Arjun Harindranath
Published on
March 2, 2023
5 min read

What is an OCPP simulator?

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What is an OCPP simulator and why use one?

Those familiar with the Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) know that this protocol governs the communications between electric vehicle charge points and the centralized server. OCPP-compliant EV charging stations have also become the norm, with the large majority of charge points in the US now using the standard for communications between chargers and the central management system.

But how would EV charge station owners new to the Open Charge Point Protocol be able to trial its protocol on their network? Would EV charging businesses need to have OCPP-compliant hardware before they can get their network off the ground? In other words, is there any way to take the OCPP EV charging experience for a test drive?

This is where an OCPP simulator comes in.

Attaching an OCPP simulator on the eDRV Admin Dashboard

For those in the early stages of setting up their EV charging network, it’s essential to get an idea of the types of scenarios and problems that might crop up in the day-to-day of your business before your network is open for EV drivers to use.

An OCPP simulator allows you to test several of these scenarios without having EV charging infrastructure in place. An OCPP simulator makes it easy for charge point operators to  simulate the real-world environment of the EV charging station. With just a few clicks, network owners have a seamless and convenient console by which to operate a charge station.  

The types of scenarios you can simulate include:

  • Connecting and disconnecting the charging connector between the charge station and the EV.
  • Electrical faults with the websocket connection.
  • Pausing and resuming charging the EV.

At eDRV, we provide all our users the chance to hit the ground running with their own OCPP simulator. In the next section we look into how you can set up an eDRV OCPP simulator yourself. As always, if you’re ready to get stuck in you can dive straight into our Simulator Documentation.

[Take me to the DOCs] 

An OCPP simulator comes free when you sign up with eDRV. make sure to reach out to us to find out how to make the most of this feature.

How do you set up an OCPP simulator?

The free OCPP 1.6 simulator is available both through the eDRV Admin Dashboard and our APIs. For those interested in setting up the simulator via API you can skip ahead to the next section.

For the basics of how to set up the OCPP charge point simulator via the Dashboard, check out this video with Javier from eDRV.

Did you know? Our OCPP chargepoint simulator only lives for a day and dies with no regrets. Fortunately, summoning another simulator is dead easy. Just re-attach the simulator to the same charge station to use it again.

Setting up the eDRV OCPP Simulator via APIs

If you’d prefer to set up a simulator via our APIs here’s a brief overview. You can refer back to our Docs for a more detailed explanation.

In order to connect a simulator to a Chargestation object via API, you have to set is_simulator property as true via the Chargestation.

Then you’ll need to make an API request for your charge station to be provisioned and attached successfully which can be done as follows:

To boot up and bring the simulator online, use /chargestations/{id}/attach_simulator. The OCPP simulator has to be Attached and Online before sending any events. If the OCPP simulator is neither attached nor online you’ll see an error message up on the screen.

You can interact with a charge station simulator by sending it events through the API. The types of events you can send through to a simulator include:

  • connect_cable: Connect the charging cable between the chargestation and the EV
  • disconnect_cable : Disconnect the charging cable between the chargestation and the EV
  • connector_faulted : Simulate an electrical fault on the connector
  • ev_charging_paused : EV stops consuming energy, usually caused by a full battery.
  • ev_charging_resume : Resuming charging after a SuspendedEV event

When you are finished with the simulator, you can terminate or detach it. This requires making an API request for your charge station to terminate or detach successfully.

Ready to take a test drive? The eDRV OCPP 1.6 Simulator comes free with our trial plan so make sure to reach out to us to find out how to make the most of this feature.

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