An Experimental Study of a Two-stage Thermoelectric Generator Using Heat Pipe in Vehicle Exhaust

  • Weizhong Li Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China
  • Changxin Liu Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China, and (b) Energy and at Sustainability Research Division, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK
Keywords: automotive cogeneration, exhaust heat recovery, energy conversion, heat pipe, thermoelectric generators, thermoelectric module

Abstract

Heat recovery from vehicle exhaust is a promising application of thermoelectric power generation (TEG). In our previous study, a single stage TEG with 4.04% system thermal efficiency has been tested. To improve the power output and the efficiency, a novel prototype two-stage TEG employing heat pipe from vehicle exhaust has been proposed. After system model being established, an experimental set up has also been built and tested for further study. Results of both theoretic analysis and experimental results show the viability of the prototype TEG for exhaust heat recovery. The prototype can generate a maximum power of about 250W when the hot side operates at 473K. The system thermal efficiency reaches 5.37%; it is improved by 32% comparing to single stage TEGs 4.04% in the same operating conditions. Finally, system optimization and future improvement of the prototype are discussed.

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Author Biographies

Weizhong Li, Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China

Weizhong Li (1955) is Professor of Dalian University of Technology. His Ph.D. is from Nottingham Trent University (1998-2002). Prof. Li’s research activities and expertise include: evaluation of the heat exchanger and heat transfer enhancement mechanism, sustainable energy and waste heat recovery. He can be reached at Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China. E-mail: wzhongli@dlut.edu. cn, Tel: +86 (0) 411 84708774

Changxin Liu , Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China, and (b) Energy and at Sustainability Research Division, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK

Changxin Liu (1981) is a Ph.D. candidate of Dalian University of Technology and was a Joint-Ph.D. student in University of Nottingham. Mr. Liu’s research activities and expertise include: Sustainable energy, waste heat recovery and thermoelectric power generation. He can be reached at (a) Key Laboratory of Ocean Energy Utilization and Energy Conservation of Ministry of Education, School of Energy and Power Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116023, P.R. China, and (b) Energy and at Sustainability Research Division, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, UK. Corresponding author: liu.changxin@mail.dlut.edu.cn, Tel: +86 (0) 411 84708774

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