About Franz-Josef Feilmeier
Franz-Josef Feilmeier, second of three children, grew up in a home where respect for the environment played a major role.
The parental business, an agricultural warehouse offering GMO-free “food for animals,” is to be made energy self-sufficient with photovoltaic systems. Clean energy is just as important as clean food.
After studying technical business administration at the TH Deggendorf, half a year in China, where he already experiences e-mobility on a grand scale with electric buses in 2005, Franz-Josef moves on to his next professional stations: Diploma thesis on solar technology in Hamburg, construction of solar cell factories based in Konstanz and then building photovoltaic systems with friends back in Lower Bavaria.
Rooftop and ground-mounted systems had grown in size. As full feed-in projects, they were generally investment properties. But the energy transition needs more than just a dumb feed-in when the sun is shining.
The start-up project of FENECON (Feilmeier New Energy Consulting) was a grid-connected PV self-consumption system without excess feed-in on the parental farm to maximize self-supply with intelligent storage and energy management while avoiding any feed-in and the associated grid expansion.
The market was not yet familiar with such products, so we went back to BYD in China, designed appropriate power storage systems together with our Chinese friends, and tested and optimized them in our garage at home. Many an important company has been founded in a garage.
The vision is the 100% energy transition and a better future
for us and future generations.
Days of rain and high water. A dam of the Isar breaks, the whole Fischerdorf is under water and so is the whole camp and our vehicle fleet. Everything is destroyed.
10 strong-willed employees struggle with damage control for more than half a year. We dry, clean, repair without income, because that’s how long it takes until the insurance company transfers the first funds and we can buy new goods. The setback was harsh, but as a time of reflection and development, it also represents the basis for new concepts and later groundbreaking developments.
Together with BYD, we are launching the first series-produced commercial storage system on the European market.
The first test customer is once again the Feilmeier father and the test laboratory is once again the garage, which is now equipped with many test and measurement systems.
BYD is breaking new ground with a compatible battery - and FENECON is combining it with domestic inverters.
The FEMS now controls everything and can do more and more.
Stefan Feilmeier, Franz-Josef’s brother and head of FEMS development, brings his experience from India, from the Linux world into the system. His vision is to make FEMS the ‘operating system for the energy transition’. It is to become open source and accessible to everyone. The OpenEMS platform is created.
The concept is implemented, so we simply make our years of expensive software development available to everyone as open source code. The great effect of a manufacturer-independent and open platform for simplifying and accelerating the decentralized energy transition should only become comprehensively apparent in the next few years.
In the same year, we receive the Handelsblatt Energy Award for our “energy partner model”, which aims to avoid new dependencies and instead achieve a wide range of attractive electricity offers with an OpenEMS storage system. As such a young, small company with just 30 employees, we receive this major, highly regarded award.
In 2017, we are starting to incorporate used vehicle batteries into stationary storage systems and to develop concepts for “living spare parts storage” of vehicle batteries for major car manufacturers.
In the meantime, we have become the technology leader in this segment and have already been able to inspire many manufacturers with our innovative and flexible “full-pack approach”.
OpenEMS is now established at many companies and many research projects work with it, so that together the OpenEMS Association e.V. is founded, which drives the further development of the platform. Stefan becomes chairman of the board of the supporting association.
It’s the time when all storage manufacturers are moving into the next growth phase - which for most means being bought and incorporated by a conventional corporation. That would not be our way. We are a medium-sized
family business and want to remain so in order to Vision of sustainability and decentralized energy transition to be able to move forward freely.
We qualify as an ‘impact company’ and gain BonVenture, an eco-social fund as a partner that supports our social and environmental goals and grants us freedom of choice.
In 2019, more than 40 highly qualified employees are already committed to our mission of energy engineering, some of them also at our first external production site in Künzing.
OpenEMS receives highest recognition as European Energy Storage Highlight.
We grow to over 60 employees and it is still mainly engineers in the team. We can more than double our sales. Many people invest in smart home storage with emergency power during Corona and our products perfectly meet the expectations.
We accept the EES Award, the highest distinction in the storage world, in a
online award ceremony with a loud cry of jubilation. Our industrial series for
Use of electric vehicle batteries in container storage - and once again the
OpenEMS and its many possibilities - have convinced the jury.
To make commercial and industrial storage available to even more customers, we founded FERESTO GmbH (FENECON Rental Storage), which offers large-scale storage for flexible rental. The great demand shows that we have also hit a gap in the market here.
The FENECON Home will be launched on the market in May. A complete system to which we implement future viability as DNA and install energy management as a head on the battery. The learning system loads the electricity storage system in advance and ensures that PV systems are not shut down. The system is nominated for the EES Award but even more important: installers and customers are enthusiastic because the FENECON Home is installed and commissioned in no time and convinces with reliability and openness to the future. Customers can still choose their own electricity provider and integrate suitable heat pumps, heating rods or charging infrastructure.
In June, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary with our team, which now numbers around 80 and is working hard to promote the energy transition. Our partners include storage wholesalers, energy suppliers and general contractors, to whom we would like to express our sincere thanks for the good cooperation and trust they have placed in us, even in difficult times. We look forward to the next many years with all of you.
In October, we are one of only two projects funded in Germany to receive a grant from the EU Innovation Fund. The funding of €4 million will enable us to build Europe’s largest 2nd Life electricity storage factory, the BatteryReFactory in Iggensbach, near Deggendorf. Here, starting in 2024, we will manufacture new products from used e-vehicle batteries and preserve raw materials that are already in Europe here and make them usable again. Our understanding of sustainability and the energy transition makes this step imperative.
In December, we are releasing new FEMS apps for incorporating time-varying electricity rates into FEMS. Hereby the FENECON electricity storage systems can participate even more actively in the energy transition, save cash for our customers and relieve the electricity grids. Ideal for residential, commercial, industrial and loading parks.
We are grateful and pleased that our employees came through the year in good health. This is a great gift.
The theme of the year is Unleashed, as great things will start that were prepared in 2021.
- Thus, the construction of the BatteryReFactory will start in late fall and many other novelties will be on their way.
- In May, we receive The Smarter E Award for Outstanding Projects for the Industrial System, which provides grid services as a living spare parts store for electric car batteries in a former coal-fired power plant.
- We are now 120 committed energy users, with new ones joining every month (as of August 2022).
- New products will enter the market this year. More about that in due course.
We look forward to the next many years with all of you.
Our success is in the team
- A young team of highly qualified and highly motivated colleagues.
- International, open-minded, tolerant.
- Successful together: flat hierarchies.
- Partnership with suppliers, customers and service providers.