We have designed a software solution for Charge Point Operators (CPO), and e-Mobility Service Providers (EMP) named Tridens EV Charge. The software solution consists of Tridens Charging Manager, Tridens Charging Communication Gateway, a well-known Tridens Monetization platform, and a white-label mobile app for iOS and Android. In this article, we focus on the EV car charging use case.
The Role of Charging Communication Gateway
To uniformly handle events of electric charging (EV Car charging), we designed the main charging application called Charging Manager. This application stores all the necessary data and communicates with the end-users on one side and, indirectly, with the charging infrastructure on the other side by using a gateway application. This gateway application called Tridens Charging Communication Gateway is designed to communicate with the charging infrastructure using different protocols, e.g., OCPP 1.6, OCPP 2.0, ISO 15118, etc. Different protocols use different communication technologies, rules, and messaging formats.
Tridens Charging Communication Gateway unifies all protocol-specific behavior and provides a unified API, which is then used by the Charging Manager application. The main goal here is for the Charging Manager to stay independent of the charging protocol. Therefore, it doesn’t really matter which protocol a charging station uses to communicate with the back-office system or how this communication exactly works since the Charging Communication Gateway manages direct communication with the charging infrastructure and offers a unified API.
Communication with Charging Infrastructure
Communication between a gateway component and the charging infrastructure usually starts with the charging station, which connects to the Charging Communication Gateway using specific communication technology (WebSocket, etc.). This leads to a starting handshake for the connection establishment, upon which the gateway component determines the rules and properties for further communication.
Then, whenever some event happens on the charging infrastructure – for example, when the user authorizes, wants to start/stop a charging session, or when the charging connector is used or maybe faulted – the charging station sends these event data to the Tridens Charging Communication Gateway component. It accepts such event data in the charging protocol-specific form and then transforms that into a specific unified message across all the supported electric charging protocols. The message is then sent to the Charging Manager component and processed there.
The other direction of communication works similarly. If the Charging Manager wants to send a message to the charging infrastructure, the message first reaches the Charging Communication Gateway, gets transformed there into a protocol-specific format, and is then sent to the charging station by the specific communication technology.