Today events are a bit hectic for us:
On one hand, we have released a new firmware for the WARP Charger Wallboxes. This firmware offers various new features (OCPP, charging logbook download as PDF, etc.). For this, we will publish a separate blog post that will introduce the new features in detail.
On the other hand, today we have released the WARP Energy Manager. The development took longer than planned because we had to create various internal technical prerequisites. But now it's finally here, and the WARP Energy Manager can be purchased for 299€ in our webshop. Today we have also released the WARP Energy Manager Firmware in version 1.0.0. We had various requests from you to test the WARP Energy Manager in advance. Thank you very much for that! With the release, we want to fulfill this offer. The reason is that, in our view, an important feature is still missing in the firmware: The energy analysis. We will catch up on this in the next two weeks and release it with a new firmware.
For this reason, the shop entry is marked with the shipping date of March 14th, 2023. This means that after an order is placed, we will ship the WARP Energy Manager as soon as this feature is released (new firmware). We do this so that installers receive a complete product.
If you would like to test the WARP Energy Manager with firmware version 1.0.0 in advance, please write us an email or add a corresponding order comment. Then we will send the Energy Manager with the 1.0.0 firmware immediately.
We look forward to your feedback and your suggestions for improvement!
The firmware in version 1.0.0 offers the following functions:
Static load management
This is the load management that WARP2 Charger Smart and Pro can perform directly with each other. However, the WARP Energy Manager can now also be configured as a load manager. The Energy Manager then ensures that a fixed phase current is not exceeded. Static load management, for example, makes sense when multiple wallboxes share a power line that should not be overloaded.
PV excess charging
With increasing energy prices, you want to be able to charge your electric vehicle with as much of the produced energy as possible. DIY enthusiasts among you have already been able to achieve this using the open interfaces of the WARP2 Charger (MQTT, HTTP, Modbus TCP and OCPP). Solutions such as EVCC could also be used. However, there has not yet been a plug-and-play solution for this. This is now taken over by the WARP Energy Manager. Using an external RS485 power meter of type SDM72 V2 or SDM630, it determines the consumption or excess at the grid connection and regulates the charging power of the connected WARP Chargers accordingly.
On the status page of the WARP Energy Manager, the user can choose between four different charging modes:
- PV: Only the excess power currently being fed in is used to charge the vehicles. If there is not enough power available, no charging takes place.
- Min+PV: The user can define a minimum charging power. If necessary, this is also ensured via power from the grid. Excess power is used to charge the vehicles. This ensures that charging takes place.
- Fast: Charging starts immediately at the set (maximum) power. The proportion of PV excess is irrelevant.
- Off: No charging takes place.
The type 2 charging standard defines a minimum charging current of 6A. No charging takes place below this value. In three-phase operation, the minimum charging power is thus approximately 4.1 kW. PV systems cannot always ensure this power, so energy must be drawn from the grid. A 2-pole contactor can be connected to the WARP Energy Manager, which can automatically switch from three-phase operation to single-phase operation. This reduces the minimum charging power to approximately 1.4 kW, making it possible to carry out charging processes with lower power without additional grid connection. As it is never allowed to simply switch off phases during an active charging process, the WARP Energy Manager takes over the switching and guarantees safe operation. The contactor is monitored by the Energy Manager, so malfunctions can be quickly detected.
External loads can be controlled through a built-in relay (max 30V/1A). The user can define when the relay switches. For example, it can be activated when a certain amount of power is left over.
The WARP Energy Manager has two inputs for potential-free contacts. If a phase switching (see above) is to be realized, one input is used to monitor the contactor. Otherwise, both inputs can be assigned functions by the user. For example, limiting the charging current is possible or charging processes can be blocked depending on input state.
Networking with LAN (and WIFI)
The WARP Energy Manager is equipped with an internal ESP32 Ethernet Brick and should be installed in the distribution box. It has WLAN and opens a WLAN access point that can be used for configuration. We recommend using the LAN interface for communication with the wallboxes.
HTTP and MQTT API
As is customary with us, the WARP Energy Manager has an open API. Through this API, the Energy Manager can be controlled, but it is also possible to transmit meter values via this interface, such that no RS485 power meter is required.
Software-wise, several additional features are already in progress or planned for the future. In the following we will give you an overview of the functions the WARP Energy Manager will take on in the future.
The WARP Energy Manager is equipped with 8GB of internal flash memory. It records data from power meters and charging processes internally. A cloud connection is not necessary. This makes the WARP Energy Manager independent, and the data stays with you. This data can be visualized locally on the Energy Manager. You can view the data in hourly, daily, monthly, and yearly views, allowing you to analyze and optimize your energy consumption. This feature is still being worked on and is scheduled to be released in the next two weeks.
Dynamic load management
The WARP Energy Manager will support dynamic load management, unlike the existing static load management. In dynamic load management, a fixed value for the maximum phase current is not specified (static); instead, a meter is used to determine the current per phase and calculate how much power is still available (dynamic). For example, this ensures that a power connection designed for 63A is never overloaded. The WARP Energy Manager regulates the wallboxes so that the 63A limit is not exceeded. It takes into account that other connected devices can be switched on and off arbitrarily, causing the current to change constantly. This is useful when a specific current for the wallboxes cannot be guaranteed at all times.
Central user management incl. NFC
Currently each WARP2 Smart or Pro wallbox has its own user management system. If a user wants to charge their vehicle using their NFC tag at multiple wallboxes, they have to teach the tag to each box individually. In the future, the WARP Energy Manager is intended to serve as a central management interface where wallbox users can be managed centrally.
Central charging logbook
Similar to user management charging processes are individually recorded on each wallbox. When using multiple wallboxes, this data must then be collected from each wallbox. In the future, this should also be possible centrally via a WARP Energy Manager. You will be able to download the charging logbook as .CSV or .PDF from the web interface.
Currently, the WARP Energy Manager requires a specific power meter at the grid connection for PV excess charging or dynamic load management. We know that often there are already meters at these points, as inverters, heat pumps, or other manufacturers also require power meters . Unfortunately there is no general standard that we could support, which would ensure that we can read all power meters. At least with SunSpec, there is a standard that is supported by many inverter manufacturers. Using this interface, the WARP Energy Manager can use the data of compatible power meters and no additional power meter needs to be installed.