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The influence of thermoelectric generator for automotive applications on the efficiency of the system

Waste heat utilization is an promising way for improving energy efficiency of processes and systems. Application of recovering technology by thermoelectric generator (TEG) allows to convert waste heat into electrical energy without any moving parts, ensuring quiet and trouble-free operation. Usage of such devices can improve the overall efficiency of the automotive vehicles. Many publications refer to various issues concerning TEG applications in this particular area. The methodology of estimating the efficiency of energy conversion and efficiency of the TEG as a thermal device is presented. Due to the significant discrepancies in the nomenclature, comparative analysis of such devices is currently not possible. Consideration of power losses due to pressure drop allows the determination of net electrical power, so the additional net electric power available for use by external devices can be calculated. This power can be interpreted e.g. as an support for an alternator or its replacement. The characteristics of power and efficiency of the prototype TEG under varying hot gas parameters are presented. The presented results indicate the possibility of obtaining 132,1 W of net electrical power for the analyzed device. Using proposed methodology, the TEG efficiency up to 1.65% and energy conversion efficiency up to 6% were obtained. Acknowledgments: Authors thank the Foundation for Polish Science (TEAM-TECH/2016-2/14 Grant “New approach for the development of efficient materials for direct conversion of heat into electricity”), co-financed by the European Union under the European Regional Development Fund for financial support to the Institute of Advanced Manufacturing Technology.
Tematyka artykułu: Obciążenia cieplne silników i wykorzystanie ciepła
Autor: Marcin Borcuch
Współautor(zy): Michał Musiał, Stanisław Gumuła, Krzysztof Wojciechowski