Recover Waste Heat Energy to Improve the Efficiency of the Automobile Internal Combustion Engines Using Thermoelectric Generators


Karmand Salahadden Murad†, Sami Ridha Aslan‡


† Master student at Technical Engineering College / Kirkuk – Northern Technical University.
‡ Department of the Power Mechanic’s Techniques Engineering, Technical Engineering College / Kirkuk – Northern Technical University

Corresponding Author Email: [email protected]; [email protected]

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

More than 70% of the energy is obtained through the fuel consumption of a vehicle engine released into the atmosphere as waste heat energy. We can exploit waste heat energy in car’s exhaust system If a thermoelectric generator is used to convert the lost thermal energy into electricity. A thermoelectric generator is a device that uses the seebeck effect to convert temperature differences to electrical energy. In order for the thermoelectric generator to produce electrical energy, it needs a temperature difference on both sides, so that a capability to produce electrical power by thermoelectric generation using the missing thermal energy from the vehicles exhaust system and relatively cool surrounding air temperature has been experimentally evaluated at various air velocity at different speeds. The objective of this paper is to examine the possibility of a thermoelectric generator to convert waste heat from a vehicle’s exhaust system into available electrical energy. As a result, a laboratory apparatus was created in this paper to simulate the car’s exhaust system. The exhaust pipe’s surface temperature varies with a shift in speed, the vehicle’s load, and the surrounding environmental conditions. On the other hand, air will pass over the fins to cool down the other side of the thermoelectric generation device. Those factors will lead to a difference in temperature on both sides of the thermoelectric generator and this temperature difference directly affects the electrical power that the thermoelectric generator device can produce. In this paper, after experimental work, after the thermoelectric generator has undergone different operating conditions by changing the velocity of the air passing on one side to cool it down, the temperature of the other side is going rise when exposed to the heat flux that represents the exhaust surface temperature at those operating conditions. The maximum temperature difference between both sides of the thermoelectric generator was 52oC, and finally, the highest electrical power output was 0.38 watts at the highest temperature difference.