RFID and PIN functions

RFIDs and PINs in the cFos Power Brain Controller and Charging Manager

Master RFID Card

The cFos Power Brain Wallbox is supplied with an RFID clip and a master RFID card. This has the following functions:
3 x hang up: Reset configuration to factory settings and restart
1 x hang up plus new card: Learn new card. This is stored under the (active or only) user of the EVSE.

The RFID reader of the cFos Power Brain Wallbox supports MIFARE cards with 13.56 MHz. You can buy these cards at a reasonable price. Many common cards that you may already have in your wallet also work. Unfortunately, EC cards and some credit cards cannot be read.

User and RFID management

Under "Users", the administrator can set up new users and then add them in the settings of the respective EVSE. As soon as at least one user has been added to an EVSE, this EVSE will only charge after authorisation with this user. This can be done by entering the user ID, a PIN or an RFID. You can set up multiple PINs or RFIDs for each user. For example, a household can be added as a user of an EVSE and all household members receive their own RFID.

Each user can also add further RFIDs or PINs with different functions and download a transaction log of their charging processes. To do this, they can enter a valid PIN, RFID or their user ID under "User" and then click "Manage user".

Show EVSE user when charging: If you give an RFID card a name, it will be displayed under "Start" in the EVSE tile when the user is charging under this RFID. However, the global user name can also be displayed if you "Allow name display" and the RFID card does not contain a name.

Note: User and RFID management is a function of the cFos Charging Manager, i.e. you only need to create users and cards in the "master", not in cFos Power Brain wallboxes that are connected as slaves. With other wallboxes, it may be the case that a wallbox only informs the Charging Manager of a read RFID card if this card was previously learned in the box itself.

Step-by-step instructions for setting up charging authorisation at an EVSE

  1. Screenshot user settings
    Main menu "User" -> "Add User". A unique user ID is generated. Set user name -> "Save".
  2. Under "EVSE Assignment", you can now select the EVSEs at which the user is allowed to charge.
  3. Now you can enter a PIN or RFID manually or learn one. After clicking on "Learn", place the RFID card on the corresponding EVSE. click on "Save".
  4. You can configure a name, functions and phases for the RFID card created in this way.

Map functions

In addition to charging authorisation, RFIDs (and PINs) can also have the function of stopping charging in between and switching phase usage. If your EVSE does not have a meter that can determine the currently used phases, but you want to charge cars at the EVSE that charge on different phases, you can inform the cFos Charging Manager, i.e. the load management, of this by placing the corresponding RFID. This is important for solar surplus charging, for example, as the cFos Charging Manager needs to know how many phases the surplus will be divided among.

Presumably, other functions that you can perform with the RFID card will be added over time. :-)

Note: Instead of using the RFID card, you can also authorise charging using the cFos Charging Manager app.

Fixed RFID

You can also set a "Fixed RFID" for each EVSE in the settings. This is used if no RFID is applied and no PIN is entered before the charging cable is plugged in. This is particularly useful for OCPP, where a corresponding backend may only allow charging processes if an RFID (previously configured in the backend) is present. If you do not place another RFID, the fixed RFID is also used in the transaction log.

HTTP API and external RFID reader

Every cFos Power Brain Wallbox and also the Raspberry and Windows version of the cFos Charging Manager supports an HTTP API function:
/cnf?cmd=enter_rfid&rfid=r&dev_id=d
r is the PIN or RFID (digits), d is an optional device id to select a specific EVSE. If no device id is selected, the Charging Manager tries to assign the PIN or RFID automatically.

This allows you to set up an external RFID reader (e.g. at a centrally accessible location) and enable the users of the EVSE(s) to authorise charging from there. Commercially available RFID readers on the USB port transmit the RFID by means of simulated keystrokes. You can connect the e.g. Raspberry version of the cFos Charging Manager to a USB RFID reader and this will then forward the RFIDs to your EVSE or another cFos Charging Manager, call with:
charging_manager rfid dest
is the address of the EVSE or the cFos Charging Manager that is to receive the RFIDs via HTTP API, e.g. 192.168.2.111. If you are using a third-party EVSE that does not have an RFID reader, you can retrofit RFID functionality with the cFos Charging Manager.