Waste heat recovery issues, challenges to be discussed at SAE symposium

The challenges of climate change and energy security require a continuous effort toward reduction of global environmental pollution and fossil oil consumption. To meet greenhouse gas (GHG) emission targets and to decrease oil dependency, overall energy consumption of vehicles must be substantially reduced. The only efficient ways to achieve this are a substantial increase in efficiency of vehicle propulsion systems and using low carbon-intensity oil substitutes.

Various types of propulsion technologies are under consideration, such as the internal-combustion engine (ICE), hybrid electric, plug-in hybrid electric, range-extended electric, battery electric, fuel cells, etc. Most experts agree that ICEs will be a major propulsion option for the foreseeable future, with massive penetration of hybrid vehicles to global markets. Thus, substantial improvement in ICE efficiency, together with a quest to achieving zero-impact emission levels, are the main challenges of the global ICE industry for the next decades.

It is well known that about 30% of fuel energy introduced to an ICE is wasted through engine exhaust gases. An additional 25-30% of fuel energy is lost by heating up engine lubricants and coolants. Thus, partial utilization of this energy, also known as a waste heat recovery (WHR), can lead to a significant improvement in the overall ICE efficiency. Turbocharging is a widely applied and a well-known method of WHR. Other WHR methods, like thermochemical recuperation, Rankine cycle utilization, thermoelectrics, etc., attract the continuously increasing attention of researchers and engineers worldwide.

The constantly and rapidly increasing R&D scope, in the field of WHR, has crystallized the need for a scientific event focused on various issues and challenges of WHR. According to Professor Leonid Tartakovsky, Director of the Internal Combustion Engines Laboratory at the Technion Israel Institute of Technology and the lead organizer of the upcoming Waste Heat Recovery Symposium, “The symposium will provide to attendees information and updates on most recent advancements in the broad field of waste heat recovery in vehicles. Leading experts in various fields of WHR, like turbocharging and turbocompounding, thermochemical recuperation, Rankine cycle, thermoelectrics and more, will deliver their insights on state-of-the-art, challenges, and trends in various aspects of WHR, future research directions, potential of efficiency improvement, and pollutant emissions mitigation.”

To learn more about the Waste Heat Recovery Symposium, taking place May 23-24 at the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, visit sae.org/attend/waste-heat-recovery.

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