An Experimental Study of a Novel Prototype for Thermoelectric Power Generation from Vehicle Exhaust

  • Weizhong Li 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
  • Changxin Liu (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.
Keywords: exhaust heat recovery, mobile cogeneration, combined heat and power, thermal efficiency, thermal efficiency thermoelectric power generation, thermoelectric module, waste heat recovery

Abstract

In a vehicle’s internal combustion engine, about 30% of the primary energy is discharged as waste heat in the exhaust gases. Waste heat recovery (WHR) is a noticeable promising application of thermoelectric power generation (TEG). This is essentially a case of mobile cogeneration where a vehicle utilizes a significant fraction of the fuel energy in the form of combined heat and power. In this article, a novel prototype for TEG from vehicle exhaust has been proposed. After system modeling, an experiment structure has also been built and tested for further study. Results of theoretic analysis and experiment reasonably show this prototype can be employed for exhaust heat recovery. The prototype can generate a maximum power output of about 202W when hot side temperature is 473K with 4.04% of system thermal efficiency. System optimization and future improvement of the prototype has also been discussed. Finally, based on a vehicle made by our research funder, economic value for commercialization in diesel vehicles has been analyzed.

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Author Biographies

Weizhong Li, 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

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, (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.

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.

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