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Technical Paper

Towards Optimal Performance of a Thermoelectric Generator for Exhaust Waste Heat Recovery from an Automotive Engine

2018-04-03
2018-01-0050
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.
Technical Paper

Improved Thermoelectric Generator Performance Using High Temperature Thermoelectric Materials

2017-03-28
2017-01-0121
Thermoelectric generator (TEG) has received more and more attention in its application in the harvesting of waste thermal energy in automotive engines. Even though the commercial Bismuth Telluride thermoelectric material only have 5% efficiency and 250°C hot side temperature limit, it is possible to generate peak 1kW electrical energy from a heavy-duty engine. If being equipped with 500W TEG, a passenger car has potential to save more than 2% fuel consumption and hence CO2 emission reduction. TEG has advantages of compact and motionless parts over other thermal harvest technologies such as Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and Turbo-Compound (TC). Intense research works are being carried on improving the thermal efficiency of the thermoelectric materials and increasing the hot side temperature limit. Future thermoelectric modules are expected to have 10% to 20% efficiency and over 500°C hot side temperature limit.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Thermoelectric Materials and Operation Conditions on the Performance of Thermoelectric Generators for Automotive

2016-04-05
2016-01-0219
An automotive engine can be more efficient if thermoelectric generators (TEG) are used to convert a portion of the exhaust gas enthalpy into electricity. Due to the relatively low cost of the incoming thermal energy, the efficiency of the TEG is not an overriding consideration. Instead, the maximum power output (MPO) is the first priority. The MPO of the TEG is closely related to not only the thermoelectric materials properties, but also the operating conditions. This study shows the development of a numerical TEG model integrated with a plate-fin heat exchanger, which is designed for automotive waste heat recovery (WHR) in the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) path in a diesel engine. This model takes into account the following factors: the exhaust gas properties’ variation along the flow direction, temperature influence on the thermoelectric materials, thermal contact effect, and heat transfer leakage effect. Its accuracy has been checked using engine test data.
Technical Paper

The Role of New Automotive Engineering Masters Programme in the Industry in China

2016-04-05
2016-01-0171
China is the world’s largest automotive producer and has the world’s biggest automobile market. However, in the past decades, the development of China’s automotive industry has depended primarily on the foreign direct investment; domestic automakers have struggled in the lower ranks of car producers. In recent years, China’s automotive industry, supported by government policies, has been improving their Research and Development (R&D) capacity, to compete with their international peers. Against this background, China’s automotive industry requires a large number of R&D professionals who have not only a higher degree but also the applied and practical knowledge and skills of research. For the purpose of meeting the industry’s needs, a new Professional Automotive Engineering Masters Programme was launched in 2009, which aims to deliver the Masters to be the R&D professionals in the future.
Technical Paper

Challenges and Potential of Intra-Cycle Combustion Control for Direct Injection Diesel Engines

2012-04-16
2012-01-1158
The injection timing of a Diesel internal combustion engine typically follows a prescribed sequence depending on the operating condition using open loop control. Due to advances in sensors and digital electronics it is now possible to implement closed loop control based on in cylinder pressure values. Typically this control action is slow, and it may take several cycles or at least one cycle (cycle-to-cycle control). Using high speed sensors, it becomes technically possible to measure pressure deviations and correct them within the same cycle (intra-cycle control). For example the in cylinder pressure after the pilot inject can be measured, and the timing of the main injection can be adjusted in timing and duration to compensate any deviations in pressure from the expected reference value. This level of control can significantly reduce the deviations between cycles and cylinders, and it can also improve the transient behavior of the engine.
Technical Paper

Future Engine Control Enabling Environment Friendly Vehicle

2011-04-12
2011-01-0697
The aim of this paper is to compile the state of the art of engine control and develop scenarios for improvements in a number of applications of engine control where the pace of technology change is at its most marked. The first application is control of downsized engines with enhancement of combustion using direct injection, variable valve actuation and turbo charging. The second application is electrification of the powertrain with its impact on engine control. Various architectures are explored such as micro, mild, full hybrid and range extenders. The third application is exhaust gas after-treatment, with a focus on the trade-off between engine and after-treatment control. The fourth application is implementation of powertrain control systems, hardware, software, methods, and tools. The paper summarizes several examples where the performance depends on the availability of control systems for automotive applications.
Technical Paper

