cyber attacks. Unlike OCPP 1.6, it does not require VPN or any other third party for a secure connection. This was formerly necessary for encryption of the entire communication channel, and it posed a risk to the security of the EV charging system. However, using IEC 15118, there is easier identification from the known PKIs (Public Key Infrastructures), which are very secure.
OCPP 2.0 can achieve this because of the new security profiles for authentication, security logging, and event notification.
3. Improved functionalities for smart charging
In an EV charging arrangement, OCPP 2.0 allows for a request for the particular amount of power the charging station needs. Meanwhile, OCPP 1.6 does not allow for this kind of data field that OCPP 2.0 now allows.
Instead, it only allows for the vehicle to give a State of Charge (SoC), telling the percentage of battery it has at the time. This limits a lot of things, especially with the introduction of Vehicle-to-grid communication that has to be bidirectional and specific and smart. While the use of State of Charge is vital, it can be more useful when the charging process is better managed using OCPP 2.0.
4. OCPP 2.0 is reliable, even for the sake of finances
Efficiency is what everyone wants. With OCCP, charging stations are normally independent of vendors since there is a central underlying framework, unlike how it was before OCCPs came on board in 2009. This interoperability that comes with it alone is an advantage, but it’s not the only advantage.
With OCCP, no one gets stuck to one vendor, and in cases of a price increase by the vendors, even financial troubles or bankruptcy, there is a freedom to switch vendors even while using the same charging station.
This is good for the Vehicle-to-grid technology because it allows any EV and any Electric Vehicle Service Equipment to communicate. OCPP 2.0 also keeps the market healthily competitive.
5. OCPP 2.0 allows for flexibility and better device management
With OCPP 2.0, charging stations can be monitored, and this is helpful to their operators who have complex multi-vendor charging stations. Even from the end of an EV driver, the display and messaging features reflect all information they need, such as rates and the likes. This way, we can manage EVs and charging stations more effectively.
OCPP 2.0 is a leap and a significant milestone in the advancement of electric vehicles.
Electric vehicle fleet managers and utilities have been learning about IEC 15118 and moving on to put it to use at a slow pace. However, with the availability and working of OCPP 2.0, the synergy with IEC 15118 for EVs and EVSEs is set to move electric vehicle charging to a better place. IEC 15118 needs OCPP 2.0 to communicate more effectively with the central systems.