Both demo mode and free charging mode are ways to make your charging station available for free. However, there are also distinctions between these two modes, both in how they are activated and how they work. This article is intended to explain the difference between demo mode and free charging mode, and to help you set the appropriate mode on your charging station for your needs.
What is the demo mode and how does it work?
When a charging station is in demo mode, any RFID card can be used to start a charging process. The tag ID of the identification medium used is transmitted, but not checked for validity. This means that every AuthorizeRequest is accepted. The charging station itself does not indicate that it is in demo mode, since demo mode is set via the backend.
Example: If the charging station is in demo mode, any identification medium, such as a gym membership card, can be used to start a charging process.
A customer who starts a charging process in demo mode will not be charged for it. If the tag ID is registered in your be.ENERGISED instance, the charging process can in principle be charged subsequently. To do this, the identification medium would have to be correctly assigned and the cost of the charging process recalculated.
If no tag ID is registered in your be.ENERGISED instance, the charging process cannot be charged. Since the tag ID is unknown in this case, the tag ID "0X001" is used.
|ATTENTION: A charging process, which is initialized via RemoteStart at a charging station in demo mode, is charged normally.|
How to activate the demo mode at a charging station?
In be.ENERGISED, first go to the charging station data sheet under Infrastructure/Charging stations/Station list by clicking on the data sheet icon of the charging station at which you want to activate the demo mode. Then go to the "Edit" button and to "Basic information". There you will find the item "Enable demo mode? (disables RFID validation)". Set this to YES and save the data afterwards.
The demo mode is now active at your charging station.
What is the free charging mode, and how does it differ from demo mode?
The main difference between demo mode and free charging mode is that the latter is hardware related. The free charging mode is usually set directly on the charging station, but can also be set via the OCPP-settings in the charging station datasheet in be.ENERGISED if the option exists.
The free charging mode can be seen on the charging station display. In addition, for a charging station at which the free charging mode should be activated, the "Rate" and the "Managed Community Rate" must be removed in the charging station data sheet in the "Charge points" tab.
|Please note that removing the "Managed Community Rate" will result in the Community being disabled in the "Roaming" tab in the charging station data sheet at that charging station.|
The rates have to be removed, because if a charging station is started remotely in free charging mode, billing can still take place.
For example, if a customer unlocks the connector via app and only plugs in his vehicle afterwards, the charging process is billed with the respective cost rate.
In free charging mode, no RFID card is required for identification or to start a charging process. It is sufficient to plug in the charging cable. A default value must be entered as the tag ID at the station, and this tag ID must then also be registered as an authentication medium in be.ENERGISED. In this case, the actual tag ID is overwritten by this default tag ID during authorization and validated. If this default tag ID is not registered in the OCPP settings and in your instance, the authorization is not accepted and the charging process is aborted.
|The key names, which can be found in the OCPP settings in the "Key" column, vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Therefore, it is not possible to refer specifically to a key name for free charging and the default tag ID here. However, each charging station should have a key for these two parameters.|
How is the free charging mode activated?
As mentioned above, the free-charging mode is usually set directly on the charging station. You can find more details about this in the operating instructions of your charging station or by contacting the charging station manufacturer directly.
Depending on the charging station manufacturer, it may also be possible to set the free charging mode via the be.ENERGISED backend.
To do this, go to the "Settings" tab in the charging station data sheet. Then click on the "Load parameters from charging station" button.
Then look for a key name which refers to the free charging mode. In the screenshot above, this would be the key "FreeCharging". Set this to "true" or in other cases to "1".
A key for the default tag ID can also be found here. Enter any combination of letters and numbers.
What happens with remote authorizations?
Remote authorizations overwrite both the demo mode and the free charging mode. The default tag ID does not overwrite the tag ID of the identification medium taken for remote authorization. The charging process is assigned and charged to the remote identification medium.
Version: 2022-09-07 14:53:13 UTC