Review 2023 / Outlook 2024

Review 2023

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.

Outlook 2024

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!

Team Tinkerforge