OCPP Implementation: Protocol Versions 2.0.1 and 1.6 for EV Charging Stations

 

Despite the widespread adoption of the latest 2.0.1 version of the OPCC protocol, the previous release – OCPP 1.6 – is still used for charging infrastructure solutions. We have implemented several OCPP implementation projects, including one for Prottera. In this article, we will share the project details and explain the differences between the two OCPP versions.

 

OCPP is an application layer protocol responsible for the communication of charging infrastructure with its central control system. It supports different CSMS manufacturers.

 

OCPP Versions: 1.6 vs 2.0.1

Currently, the most popular versions of the OCPP protocol are the 1.6 and 2.0.1 releases. OCPP 1.6 is an early version that provides basic functions for communication between charging points and control systems.

 

Updated OCPP 2.0.1 Features

The following features have been updated in the new 2.0.1 version of the OCPP (they were in the original 1.6 release):

  • Transaction management has received an improved version to handle charging sessions, start/stop requests and status updates. The innovations will make it easier for large networks with many charging stations with OCPP.
  • Enhanced security features for data transmission and protection against unauthorised access. New features include TLS protocol, secure WebSockets (WSS) for encrypted communication, digital certificates for authentication and role-based access control.
  • Enhanced error handling mechanism that provides detailed error codes, descriptions, and possible fixes.
  • Improved messaging structure that will allow tariff, energy and consumption messages to be displayed.

 

New OCPP 2.0.1 Features

Here are some new features that will greatly simplify the management of chargers with OCPP and improve the user experience:

  • Device management is a feature that allows the control of a complex network of stations with chargers from different suppliers.
  • Smart charging is possible thanks to integrating the OCPP 2.0.1 protocol with energy management systems. OCPP for smart charging will allow the control of the load of the power grid during peak hours at all charging points in the network.
  • Integration with ISO 15118. This standard is responsible for supporting vehicle-to-grid (V2G) communication for the bi-directional charging of electric vehicles. One implementation of this standard is plug-and-charge, which allows an electric vehicle to connect to a charging station without additional authorisation via an RFID (Radio Frequency IDentification) chip, bank card or mobile app.
  • Remote firmware updates for charging stations: problem identification, maintenance planning, and software updates are now possible without physical access to the charging points.
  • JSON (JavaScript Object Notation) coding provides flexibility in the development of charging station management software.

 

Case Study

Promwad helps its clients to integrate both protocol versions. For example, we worked withProttera, a supplier of electric vehicles and hardware and software solutions for electrification. Commissioned by this American company, we implemented OCPP in the device firmware for controlling electric discharge systems using Open OCPP.

 

 

As a result, OCPP-compliant software by Prottera has become compatible with various charging station management systems (CSMS). Now, users of this engineering solution can manage charging stations from different manufacturers, creating a flexible and versatile infrastructure.

 

Summing Up

The OCPP protocol helps to solve the compatibility problem between charging stations and their management systems from different manufacturers. Currently, charging infrastructure owners use OCPP 1.6 software for their equipment and are gradually moving to OCPP 2.0.1. Version 1.6 is quite capable. It contains the basic functions that ensure the correct operation of charging stations. However, OCPP 2.0.1 offers additional features: smart charging, increased security, and no additional user authorisation via bank cards or applications.

Which protocol is best to use in your project depends on your requirements. Tell us about your challenges, and we will help you choose the best solution.