For those interested in the topic of software migration (both Charge Point Operators and eMobility Service Providers), we have published a comprehensive ebook combining all the knowledge, including the business and strategic aspects. Platform Migration for EV Charging Businesses is available for free.
Taking off onto the next phase of our series, we delve deeper into the fairly complex world of software migration for electric vehicle chargers. In our previous entries, we thoroughly explored the compelling reasons supporting the need for software migration and highlighted crucial factors to consider when making this critical decision. Now, we are ready to take the leap and immerse ourselves in the practical aspects of the migration process itself. In this piece, we’ll try to uncover the intricacies of migrating chargers into the new management software, unraveling the steps, challenges, and best practices along the way.
Moreover, we add the downloadable list of requirements for OCPP acceptance testing!
Having had the opportunity to embark on numerous similar projects for our clients, coupled with the successful launch of our own suite of software solutions for EV charging, our eMobility experts have honed their skills in mastering the realms of software migration and the demanding requirements of open standards. This invaluable experience has equipped our team with a deep understanding of the complexities involved in seamlessly transitioning software systems and we’re now happy to share some of the best practices when it comes to the software migration for an EV charging network.
While the points mentioned below serve as a general guideline for software migration in the EV charging industry, it's crucial to acknowledge that the extent of these tests may vary depending on the specific features and requirements of the system.
Migrating EV chargers to a new software - checklist
Migrating a charging network to a new software provider, which manages the chargers remotely, can be a complex process. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure a seamless transition.
Asses and evaluate the new software
Thoroughly assessing and evaluating the new software solution is essential before proceeding with the migration. It is important to verify that the new system can effectively handle the chargers, ideally exceeding the capabilities of the current software. During the assessment a lot of attention should focus on features that align with the specific requirements of a particular charging network and ensuring seamless compatibility with them. Such an “evaluating approach” not only mitigates the potential risks, but also guarantees an edge over competitors through picking out the most optimal solution.
Confirm Supported Charging Stations and Seamless Integration
Ensuring comprehensive support for all charging stations within the network is paramount when considering a new software solution. Thorough testing, including OCPP acceptance testing, is vital to confirm the seamless integration of the charging stations with the new software system. This rigorous step enables early detection of any potential compatibility issues, guaranteeing a seamless and successful transition process.
We add a downloadable guide on OCPP Acceptance testing including a checklist to go through. The PDF can be freely downloaded from the box on the left side of the page.
Migrate the Software Structure
To successfully migrate the charging network, it is essential to first migrate the software structure. This step begins with a thorough understanding of the structure of both the old and new software, including aspects like charging pools and charging stations and their descriptions within the ecosystem. Familiarizing with the necessary features and ensuring that the new structure replicates them effectively is crucial to maintain the functionalities and capabilities of your charging network during the migration and after the process is finished.
Determine the Migration Method for Charging Stations
Once the software structure is well-managed, it is time to devise an appropriate method for migrating the charging stations themselves. Each charging station has a configuration called the OCPP URL socket, which determines the migration process. Depending on the requirements, the decision often circles around whether physical cable connections or remote methods are necessary for the migration. Planned and well-executed migration process allows avoiding any disruptions to charging services.
Step-by-Step Migration Approach
For networks with a large number of charging stations, a step-by-step migration approach is recommended. That is to begin with a smaller pool of charging stations in a controlled environment, ensuring the proper functioning of the new software solution. Then gradually expanding the migration process by adding more charging stations using a specific key until all stations are successfully connected. This phased approach allows for better management and minimizes the potential risks associated with migrating a large number of stations simultaneously.
Migration of OCPI Connections
Another critical aspect of the migration process is the transfer of OCPI connections. This step ensures that communication channels between the charging network and external partners or networks remain intact, facilitating uninterrupted data exchange and interoperability. It usually requires an in-depth analysis and quite often developing unique, fitting components.
For those who look to gain more knowledge on the OCPI connections and how they can be facilitated, we invite all to reach out to us.