An i-Electric System Architecture for EVs 2013-01-1183
Connectivity and systems integration together with weight and production cost reduction are among the main objectives of the automotive industry in electric vehicles development in particular, when concerns with smart grids integration and interoperability increases. At the same time vehicle systems reliability plays an important role as a decisive factor for market acceptance.
Conventional automotive electrical systems comprehend a central ECU, with radial wiring harness architecture with power and signal cables. A different architecture is proposed with the aim of vehicle cable mass and cost reduction, simplification and increased reliability of the whole electrical control system. With this architecture there's also the aim to provide computing and communications capability to each electric component in a distributed way, in order to enable its integration with external systems like smart phones, networking services and smart grids.
A measurement, actuator and communications system designed to interface electric vehicles with external devices and users was developed and implemented. The system is distributed and composed by modules with local functions associated to specific sensors and actuators. The principle shall be to have only a single power cable and a differential communications pair across the vehicle. The topology of the system is a bus configuration. For communication purposes, every electric component of the vehicle is provided with a CAN controller.
In order to interface with devices and users, a central processing unit is used as a gateway. It connects to the vehicle's system through CAN bus and interfaces with users and devices through its HMI and wireless connectivity features.
Having the intelligence distributed, wiring harness complexity, mass and size reduces and reliability increases because a failure on one electronic module doesn't affect the performance of the whole system. It also makes parts replacement easier and less expensive.