Opportunities for Thermoelectric Energy Conversion in Hybrid Vehicles
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Publisher:The Ohio State University
Series/Report no.:The Ohio State University. Department of Mechanical Engineering Honors Theses; 2007
Due to the inefficiencies in automobiles, roughly two-thirds of the energy from the fuel is lost through braking, engine cooling, or exhaust gasses. The remaining third is used to drive the vehicle and power its accessories. Utilizing thermoelectric devices, it is possible to regain a portion of this lost thermal energy in the form of electrical power. Due to the relatively low efficiency of thermoelectrics, little analysis and design has been conducted concerning their usage in automobiles. Recently, developments in new thermoelectric materials show promise and could possibly demonstrate efficiency double that of commercially available materials. Analysis will begin with the development of a computer model to simulate different thermal energy management scenarios in a hybrid vehicle utilizing thermoelectrics. Based upon these results, a benchtop demonstration model will be constructed for validation with the ultimate goal of a working thermoelectric model in a hybrid vehicle. Advisors: Joseph Heremans, Gregory Washington, and Yann Guezennec
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