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Multi-Layer Thermoelectric Power Generation System Using Hot Exhaust Gas for Future Hybrid Vehicles

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Currently, most of the fuel consumed by automobiles is emitted as thermal energy through the exhaust pipe. With increasing oil prices, vehicle technology needs new ways to increase the recycling efficiency of waste thermal energy. The present study analyzed how to improve the maximum power output of a TEG (thermoelectric generator) system. A simulation and experimental studies were carried out. Currently, internal combustion engines lose more than 35% of fuel energy as recyclable heat in exhaust gas. There are a few advantages to using thermoelectric generators (TEGs) over other power sources, such as no moving parts, a long lifetime, and a compact system configuration. The present study presents a novel multi-layer TEG concept to be applied to hybrid vehicles. A simple, novel design technique for a TEG that extracts heat from exhaust gas is presented. The simulation results are presented and compared with experimental results, and a model based on thermal resistance networks was recommended in order to analyze the TEG's performance and the effects of various parameters. The present TEG system can generate around 200 W with 24 thermoelectric modules. Each TEM (thermoelectric module) has the ability to generate a maximum of 15 W with the surface temperature difference of 100 °C. The 2nd thermodynamic law's efficiency was 55.6%. The present system was affected by flow channel geometries. The TEM's P and N semiconductor's dimensions, the material and the conducting block were important in obtaining high power generation.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2012

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  • ADVANCED SCIENCE LETTERS is an international peer-reviewed journal with a very wide-ranging coverage, consolidates research activities in all areas of (1) Physical Sciences, (2) Biological Sciences, (3) Mathematical Sciences, (4) Engineering, (5) Computer and Information Sciences, and (6) Geosciences to publish original short communications, full research papers and timely brief (mini) reviews with authors photo and biography encompassing the basic and applied research and current developments in educational aspects of these scientific areas.
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