1991-08-01

The Future of Vehicle Electrical Power Systems and Their Impact on System Design 911653

The electrical power system is the vital lifeline to most of the control systems on modern automobiles. The demands on the system are highly complex, and a detailed understanding of the system behaviour is necessary both to the process of systems integration and to the economic design of a specific control system or actuator.
The following general trends are observed:-
  • Increased use of electrically actuated systems
  • Increased use of electronic control
  • Increasing requirements for high integrity power supplies for safety critical systems
  • Increased average electrical power consumption (heating, actuation, control systems)
  • Increased electrical demand at engine idle combined with reducing idling speeds
  • Increased interest in higher voltage systems.
  • Electrical system problems are a major cause of road-side breakdowns.
These trends clearly indicate major changes in the requirements of vehicle electrical power supply systems, and will demand considerable activity from the vehicle industry in the next decade. Development of new electrical power systems can only be effectively achieved in partnership between the vehicle manufacturers (VMs) and the component and system suppliers on an international level, leading to standardisation and the benefits of large scale.
Fundamental problems in existing systems should be considered during design and development of new electrical systems. The main aim of the paper is to illustrate and promote a systems view of electrical power while considering existing and future problems and opportunities.

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