A review of car waste heat recovery systems utilising thermoelectric generators and heat pipes

Elsevier, Applied Thermal Engineering, Volume 101, 25 May 2016
Orr B., Akbarzadeh A., Mochizuki M., Singh R.
The internal combustion engine (ICE) does not efficiently convert chemical energy into mechanical energy. A majority of this energy is dissipated as heat in the exhaust and coolant. Rather than directly improving the efficiency of the engine, efforts are being made to improve the efficiency of the engine indirectly by using a waste heat recovery system. Two promising technologies that were found to be useful for this purpose were thermoelectric generators (TEGs) and heat pipes. Both TEGs and heat pipes are solid state, passive, silent, scalable and durable. The use of heat pipes can potentially reduce the thermal resistance and pressure losses in the system as well as temperature regulation of the TEGs and increased design flexibility. TEGs do have limitations such as low temperature limits and relatively low efficiency. Heat pipes do have limitations such as maximum rates of heat transfer and temperature limits. When used in conjunction, these technologies have the potential to create a completely solid state and passive waste heat recovery system.