Since its inception in 2019 the OCPP Plugfest has been an essential event for developers wanting to test out their EV charging stations and management systems.
The Open Charge Point Protocol (OCPP) has now been established as the protocol to use when communicating with an EV charge station using a centralized management system or server. To help developers around the world better implement the protocol, the Open Charge Alliance (OCA) instituted the OCPP Plugfest. This article covers what’s involved in the OCPP Plugfest along with why developers in EV charging should get involved in the event.
What is the OCPP Plugfest?
Started in 2019 with the intention of giving those in the EV charging space to test out their OCPP implementations, the Plugfest occurs multiple times a year. In 2023 the first OCPP Plugfest is in March and is part of the Global EV charging Test, which includes a symposium on vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies.
The OCPP Plugfest can be attended both online and in person at the event location in the Elaad Testlab in Arnhem, the Netherlands. For those attending the event in person, you’ll get a chance to check out EVs, chargers, communication controllers as well as OCPP Testing Tools up close.
When it comes to testing OCPP implementations, developers are paired up with a testing buddy and will have two hours in each time slot to test their charge stations. After two hours, developers move on to test with another testing buddy as part of a round robin schedule.
Given the need to establish the various schedules, participants of the OCPP Plugfest are advised to register as early as possible to make sure they have all the info before the event. The information as well as communications during the event for online participants are through Slack. During the event, participants can also be in touch with their testing buddies or the OCA hosts through GoTo audio messages.
Why take part in the OCPP Plugfest?
The best part about the OCPP Plugfest is that it’s free to register and be a part of wherever you might be in the world. This highlights how important “openness” is to the OCPP protocol and that the ability to meet and test with developers around the world is crucial to improving the standards of EV charging and global network interoperability.
In 2023, OCPP was also adopted as the minimum standard required in the US under the NEVI Formula Program for public EV infrastructure and it’s importance has now been established globally.
But do developers feel the same way about the OCPP Plugfest? eDRV Customer Success Lead Javier Giulianetti has been to this rodeo before. “Plugfest is really interesting for everyone in the EV charging business, but if you're a developer, it's more than that – it's a must!” Javier said about his previous experiences at Plugfest.
“You get to see what manufacturers are doing and where the industry is heading. It's like catching a glimpse of the future. On top of that, you get to hang out and discuss with developers from everywhere about how they overcame different problems that you might have gone through yourself.”.
Like Javier, Senior Engineer Dhruvin Pipalia has also been to OCPP Plugfest and will be taking part again this year. “OCPP Plugfest gives us an opportunity to test edge cases we may have seen in the field and have a chance to talk with different vendors about those cases.” Dhruvin said, adding that “It provides us a window into the vendor’s mind while also testing new developments they may have been working on.”
More details about future installments of the OCPP Plugfest can be found on both the Open Charging Alliance website or the Elaad website.