Thermoelectric Systems for High-Efficiency, Low-Cost Vehicle Waste Heat Recovery

Period of Performance: 01/01/2013 - 12/31/2013

$150K

Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Creare, Inc.
16 Great Hollow Road Array
Hanover, NH 03755
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

Research Triangle Institute
3040 Cornwallis
Research Triangle Pk, NC 27709

Abstract

An enormous amount of energy from burning hydrocarbon fuels is wasted as heat in vehicle exhaust gas. The goal of this project is to improve vehicle efficiency and reduce fuel consumption by converting some of this heat into electric power. We will develop a solid state thermoelectric generator (TEG) that can efficiently produce electric power from high-temperature exhaust heat. The approach is to combine innovative, efficient heat exchangers with novel, high-efficiency thermoelectric materials to provide highly reliable power generation at low cost. Commercial Application and Other Benefits The thermoelectric generating system will improve fuel efficiency when installed in the exhaust systems of cars, trucks, and buses, with particular benefits to hybrid electric vehicles. Benefits include greater fuel economy, reduced CO2 emissions, and less dependence on foreign fuel sources.