We publish major software releases for our open source BMS platform every 3 to 6 months and interim bug fixes when solved in the News section. By subscribing to the foxBMS Newsletter, you will be informed when the new releases are available. Further, the foxBMS Technical Specifications, the foxBMS Roadmap and the foxBMS Documentation are also updated regularly. Alternatively, you can contact us by using the online form in case of questions or suggestions.
foxBMS is a free, open and flexible research and development environment for the design of Battery Management Systems (BMS). Above all, it is the first universal hardware and software platform providing a fully open source BMS development platform. It aims to control modern and complex electrical energy storage systems, like lithium-ion battery packs. Furthermore, its aim is to accelerate the research, development and test processes used in the mobile and stationary electrical energy storage domains by using seamless development processes and integration. For this reason, it is perfectly suited for research and development, including fast prototyping and testing (Technical Specifications). Above all, the hardware and software components are used at Fraunhofer IISB (Erlangen, Germany) in our 100kWh stationary battery system (based on lithium-ion NMC/LTO battery cells), and in our electric vehicle (based on lithium-ion NMC/Graphite battery cells) where it has obtained a road homologation.
foxBMS is suitable and adaptable to current and future rechargeable energy storage systems based on lithium-ion batteries (LIB). Further, it was also developed to control other kind of rechargeable batteries and electrochemical systems:
- Lithium-Ion and Solid State Batteries
- Lithium-Sulfur Batteries
- Sodium-Ion Batteries
- Lithium-Ion Capacitors (LIC)
- Electric Double-Layer Capacitors (EDLC, supercapacitors or ultracaps)
- Redox-Flow Batteries (RFB) (e.g., Vanadium Redox-Flow)
- Fuel Cells (FC)
foxBMS is a modular open source BMS development platform, hence it targets the automotive, aviation, space, (sub)marine, railway, industrial, consumer, and renewable energy domains. We are constantly working on the development of the hardware and software building blocks, thus providing regular updates. To support you in the development of commercial hardware and software adaptations to specific application requirements, please contact us.
The architecture of foxBMS is the result of more than 15 years of development in innovative hardware and software solutions for rechargeable battery systems, redox-flow battery systems, and fuel-cell systems at Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen (Germany). Consequently, we use the hardware and software building blocks as battery management system at Fraunhofer IISB in all of our research and development projects (Technical Specifications). Further, our self-developed 100kWh stationary lithium-ion battery system to store electric energy generated by photovoltaic panels and our TÜV road homologated electric vehicle are two examples of such systems using our open source BMS. As a result, we provide a strong experience in designing and developing innovative solutions for advanced battery systems in the domains described hereafter.
Automotive and Road Transport: Electrified Vehicles (e.g., 48V Boardnet Batteries, Plug-in Hybrid and Full Electric Vehicles, Utility Vehicles (including Forklift Trucks), Trucks and Busses with Hybridized Powertrains), Electric Bicycles (e.g., e-Bikes and Pedelecs)
Railway and Rail Transport: Electrified Rail Public Transports (e.g., Traction Energy Storage Units with Batteries, Supercap or Ultracaps for Electric Locomotives)
Aviation and Aerospace: Gliders (e.g., Battery Supplied Electric Sustainer and Self-Launcher), Aircrafts (e.g., High-Power Batteries for APU), Satellites (e.g., Nanosatellites, Spacecrafts)
Marine and Underwater: Multi-Megawatt-Hours (MWh) Battery Systems (e.g., Submarines, Cruise Ships, Underwater Robotics)
Industrial: Ultra-High-Performance Battery Systems (e.g., Complete Full-Custom Battery System Prototypes for Test Benches and Robots)
Renewables: Electric Energy Storage Systems for Renewable Energies (e.g., Photovoltaic and Wind Parks)
The foxBMS platform is also used in education by universities. Based on our cooperation with the University of Bayreuth in Germany, foxBMS is used to demonstrate and explain the functions of a battery management system to students in the following master degree programs:
- Batterietechnik, Master of Science (M.Sc.) (German Program)
- Battery Materials and Technology, Master of Science (M.Sc.) (International Program)
Modular Open Source BMS Platform
The architecture of foxBMS is the result of more than 15 years of innovation in hardware and software developments. At Fraunhofer IISB in Erlangen (Germany), we develop high performance lithium-ion battery systems. Consequently, the foxBMS hardware and software building blocks provide unique open source BMS functions for your specific product developments (Technical Specifications). The software of our open source BMS platform is licensed under the 3-Clause BSD license, while the hardware and the documentation are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Furthermore, foxBMS 2 has been certified as open source hardware by the Open Source Hardware Association under the OSHWA UID DE000128.
