EV Charge Station running fully on IOTA
Following on from the Amsterdam Meetup last week Harm van den Brink has just published an account of exactly how ElaadNL created a proof of concept to build an EV (Electric Vehicle) charging station running fully on IOTA and using the tangle to store measurement values (like a smart meter).
His article includes a detailed breakdown of the technical build process and coding to make this all possible, including building their own smartphone app. He goes on to describe how they intend to improve the proof of concept in the future using MAM and Flash Channels
Things they came up with during the developments include:
- kWh-based charging, thus only paying for the amount of energy you exactly use.
- IOTA Charging App — since we wanted to communicate with the end user and make the experience more user friendly we developed our own app
- kWh-measurement storage, storing measurement data of the kWh-meter in the Tangle as a immutable storage of the kWh energy consumption over time (like the Odometer in a car).
What’s inside the Charge Station and how does it work?
The charge station has all the common components of a normal charge station. A kWh-meter, a contactor, EVSE controller and a main controller. Usually the main controller communicates with a back office using the OCPP (Open Charge Point Protocol, this protocol was invented by ElaadNL and is now used all over the world in charge stations).
The project was started from scratch, with no software to control the station and only the bare components. We used an Intel NUC for development purposes since we didn’t want to wait while developing (because of low CPU power) we chose a fast device. Running the charge station on a Raspberry Pi is also possible, since the PoW (Proof of Work) is not done on the machine, but outsourced to the IOTA Node.