27 March 2008 Thermoelectrics as elements of hybrid-electric vehicle thermal energy systems
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Despite vast technological improvements, the traditional internal combustion powered vehicle still achieves only 25- 30% efficiency, with the remainder lost primarily as heat. While the load leveling offered by hybrid-electric vehicle technology helps to improve this overall efficiency, part of the efficiency gains are achieved by making new systems such as regenerative braking viable. In a similar fashion, thermoelectric (TE) energy recovery has long been considered for traditional vehicles with mixed results, but little has been done to consider thermoelectrics in the framework of the unique energy systems of hybrid vehicles. Systems that may not have been viable or even possible with traditional vehicles may offer improvements to system efficiency as well as emissions, vehicle durability, passenger comfort, and cost. This research describes a simulation developed for evaluating and optimizing thermoelectric energy recovery systems and results for four different system configurations. Two novel system configurations are presented which offer the potential for additional benefits such as emissions reduction that will soon be quantified. In addition, a test setup is presented which was constructed for the testing and validation of various thermoelectric recovery systems. Actual test performance was near the expected theoretical performance and supported the conclusions reached from the computer simulations.
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Leon Headings, Leon Headings, Gregory Washington, Gregory Washington, Christopher M. Jaworski, Christopher M. Jaworski, "Thermoelectrics as elements of hybrid-electric vehicle thermal energy systems", Proc. SPIE 6930, Industrial and Commercial Applications of Smart Structures Technologies 2008, 69300C (27 March 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.776703; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.776703

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