This content is not included in your SAE MOBILUS subscription, or you are not logged in.
Towards Optimal Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator for Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery from an Automotive Engine
ISSN: 0148-7191, e-ISSN: 2688-3627
Published April 03, 2018 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
Thermoelectric generator has very quickly become a hot research topic in the last five years because its broad application area and very attractive features such as no moving parts, low maintenance, variety of thermoelectric materials that total together cover a wide temperature range. The biggest disadvantage of the thermoelectric generator is its low conversion efficiency. So that when design and manufacture a thermoelectric generator for exhaust waste heat recovery from an automotive engine, the benefit of fuel consumption from applying a thermoelectric generator would be very sensitive to the weight, the dimensions, the cost and the practical conversion efficiency. Additionally, the exhaust gas conditions vary with the change of engine operating point. This creates a big challenge for the design of the hot side heat exchanger in terms of optimizing the electrical output of the thermoelectric generator during an engine transient cycle.
Based on experimental work and a validated thermoelectric generator dynamic model, the authors have identified a few issues that have big impact on the thermoelectric generator performance for automotive applications. Potential solutions also have been proposed and discussed in this paper. They include module level optimization, heat exchanger design optimization in terms of fin thermal resistance for a transient cycle, assembly and interface optimization aims for compact size and minimized contact thermal resistance, optimization of the number of modules for total maximum power output etc.
CitationYang, Z., Stobart, R., Lan, S., Mason, B. et al., "Towards Optimal Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator for Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery from an Automotive Engine," SAE Technical Paper 2018-01-0050, 2018, https://doi.org/10.4271/2018-01-0050.
- Champier, D., “Thermoelectric Generators: A Review of Applications,” In Energy Conversion and Management 140:167-181, ISSN 0196-8904, 2017, doi:10.1016/j.enconman.2017.02.070.
- Lan, S., Rouaud, C., Stobart, R., Chen, R. et al., “The Potential of Thermoelectric Generator in Parallel Hybrid Vehicle Applications,” SAE Technical Paper 2017-01-0189, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-0189.
- Mori, M., Yamagami, T., Oda, N., Hattori, M. et al., “Current Possibilities of Thermoelectric Technology Relative to Fuel Economy,” SAE Technical Paper 2009-01-0170, 2009, doi:10.4271/2009-01-0170.
- Rogl, G. and Rogl, P., “Skutterudites, a most Promising Group of Thermoelectric Materials,” In Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry 4:50-57, ISSN 2452-2236, 2017, doi:10.1016/j.cogsc.2017.02.006.
- YinongYin, BharatiTudu, AshutoshTiwari, “Recent advances in oxide thermoelectric materials and modules,” In Vacuum, 2017, ISSN 0042-207X, doi:10.1016/j.vacuum.2017.04.015.
- Moure, A., Rull-Bravo, M., Abad, B., Del Campo, A. et al., “Thermoelectric Skutterudite/oxide nanocomposites: Effective decoupling of electrical and thermal conductivity by functional interfaces,” In Nano Energy 31:393-402, ISSN 2211-2855, 2017, doi:10.1016/j.nanoen.2016.11.041.
- Fitriani, R., Ovik, B.D., Long, M.C., Barma, M. et al., “A Review on Nanostructures of High-Temperature Thermoelectric Materials for Waste Heat Recovery,” In Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 64:635-659, ISSN 1364-0321, 2016, doi:10.1016/j.rser.2016.06.035.
- Kumar, S., Heister, S.D., Xu, X., Salvador, J.R. et al., “Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive Waste Heat Recovery Systems Part II: Parametric Evaluation and Topological Studies,” Journal of Electronic Materials; Warrendale 42(6):944-955, Jun 2013.
- Bélanger, S. and Gosselin, L., “Multi-objective genetic algorithm optimization of thermoelectric heat exchanger for waste heat recovery,” International Journal of Energy Research 36(5):632-642, 2012, doi:10.1002/er.1820.
- Espinosa, N., Lazard, M., Aixala, L. et al., “Modeling a Thermoelectric Generator Applied to Diesel Automotive Heat Recovery,” Journal of Electronic Materials 39:1446, 2010, doi:10.1007/s11664-010-1305-2.
- Jang, J.-Y. and Tsai, Y.-C., “Optimization of Thermoelectric Generator Module Spacing and Spreader Thickness Used in a Waste Heat Recovery System,” In Applied Thermal Engineering 51(1-2):677-689, ISSN 1359-4311, 2013, doi:10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2012.10.024.
- Yang, Z., Winward, E., Lan, S., and Stobart, R., “Optimization of the Number of Thermoelectric Modules in a Thermoelectric Generator for a Specific Engine Drive Cycle,” SAE Technical Paper 2016-01-0232, 2016, doi:10.4271/2016-01-0232.