Establishing a charging network is relatively easy, but achieving the reliability and excellent maintenance of charging networks is challenging. This challenge is where a suitable EV charging management software will be crucial. It needs to support the monitoring and management of charging stations, and it also needs to quickly report problems and help get nonoperational stations running as soon as possible.
Every charging station that is not running is not making money for the e-Mobility Service Providers and frustrating the users. All agree that a good customer experience is a key to more general electric vehicle adaptation.
Table of contents
- The rise of e-mobility
- How does a good EV charging management software work?
- The process of selecting the right EV charging management software
The rise of e-mobility
With e-mobility being the hot topic in recent times, it shows some significant obstacles to broader electric car adaptations. The EVs are getting more and more improvements, but most potential users still suffer from so-called range anxiety.
The car manufacturers can only do a part of the job with better batteries and technical improvements. However, until the charging stations for electric vehicles are practically available, e-mobility can’t get a real boost with the general public.
That is why the governments are giving initiatives to build more charging stations like President Joe Bidens plan to build half a million electric vehicle charging stations across the United States. The US will spend 7.5 billion dollars on an EV infrastructure bill to make it happen. In some cases, like in the UK, they stepped up and will make mandatory EV charging stations in new homes and buildings.
There are many different approaches around the world. However, governments and professional circles all agree that the chargers’ availability and stability are crucial to EV drivers’ satisfaction to achieve a broader adaptation of electric vehicles.
With new petrol and diesel cars being banned in most countries from 2030 or 2035, it’s not that much time left to build a network of charging stations that can support this somewhat radical move.
Tridens EV Charge is an all-in-one EV charging software solution for Charge Point Operators (EV CPO) and e-Mobility Service Providers (EMSP). The software uses the OCPP protocol so that any OCPP station can connect to the system regardless of manufacturer or model.
Tridens EV charge can monitor, manage, troubleshoot, and configure any attributes on the station, which can be used for maintenance and analyzing customer behavior to introduce extensive pricing options.
This article will explain how real-time monitoring and maintenance work in Tridens EV charging management software.
How does a good EV charging management software work?
To satisfy both EV owners and e-Mobility Service Providers, keeping the charging stations running and deploying flexible and smart charging strategies is necessary.
The providers must have an easy way to monitor, manage and troubleshoot an unlimited number of charging stations with a single interface over a web browser or cloud application.
To enable 24/7 monitoring, the Tridens EV Charge uses the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP). It allows the e-Mobility Service Providers to connect to any charging station or a group directly over the internet. The charging monitoring function is the core of the EV charging management for monitoring single charging stations and the whole EV charging platform as a group.
While the latest version, the OCPP 2.0.1, is already out, OCPP 1.6 is still the most common version used in EV charging systems.
Monitoring the current state of stations
Charge point operators (EV CPO) need real-time status updates on their entire EV charging platform. It includes data such as the total number of connected charging stations, the current status of the system, and how many of them are online, offline, or without communication.
Monitoring consumption at stations
The balance between the current or predicted power requirements for charging on a single charging station or a group and the supporting electrical grid is a significant challenge for charge point operators. With the number of rising charging stations, the pressure on the electrical infrastructure will grow.
A good EV charging management software will monitor the charging process of all the vehicles in the system, real-time energy production, load balancing, other local energy consumption, and electrical infrastructure capabilities.
The implementation of EV charging management software enables the monitoring of power distribution equipment, convenient and unified management, and data sharing. It can realize the total power of the site, the total current, total power, power factor, main transformer, switch state, reactive power compensation, and harmonic control equipment monitoring and control.
If the CPO needs some of the more advanced load balancing functions, they can also opt for unique third-party products developed specifically for this. Third-party products can be seamlessly integrated because the EV Charge solution supports REST APIs.
Monitoring of sessions (past and open)
A charge point operator can monitor past and open sessions and know and predict user behavior. With daily or on-demand charging reports, a CPO can see:
- when users prefer to charge
- how fast they want to charge
- if they need to implement charging restrictions in peak times
- what is the number of charging processes
- total revenue
- API interface to ERP systems
- interfaces to roaming platforms
- rate management
- other relevant data
That makes it easy to analyze and predict customer behavior and infrastructure performance and prepare different charging and subscription plans for its users.
EV charging load balancing refers to power distribution across multiple vehicles and other users in the same electrical network. It means it monitors the real-time power demand and dynamically adjusts each charging station’s charging rate. So a high-capacity EV charger can also distribute its available power to all other occupied charging stations around him.
A Smart EV charging management software also enables Supplier-managed charging (SMC), where charging providers can adjust the charging parameters according to different pricing plans or situations.
- limit charging power to the maximum power assigned to a user
- configures different electricity rate schedules to prioritize a specific client charging with dynamic EV charging load management
- distributes available charging power between vehicles depending on their selected pricing plan or departure time in fleet charging.
As long as the new devices that a CPO wants to add to the EV charging network are OCPP compliant and can be connected to the cloud, adding a station or more is not worth mentioning. Adding will be done simply and fast.
Changing parameters and updating the charging station settings
OCPP protocol allows the charge point operator to change any parameter on the charging station or update a charger’s firmware. It can be done to a single station or a group of stations as a stack update.
Creating Smart Charging Profiles
Smart charging means that the central system can send load profiles or charging commands to the charging stations. Creating Smart Chargin profiles is mainly used for load balancing, peak reductions, cost-based optimizations, and similar to avoid gaps between charge plans and actual EV power consumption.
A smart energy management solution with smart charging profiles helps the electrical infrastructure to” flatten the curve” of energy demand.
As we mentioned at the beginning and in our blog, TOP 5 (+1) EV charging trends in 2022 not working charging stations are becoming more and more of a problem. It is one thing to build them, but to manage them properly is a whole different game.
Troubleshooting is the next level of monitoring. A Smart EV charging management software must manage large amounts of real-time data coming from the EV charging platform and quickly recognize any issues with the chargers.
It must report any problematic units and start the automated troubleshooting processes. The CPO can immediately check all the logs and analytics, and if possible, the fault can be solved via remote maintenance. If the problem needs to be solved on-site, the system monitoring logs will provide the correct data to help find and solve the problem.
The process of selecting the right EV charging management software
When choosing the right EV charging management software, you need to ensure the platform is open and expendable, with no vendor lock-in. Of course, it needs to support cloud connectivity and OCPP protocol, and for even more flexibility, the system needs to support API-based external development.
As we mentioned, e-mobility is on the rise, and even if a charge point operator starts small, in time, it will grow. To support this growth, you need a proven and tested EV charging management software to support a growing business in any market in the world you decide to be present.
Tridens Smart EV charging management software is just that – a proven and tested solution that will support your business with no limitations in size or location.
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