The Potential for Thermo-Electric Regeneration of Energy in Vehicles
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.