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OCPP - An EV Charging Protocol



Nowadays, the growing CO2 emissions are one of the main international issues. The world is becoming aware that the current climate issues start being critic and that something has to be done. In parallel, Earth starts running out of fossil fuels so alternative energies and alternative ways of producing energy have to be found. Driving electric vehicles would reduce the CO2 emissions and the use of fossil fuels.

Types of EV Charging Protocols

·         Open Smart Charging Protocol (OSCP)
·         OpenADR 2.0
·         Open Charge Point Interface protocol (OCPI v0.4)
·         IEEE 2030.5 (IEEE Adoption of Smart Energy Profile 2.0 / SEP2)
·         Smart charging protocols overlap
·         Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP)
·         IEC 61850-90-8
·         Open Clearing House Protocol (OCHP)
·         Open Charge Point Interface protocol (OCPI 2.1)
·         Open InterCharge Protocol (OICP)
·         eMobility Inter-Operation Protocol(eMIP)

What is OCPP?

The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) is a SOAP-based protocol for communication between an EV charger and a central back office system. OCPP is an international open standard which is available for free, no license fees are required.

OCPP was developed in 2009 by a group in the Netherlands called the E-Laad Foundation. The protocol started as an initiative... aiming to create an open communication standard that would allow charging stations and central systems from differ­ent vendors to easily communicate with each other.

OCPP is designed to be vendor independent, thereby creating the freedom for infrastructure operators in choosing EV chargers and for vendors to supply EV chargers to any infrastructure operator.

OCPP Version –

·         2010 - OCPP version 1.2
·         2011 - OCPP version 1.5 (First Development)
·         2012 - OCPP version 1.6
·         2017 - OCPP version 2.0 (Under Development)

OCPP v2.0 features a more efficient, modern transport, while new messages supporting pricing, smart charging, and charging station health and maintenance, including device event notification and statistical reports. OCA is currently developing a process for OCPP v2.0 compliancy and interoperability, in parallel with the last phase of protocol specification.

OCPP Communication Protocol

OCPP 1.5 is a SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) based protocol communication. SOAP is an XML-based protocol. This protocol makes it possible to perform RPC (Remote Procedure Call) request-response dialogues. SOAP can operate over any transport protocol but it is mainly used with HTTP. The protocol, as of OCPP version 1.5, consists in 23 operations. 14 are initiated by the Charge Point Service (CPS) and 9 are initiated by the Central System Service (CSS) - 
OCPP Protocol Design Paradigms

·         Bi-directional Client-Server Web Service Architecture
·         Limited to Request Response Message Exchange Patterns 


OCPP Protocol Stack

·         OCPP 1.5 adopts SOAP-based WS Messaging Architecture
·         Information Model and Message Binding based on XML Schema and WSDL
·         FTPS used for Firmware Update and uploading Diagnostics Data
·         Channel to EVSE may be secured by HTTPS (SSL / TLS) 

The protocol score on the properties of interoperability, maturity, market adoption and openness is summarized in the following overview:
 This study has led to the following summary of use cases supported by the different protocols:-


Use cases supported by OCPP

The use cases that are supported by OCPP are visualized. Supported by this version of the protocol are:

·         Authorize charging session
·         Billing
·         Manage grid
·         Operate Charge Point
·         Reservation
·         Smart Charging

Besides the main functionality of operating a charge point, in more detail the protocol can (also) be used:

·         Technically reserving a charge point (i.e. sending a reservation message to a charge point)
·         Collecting transaction information for billing purposes

Maturity

The protocol has been further developed while it was also being used in practice and has been enhanced both technically as well as functionally over the years. The 1.6 version of OCPP is developed within the Open Charge Alliance. The specification is divided in "profiles". These profiles include firmware management, smart charging and reservation. A testing tool is offered by the OCA, which can be used to determine whether the implementation of a central system or charge point is correct. The technical level of detail of the OCPP specification is high. Currently certification of the protocol is not available. Based on the above, the maturity of the protocol is classified as high.

Interoperability

The OCPP protocol is a strict protocol. It does not only describe messages, but also the related behavior of the central system and charge point is included in the protocol. This “strictness” combined with the testing tool to validate implementations, makes the protocol highly interoperable: a correctly implemented central system and a correctly implemented charge point will usually integrate without many problems (if any).

Market adoption

The market adoption of OCPP is high. It has been downloaded over 10.000 times in 91 countries and used on 6 continents. The Open Charge Alliance which was responsible for creating the protocol consists of over 65 parties. Despite the fact that OCPP is not (yet) a formal de jure standard, it is the only non-proprietary standard that supports this key domain for EV charging and has been deployed by many vendors globally. Therefore the market adoption of the protocol is classified as high.

Openness

The OCPP protocol is publically available at no cost from the website of the Open Charge Alliance, without licensing / royalty obligations or usage restriction. It is made available under the Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License (with no other intellectual property assertions). The Open Charge Alliance is not considered an accredited standards organization. Development of successor versions of the protocol were attempted to be carried on through OASIS, which is an accredited standards organization, until the committee was closed by OASIS.
Based on the absence of intellectual property constraints and free public access of the standard, the openness is classified as Medium / high.

Conclusion

The introduction of EVs leads to both challenges and opportunities. Smart charging enables an efficient usage of the electricity grid and charging infrastructure. It facilitates an affordable and reliable integration of electric loads that come with charging of EVs. OCPP is an open en interoperable protocol that enables DSOs and charge station operators to implement smart charging in a consistent way. It avoids specific and more costly implementations between individual DSOs and charge spot operators. Furthermore, back office vendors will have an increasing stimulus to implement smart charging in a standardized manner as adoption of the OCPP protocol grows. Although not addressed in this paper, an end-2-end security design has been produced that helps EV market parties implementing smart charging in a secured and privacy enhanced manner.

** All data are gathered form trusted source/websites.

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