Main content area

Performance investigation and energy optimization of a thermoelectric generator for a mild hybrid vehicle

Wang, Ruochen, Yu, Wei, Meng, Xiangpeng
Energy 2018 v.162 pp. 1016-1028
chemical reactions, electric power, emissions, energy conservation, energy flow, fuels, heat, prototypes, temperature, thermoelectric generators, vehicles (equipment), wastes
A thermoelectric generator (TEG) can effectively convert exhaust waste heat into electric energy without chemical reaction, which has favorable prospects for mild hybrid vehicle application. However, introduction of TEG into vehicle energy flow may drive the redesign of existing energy management strategy, the vehicle should be optimized by an amending mode transition strategy to accommodate the addition of the TEG. In this study, a novel TEG designed for a mild hybrid vehicle is proposed. The prototype is manufactured, and the electricity-generating capacity is tested by bench test. The net power of the TEG is modeled, and the parasitic power loss is analyzed. Considering the comprehensive influence of the TEG on the energy conservation and consumption of the vehicle, the optimal vehicle system efficiency is determined to achieve the refined mode transition strategy. Comparative analyses under different driving cycles are conducted to investigate the effectiveness of mode transition strategy and the performance of the TEG. The results indicate that the proposed mode transition strategy can increase both the average engine efficiency and the average exhaust temperature. Moreover, the fuel economy can be improved by 3.64% and 2.17%, depending on the driving cycles, along with a slight reduction in exhaust emissions.