The Potential for Thermo-Electric Regeneration of Energy in Vehicles

2009-04-20
2009-01-1333
The pursuit of improved fuel economy is becoming an increasingly important objective for automotive manufacturers. The field of thermo-electrics is highlighted as a promising technology. The figure of merit, Z is the primary measure of the effectiveness of a thermo-electric material, and the values now being offered by researchers have reached the level where new applications become attractive. It is feasible to consider such modules incorporated into a thermoelectric generator to recover waste heat from exhaust gas flow – an available energy stream that has traditionally been neglected as unusable. As a precursor to a costly experimental study it is desirable to accurately simulate the application of a thermo-electric system to a vehicle exhaust to understand both the feasibility and potential drawbacks.
Technical Paper

Towards an Open Source Model for Engine Control Systems

2008-06-23
2008-01-1711
Traditionally, university research in engine technology has been focused on fundamental engine phenomena. Increasingly however, research topics are developing in the form of systems issues. Examples include air and exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) management, after-treatment systems, engine cooling, hybrid systems and energy recovery. This trend leads to the need for engine research to be conducted using currently available products and components that are re-configured or incrementally improved to support a particular research investigation. A production engine will include an electronic control unit (ECU) that must be understood and utilised or simply removed and circumvented. In general the intellectual property (IP) limitations places on ECUs by their suppliers mean that they cannot be used. The supplier of the ECU is usually unable to reveal any detail of the implementation. As a consequence any research using production hardware is seriously disadvantaged from the beginning.
Journal Article

Evaluation of Spray/Wall Interaction Models under the Conditions Related to Diesel HCCI Engines

2008-06-23
2008-01-1632
Diesel homogeneous charge compression ignition (HCCI) engines with early injection can result in significant spray/wall impingement which seriously affects the fuel efficiency and emissions. In this paper, the spray/wall interaction models which are available in the literatures are reviewed, and the characteristics of modeling including spray impingement regime, splash threshold, mass fraction, size and velocity of the second droplets are summarized. Then three well developed spray/wall interaction models, O'Rourke and Amsden (OA) model, Bai and Gosman (BG) model and Han, Xu and Trigui (HXT) model, are implemented into KIVA-3V code, and validated by the experimental data from recent literatures under the conditions related to diesel HCCI engines. By comparing the spray pattern, droplet mass, size and velocity after the impingement, the thickness of the wall film and vapor distribution with the experimental data, the performance of these three models are evaluated.
Technical Paper

Energy Recovery Systems for Engines

2008-04-14
2008-01-0309
Energy recovery from IC engines has proved to be of considerable interest across the range of vehicle applications. The motivation is substantial fuel economy gain that can be achieved with a minimal affect on the “host” technology of the vehicle. This paper reviews the initial results of a research project whose objective has been to identify system concepts and control methods for thermal recovery techniques. A vapour power cycle is the means of energy transfer. The architecture of the system is considered along with support of the fuel economy claims with the results of some hybrid vehicle modelling. An overview of the latest experimental equipment and design of the heat exchanger is presented. The choice of control architecture and strategy, whose goal is overall efficiency of the engine system, is presented and discussed. Some initial control results are presented.
Technical Paper

The Controllability of Vapour Based Thermal Recovery Systems in Vehicles

2007-04-16
2007-01-0270
The idea of thermal energy recovery from vehicle engine exhaust flow is now well supported and funded. Through a number of research projects, several component technologies have been identified. Rankine cycle, turbo-compounding and thermo-electric systems have all attracted interest. Fuel economy improvements vary depending on the drive cycle and the capability of the underlying technologies, but have been reported as high as 25%. Our work at Sussex on a form of Rankine cycle has revealed generic issues about the control of thermal recovery and the associated modelling requirements. Typical issues include the balancing the rate of heat input to the recovery system with the loss of useful work from large temperature differences. The size of components dictates the control authority over the system and consequently its ability to follow changing conditions.
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