Risseh, A., Nee, H., Erlandsson, O., Brinkfeldt, K. et al., "Design of a Thermoelectric Generator for Waste Heat Recovery Application on a Drivable Heavy Duty Vehicle," SAE Int. J. Commer. Veh. 10(1):26-44, 2017, doi:10.4271/2017-01-9178.
The European Union’s 2020 target aims to be producing 20 % of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, to achieve a 20 % reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 % improvement in energy efficiency compared to 1990 levels. To reach these goals, the energy consumption has to decrease which results in reduction of the emissions. The transport sector is the second largest energy consumer in the EU, responsible for 25 % of the emissions of greenhouse gases caused by the low efficiency (<40 %) of combustion engines. Much work has been done to improve that efficiency but there is still a large amount of fuel energy that converts to heat and escapes to the ambient atmosphere through the exhaust system. Taking advantage of thermoelectricity, the heat can be recovered, improving the fuel economy. A thermoelectric generator (TEG) consists of a number of thermoelectric elements, which advantageously can be built into modules, arranged thermally and electrically, in a way such that the highest possible thermal power can be converted into electrical power. In a unique waste heat recovery (WHR) project, five international companies and research institutes cooperated and equipped a fully drivable Scania prototype truck with two TEGs. The entire system, from the heat transfer in the exchangers to the electrical power system, was simulated, built and evaluated. The primary experimental results showed that approximately 1 kW electrical power could be generated from the heat energy. In this paper the entire system from design to experimental results is presented.