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Thermoelectric Flexible Configuration For High Temperature Waste Heat Recovery

  • : Noriega, Germán1
  • : 1Cidete Ingenieros SL
  • : PDF Download
  • : 2012


The presence of a waste heat flux in the exhaust pipe of a vehicle offers the opportunity to recover part of the lost energy through a thermoelectric system (TEG). As an example, the recovered energy can be used to supply energy to the electronic circuits of the vehicle. Thermoelectric pairs with a ring configuration that are geometrically adapted to the heat source have been developed. The use of high temperature N- and P-type semiconductor materials as Skutterudite will meet the application requirements to give a suitable thermoelectric performance. To obtain the temperature difference required in the TEG faces with support of liquids to cool from the same vehicle is used. The maximum electrical power obtained is a function not only of the material technology used but also from the geometry of the rings. The study of the equivalent model for the TEG developed reveals the high thermal and electrical resistivity. The Skutterudites used show a low thermal conductivity, a low electrical resistance and suitable Seebeck coefficient values. An adequate assembly of the rings will add a strong mechanical stability to the system to work reliable. The way the TEG is build up will allow recovering a significant portion of the wasted energy. This system should be able to cut down the combustible consume between 5 and 7%. The high added value of this waste heat recovery system with TEG could be demonstrated through a very simple example: If 30 million vehicles with combustion engines are driven around with an average of 150 h per year each, and considering that the lost waste heat will supply energy to a TEG to produce ᆱ KW, in total TEGs will generate more than 2 TeraWh each year.

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