Thermoelectric conversion of waste heat to electricity in an IC engine powered vehicle

Harold Schock*, Eldon Case, Thierry Caillet, Charles Cauchy, Jean Pierre Fleurial, Tim Hogan, Mercouri Kanatzidis, Ryan Maloney, Christopher Nelson, Jennifer Ni, James Novak, Fang Peng, Trevor Ruckle, Jeff Sakamoto, Robert Schmidt, Tom Shih, Ed Timm, James Winkelman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


• Systems for material synthesis, powder processing, hot pressing, leg and SKD module fabrication are operational at MSU (ingot to couple 95% utilization of material) • MSU has demonstrated 1, 5, 10 and 20 module (each 5-couple) TEGs which produced 5, 25 and 50.2 W and 75W, respectively at a ΔT ∼ 550 °C, heat supplied with gaseous N 2 (2.2 W / couple when heated directly at ΔT ∼ 700 °C) • Using the performance of the Gen 1, 100 Watt generator demonstrated, we estimate that we would recover about 2.99 kW from the exhaust of an OTR truck at cruise conditions ....suggest we are five years from a viable 1/5kW systems with reliable performance provided one has adequate support! • A 10% improvement in fuel economy would require a ∼1000% improvement in system performance over the Gen 1 system demonstrated in this work. We understand the path to a 300% improvement. A 10% bsfc improvement using TEGs for passenger car energy recovery applications with advanced engines will be very challenging. • Substantial engineering and scientific developments required for practical application of TEGs for energy recovery in transportation: Reduce system degradation, couple resistance and heat transfer losses; Improve: module reliability, thermoelectric material properties, insulation and fabrication methods and heat exchanger designs are critical for this application.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlobal Powertrain Congress 2009, GPC 2009 Troy - Proceedings
Number of pages28
StatePublished - Dec 1 2009
EventGlobal Powertrain Congress 2009, GPC 2009 Troy - Troy, MI, United States
Duration: Nov 4 2009Nov 5 2009


OtherGlobal Powertrain Congress 2009, GPC 2009 Troy
CountryUnited States
CityTroy, MI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Thermoelectric conversion of waste heat to electricity in an IC engine powered vehicle'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this