19 March 2008 Motorcycle waste heat energy harvesting
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Environmental concerns coupled with the depletion of fuel sources has led to research on ethanol, fuel cells, and even generating electricity from vibrations. Much of the research in these areas is stalling due to expensive or environmentally contaminating processes, however recent breakthroughs in materials and production has created a surge in research on waste heat energy harvesting devices. The thermoelectric generators (TEGs) used in waste heat energy harvesting are governed by the Thermoelectric, or Seebeck, effect, generating electricity from a temperature gradient. Some research to date has featured platforms such as heavy duty diesel trucks, model airplanes, and automobiles, attempting to either eliminate heavy batteries or the alternator. A motorcycle is another platform that possesses some very promising characteristics for waste heat energy harvesting, mainly because the exhaust pipes are exposed to significant amounts of air flow. A 1995 Kawasaki Ninja 250R was used for these trials. The module used in these experiments, the Melcor HT3-12-30, produced an average of 0.4694 W from an average temperature gradient of 48.73 °C. The mathematical model created from the Thermoelectric effect equation and the mean Seebeck coefficient displayed by the module produced an average error from the experimental data of 1.75%. Although the module proved insufficient to practically eliminate the alternator on a standard motorcycle, the temperature data gathered as well as the examination of a simple, yet accurate, model represent significant steps in the process of creating a TEG capable of doing so.
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Alexander D. Schlichting, Alexander D. Schlichting, Steven R. Anton, Steven R. Anton, Daniel J. Inman, Daniel J. Inman, } "Motorcycle waste heat energy harvesting", Proc. SPIE 6930, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008, 69300B (19 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.775783; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.775783

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