The centralized BMS has embedded all general functions (cell Voltage/Temperature/Series Current sensing, cell balancing… ) in a single control module/board, and was widely applied on smaller battery packs for commercial vehicles.
The advantage of centralized architecture is reduced electronic component costs without slave PCBs required. Another advantage is accuracy, as centralized BMS use the same offsets for all cells. The clearly defined coordination structure provides effective system control.
The drawbacks of such topology are more complex wiring which could cause a higher short circuit risk. Moreover, the main battery controller could lose all battery cell information once a failure or malfunction occurs during operation.
Due to the less flexibility and scalability of the system, the maximum number of cells in the system is strictly pre-defined in the system development stage. In other words, adding additional cells to the pack is impossible since the BMS input pins are mapped to each corresponding cell from the initial design.
Some good centralized BMS examples are the 2013 Chevrolet Malibu ECO, 2013 Ford Fusion Hybrid 2.0, and 2011 Nissan Leaf.