openBMS: Electric Vehicle Battery Management

At BarCamp 2012, I gave a talk about battery management systems and openBMS.

I’ve been interested in electric vehicle technology ever since my first power wheel. Since then, I’ve researched various battery management systems to the point where I might as well build my own. In the openBMS project, I’ve found a system that is fully functional, tested in the real world, and completely modifiable. This project has the potential to be expanded into part of a fully-integrated electric vehicle, communicating with other devices such as chargers and LCD displays.

In my blog post on electronics fabrication at home, I mentioned openBMS and my plans for building one of my own. You see, I’ve learned a lot about different systems, topologies, and strategies, but I’ve never actually worked with one first hand. I plan to change that and have a little fun with an electric vehicle of my own.

To that end, I forked the openBMS project on github and made some modifications that increase the minimum size of components to 0603 instead of 0402. This will make the board easier to build by hand. Once I build a first board, I plan on making a pull request to the original project.