foxBMS Open Source BMS Hardware
The hardware of foxBMS provides redundancy to allow a safe software development process. It enables the management of high-performance prototypes of complex lithium-ion battery systems of any size (i.e., from one cell up to several hundreds of cells). As a result, the redundant hardware architecture of foxBMS enables the development of battery systems requiring a high level of safety, reliability and availability. The hardware of our open source BMS platform is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. It contains only components and devices not requiring confidential agreements to get their datasheets.
foxBMS Open Source BMS Software
The software implemented in foxBMS uses only specifically developed open source and free of charge software components and modules, or free of charge third-party software. The entire source code is provided online for free on GitHub. It includes a configuration for Visual Studio Code and a toolchain for the platform, thus enabling immediate use on Windows operating systems. It also provides a graphical user interface (GUI) entirely programmed in Python. Furthermore, the software of our open source BMS platform is licensed under the 3-Clause BSD License. All foxBMS parts come without restrictions, including free and open source use, as well as closed source commercial use.
Since April 2021, the second generation of foxBMS (foxBMS 2) is available on GitHub. The repository includes:
- software sources including a Visual Studio Code setup
- hardware schematics and layouts (Altium Designer)
- documentation sources
The documentation is available online.
The beta-test phase involved 15 international partners in 7 countries worldwide and finished at the end of the year 2016. Since 2017, the complete set of the foxBMS files is available freely online on the foxBMS GitHub repositories. The repository includes:
Hardware: all the schematics, layouts in Altium Designer file format and the bill of materials (BOM).
Software: all the source files in embedded C and Python. A preconfigured Eclipse project is also included.
Documentation: all the source files to render the documentation.
The documentation is available online.
The foxConda installer is also available online
The following list gives and example of services we offer in our research and development team at the Fraunhofer IISB:
- Manufacturing and shipment of foxBMS development kits and customized prototypes
- Design of electronic BMS hardware and optimization for your specific requirements
- Development of embedded BMS software and configuration for your specific application
- Modelling of battery cells (electric and thermal) for accurate state estimation algorithms (e.g., SOC, SOE, SOH, SOP)
- Prototyping of high performance battery systems (e.g., for automotive, aviation and stationary applications)
- Consulting in the field of battery systems and failure analysis
- Do not hesitate to contact us by using the online form. Please do not send us commercial offers or other kind of spams.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where can we buy the foxBMS development kit?
To order foxBMS development kits, simply contact us by providing your contact
data including your company name and address. We are currently working on a
solution to offer the foxBMS hardware by ordering directly online. We ask you
for your patience and understanding, since certification processes are costly
and take time.
Are you looking for partners do develop, test, manufacture or distribute foxBMS?
We are currently analyzing these questions and are open to concrete
propositions. Please do not send us offers for products or web design services.
Which licenses apply to foxBMS?
The foxBMS software is licensed under the 3-Clause BSD License. The hardware and the documentation are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license.
This applies to foxBMS 1 as well as to foxBMS 2.
The complete and detailed documentation can be found online.
Is it further possible to participate in the beta-test of foxBMS?
The beta-test period with 15 international partners in 7 countries worldwide ended in December 2016. Access to the open source BMS hardware and software files is now open to everybody on GitHub.