This blog entry is only available in german.
Olaf Lüke - 2 weeks, 2 days ago
This blog entry is only available in german.
Olaf Lüke - 1 month, 3 weeks ago
In 2022, we still struggled with issues related to the chip shortage. However, in 2023, these problems were mostly resolved. Only in isolated cases it is still challenging to procure components. Fortunately, material costs have also not continued to rise and have stabilized.
In 2023, there were many developments in the area of our wallboxes. For example, we released the WARP Energy Manager, allowing users to analyze home energy consumption. With the latest firmware, various Modbus-RTU, API, Sunspec, and soon Modbus-TCP electricity meters can be read. The meter data is stored locally on the Energy Manager and can be analyzed in hourly and monthly graphs. Additionally, the Energy Manager enables automatic phase switching for WARP2 Chargers, allowing charging with lower power (~1.4kW) for charging with PV. User-defined rules can also control external devices through the Energy Manager.
With the WARP2 Charger wallboxes, there have been significant developments in the software as well. In addition to numerous detailed improvements, new interfaces (OCPP, Modbus TCP, Wiregard) were introduced, providing the option for energy and time limits, along with the addition of a charging logbook. The WARP Charger now supports up to 32 NFC tags. Users can define rules for setting charging currents or sending MQTT messages. We have extended the warranty for a WARP Charger to 3 years. There are also visual updates – in addition to stainless steel, wallboxes and charging stations are now also available in powder-coated variant in the color DB703.
One of the major efforts for us in 2023 was the relocation to a new and bigger property. Apart from the actual move of materials and offices, there were several side issues. For instance, we struggled for a long time to establish a reliable internet connection. This was unexpected, considering that the property has a fiber connection that was used by the previous owner. We had to make do with an LTE connection for months. The relevant departments of the involved companies did their best, or at least, we were assured of that. Well, let bygones be bygones. We have moved, and everyone is delighted with their new offices, ample storage space, and good infrastructure! Next on the agenda is the installation of a solar power system of nearly 200 kWp and a charging infrastructure with 16 WARP Wallboxes and 10 PV carports in our parking lot. The parking lot has already been expanded for this purpose, and the foundations for the carports are also already in place. We will keep you updated on this.
For the Tinkerforge system of building blocks, there were also many improvements, such as new firmwares.
In the first quarter, we plan to release the WARP3 Charger (photo is of early prototype, there will still be some changes).
The WARP3 Charger will feature two contactors, allowing for the internal switching between 1-phase and 3-phase charging. Together with the ability to read meters using SunSpec, this enables PV surplus charging without an external WARP Energy Manager. Two DIN rail-mounted 63A contactors are used to ensure no compromises are made, avoiding soldered or less able contactors. Additionally, a terminal block will always be present, even in the Pro variant, simplifying the electrical installation. The internal LAN connection has also been improved. WARP3 uses the same basic housing as the WARP2 Wallbox, so we had to significantly reduce the size of the charging electronics to fit everything into the enclosure. Furthermore, WARP3 features an RGB LED for easier communication of various states. Dynamic load management will also be introduced through a software update in the near future.
On the software side, the development of the WARP3 Charger is shared with the WARP2 and even the WARP1 Wallbox. Any further innovations, as long as they are technically feasible, will therefore also be implemented in these Wallboxes.
In addition to our WARP products, the Tinkerforge system of building blocks is also being further developed. For example, we will soon be releasing a new HAT Brick with a more powerful power supply.
The year is still in its early stages. Look forward to many news and improvements!
We wish you all the best for 2024!
Bastian Nordmeyer - 4 months ago
Since yesterday, we have officially moved to a new location at Helleforthstraße 22-28. Our new building is just a few meters away from our old site, but it's significantly larger and more spacious. As you can see from the photos, we're in the midst of our relocation efforts. We're currently in the process of setting up our offices, organizing our warehouse, and enhancing the outdoor facilities. Excitingly, we're also investing in a larger photovoltaic system and multiple electric vehicle charging points. We can't wait to show you our brand-new location once it's fully furnished and ready. In the meantime all the shippments and our support will go on as usual. Stay tuned!
Bastian Nordmeyer - 5 months ago
The list of eligible charging solutions for KfW funding 'KfW 442 - Solar Power for Electric Cars' has now been released. Our wallboxes, WARP Charger Smart and WARP Charger Pro, are listed on the list and therefore qualify for a 600€ grant. The funding supports the new purchase and installation of a wallbox, photovoltaic system, and storage. The PV system is subsidized at 600€ per kWp, and a storage unit at 250€ per kWh. An electric vehicle must be either already owned or ordered. The specific conditions are described on the KfW website: Link to KfW 442 website.
Bidirectional charging solutions are eligible for an additional 600€ in funding. As of now, only one product is listed, which is a DC Charger. We have not been able to find any sellers offering this product directly. We assume that the additional costs far exceed the higher funding amount. After all, a bidirectional DC Charger requires an inverter that converts between the DC battery voltage of the vehicle and the AC power grid.
Some manufacturers offer partial "solutions" for bidirectional AC charging. To our knowledge, the technical and legal framework for these solutions has not yet been defined (communication with the vehicle, feed-in characteristics, etc.). Furthermore, we are not aware of any electric cars currently on the market that are technically equipped for this purpose. Vehicles that can operate an AC device (e.g., a cooler box) are not automatically suitable for bidirectional AC charging.
Bastian Nordmeyer - 5 months, 1 week ago
We are now offering a three-year warranty for all WARP Chargers, starting from the date of the invoice. In the rare instances where WARP Charger owners needed assistance due to hardware issues, we have always been accommodating and promptly replaced defective components. While we haven't publicly communicated this practice in the past, we have consistently worked behind the scenes to ensure our customers' satisfaction.
Formally, we have only provided the legally required warranty. However, because we firmly believe that our WARP Chargers are among the highest quality products on the market, we now want to officially emphasize this through a comprehensive warranty for our customers. Unlike some common practices, there is no need for you to register yourself or their Wallbox separately to avail of the warranty. The three-year warranty automatically applies from the date of the invoice, and this also applies retroactively to existing customers!