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.
Vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology is a means to a greater end for the world of sustainable energy. Even though V2G is not yet prevalent, the structures necessary for communication between grids and electric vehicles have already started growing with advanced technology. It is essential to note that communication protocols that serve as guidelines in their various applications have to be flexible enough to accommodate change constantly.
Communication protocols guide the interactions between two digitally connected entities. In this case, electric vehicles and grids are the entities. Without standards, there is always a gap and disorderliness. Such chaos is not needed in the exchange of data and the facilitation of communication in the application of V2G (Vehicle-to-grid) technology. The IEC 15118 protocol steps in to solve this problem.
V2G technology can only be implemented swiftly and much more if the points of interaction between the two elements, the vehicle, and the grid, recognize each other. You would agree with me that adaptability makes any product or technology, like the advent of electric vehicle usage, more feasible and desirable. The IEC 15118 protocol is one of the other communication protocols but paves the way for a smooth transition in vehicle-grid integration.
The Focus of V2G Communication Protocols
Many concerns come up when it comes to any kind of data exchange. There is a need for the details (like the specifications & unique identity) of a vehicle to be communicated in V2G. Asides from the fact that details may easily be tracked and need a high level of security, the flexibility of the interactions between EVs, charging systems, and grids are highly required for V2G to thrive.
The IEC 15118 started in 2009 for the Vehicle-to-grid Communication Interface to promote autonomous usage. Interestingly, this protocol is still under development, yet it already gives a platform that allows for a broader scope. As V2G communication is needed to be in place for automatic billing and access to the internet, the IEC 15118 protocol gives a form of global compatibility that applies just as well.
IEC 15118 Protocol: What you should know
Of the two main kinds of community protocols (the front-end protocol and the back-end protocol), I would spotlight the IEC 15118 protocol (which is a front-end protocol. That is as a result of its relevance in V2G technology and its application. Also known as the ISO 15118 protocol, it is one of the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards for electric vehicles (including trucks). It has some interesting sides to it, as I would explain below.
1. More Advanced Communication with IEC 15118
Compared to a similar protocol, like the IEC 61851, the IEC 15118 communication protocol is more advanced. For example, ISO 15118 gives the requirements for charging load management, billing and metering. It thus promotes bi-directional digital communication, which is the basis for V2G communication.
IEC 61851 can only do basic signalling, like indicating readiness for charging and connection status. However, IEC 15118 is applicable for high-level communication, which is an advancement. This places it at the core of EV charging and even V2G interactions. This way, there is better communication and information transfer between the Electric Vehicle and the Electric Vehicle Supply Equipment (EVSE).
2. Versatile Application of IEC 15118 to Wired and Wireless Charging
In its implementation for charging electric vehicles, you can apply IEC 15118 to both wired (AC and DC) and wireless charging. Since V2G applies to various kinds of electric vehicles, this protocol suits it appropriately.
With the current update on part 8 of the IEC 15118 protocol, you would notice an improvement that would allow for wireless connection. Part 8, which is the Physical layer and data link layer requirements for wireless communication, informs the protocol’s versatility.
3. Security via Digital Certification in IEC 1158
The communication between vehicles and grids (via V2G) with the IEC 15118 protocol is more secure. This is a result of the use of digital certificates. In addition, public key infrastructures issue and manage digital certificates. These certificates link people, systems, and keys.
Like passcodes (but more complex), encrypted data is used in IEC 15118 to keep information safe. This way, the limit of insecurities in V2G communication is eliminated. Even digital signatures can be created and used as and when due. If, at any time, for any reason, a digital certificate is no longer trusted, the public key can be reversed. Also, these security features have time limits and make it harder to cheat on the system.
4. Automated Authorization
Using IEC 15118, there is no need to do any other thing at the point of shedding excess power from an electric vehicle to the grid asides from doing the necessary plugging. The automated system allows the system to authenticate the identity of the two sides in communication. It uses different authentication schemes like the Plug and Charge technology, enabling the vehicle to authenticate and identify itself on behalf of the driver.
The use of RFIDs (Radio Frequency Identification) can be aptly applied in the use of IEC 15118 as a means of external identification. Low power radio waves are used in this application to identify the vehicle and automatically carry out authentication.
5. Standard Nature of the IEC 15118 Protocol
ISO/IEC 15118 is a protocol that forms part of the Combined Charging System (CCS) – a group of standards for hardware and software in charging systems. The CCS agrees to use this to enhance charging that can be operated with various specifications.
The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) also recognizes the IEC 15118 protocol for V2G communication. Being an international body made of different national standards organizations that set standards, the ISO is globally recognized.
With Hive Power’s Flexibility Manager Module, anywhere V2G would be implemented, charging and discharging can be coordinated easily. This is done by maximizing devices that can be remotely controlled under this module. The Hive platform also provides a means of improving the accuracy of energy data and enhancing smart grids.
Generally, the interoperability and openness of IEC 15118 make it fit in as a V2G communication protocol well. Yet, it is not at the level it should be in the market. Moreover, due to the nature of the V2G technology as one which is still under development, the entire structure needs to keep improving to aid more advanced communication between the digitally communicating elements.