Brabetz, L., Ayeb, M., and Baumgarten, O., "Tool-based Optimization of the Topology of an Electrical Distribution System (EDS)," SAE Int. J. Engines 9(3):1386-1392, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0103.
The topology of an EDS, defined by the routing paths and by the location of the distribution boxes and the inline connectors, has a strong impact on weight and required amount of material, especially of copper, as well as on the manufacturing- and assembly time. Although a good part of the routing and packaging is fixed due to technical reasons and carry-over situations, in general there are enough optional paths and locations to allow up to several thousand alternative topologies. For these reasons, an optimization is possible as well as important. For such an optimization, in this paper a method is presented to concurrently minimize predefined criteria, e.g. the required copper, length of the wires, and the overall length of the wire bundles. It is based on designated algorithms for the variation of the topology, the routing, and the calculation of the optimization criteria as mentioned above. The paper describes the theory, the method, the implementation, and, for a midsize vehicle, initial optimization results.