Centralized automotive wiring system is the traditional structure used to provide electrical connections in automobiles. In this system, the automotive wiring harness forms a star-like structure, where all connections emanate from a single power box. Although this system is used extensively in several large companies, it is slowly becoming redundant.
The Role of Fuse Boxes
In order to ensure safe functioning, several fuses are used in the centralized automotive wiring harness. These fuses protect the wires from high voltage currents. However, engineers are required to place fuse boxes at a location that is easily accessible by repairmen. This causes the designers to make certain changes in the layout of the wiring systems causing the above-mentioned problems.
3 Major Problems of Centralized Automotive Wiring Systems
In a centralized automotive wiring system, the following productive features are sacrificed to accommodate design requirements:
- In order to utilize a single fuse box, several power feeds are accumulated and routed to the fuse. Since all the loads are pooled in a single circuit, there is no scope for fault isolation. In addition, optimization of wire size is not possible in such cases.
- Although the technicians are required to place the fuse boxes in an accessible location, this rule is not always followed for electrical centers. Electrical centers are placed in a manner that makes them inaccessible to personnel who may not be entirely knowledgeable of the system. This leads to increased costs.
- System designers are required to route several functional systems to allow separate components to function in isolation. This requires several wires to be used to connect different components. Each wiring system requires a separate fuse. Such guidelines and design requirements demand excessive wires to be used thereby increasing cost.
The Solution: The Decentralized Approach
Recent innovation in this area of automotive wiring systems has led to the decentralized approach. This is a tree-like structure, where wires branch out from several main power boxes. This is a more systematic approach compared to the conventional centralized system. Since fewer wires are used in this process, it renders the system lighter and more cost-effective compared to the centralized system.
It is important to decide on which system fits your automobile. The designer and manufacturer should take into consideration the requirements of the user and repairmen. A system that reduces effort of the technician will be more profitable for the user. In turn, this will make the manufacturer’s system more popular, leading to growth. Hence, it is a win-win situation for everyone involved.