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GMZ Energy announced successful demo of 200W automotive thermoelectric generator

10 June 2014

GMZ Energy, a provider of advanced nano-structured, high-temperature thermoelectric generation (TEG) power solutions, has successfully demonstrated a TEG designed for automotive waste heat recapture. The unit generated an output power well in excess of its 200 watt design goal. GMZ Energy built the TEG as a part of an ongoing vehicle efficiency research program sponsored by the US Army Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) and administered by the Department of Energy (DOE).

The TARDEC TEG incorporates GMZ Energy’s TG8-1.0 thermoelectric modules, which are the first commercially available, off-the-shelf modules capable of operating with continuous hot-side temperatures up to 600°C while at power densities greater than one Watt/cm².

The 200W TEG is a modular component of a larger 1,000W TEG that GMZ Energy is developing for the $1.5-million TARDEC program. Combining a module approach with a scalable thermoelectric heat exchanger design, GMZ Energy will integrate multiple 200W blocks into a single 1,000W diesel engine waste heat recovery solution.

The goal of the TARDEC TEG program is to develop a thermoelectric solution that directly converts exhaust waste heat into electrical energy in order to increase fuel efficiency by reducing the load on the alternator. The project also aims to reduce thermal signature and muffle engine noise, all while minimizing exhaust pressure drop.

The solid-state design of GMZ Energy’s TEG enables the very high reliability, mechanical robustness and silent operation necessary for military applications. With total delivered fuel costs on the battlefield in excess of $40 per gallon, the United States Military is extremely interested in pursuing this economical fuel efficiency solution across a broad range of applications and will first test GMZ Energy’s TEG in a Bradley Fighting Vehicle.

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Comments

It could generate enough energy to keep the cab in full comfort 24/24 but would require a storage medium?

This seam costly and inneficient but at 40$ a gallon then maybe for the army it make sense but not on an ordinary car like mine, anyway i don't have air conditionning, power Windows, power roof, heated seats, fog lights, cruise control, stability control, big subwoofers, alarm system, automatic doorlocks. Im relying on the basics and the only troubles i ever got was 2 time the break pads, 2 time the front braking disk, one brake calipers and 2 Wheel nuts and one engine sensor.

I am sure 200W would do little for cabin comfort and idling 24 hours a day would use a lot of fuel; but that's only a guess.

200 W is the headlamps and probably all the running electronics, especially if the tail and marker lights are LED.  It's more than 1/4 horsepower, plus whatever losses occur in the alternator.  You'd notice that in the fuel consumption in a passenger car.

There's also the detail that some thermal storage on the hot side would allow generation to continue even if exhaust flow stopped, so this might also have benefits for start-stop systems.

Most EVs do not use LED headlights because, even though they save a few hundred watts, there is insignificant gain in range.

It would have less significance in an ICE auto.

A rear view mirror requires about 1 hp to push at 65 MPH.

I find it very hard to believe that a modern mirror has upwards of 5 pounds of drag at 65 MPH.  Figuring 3 inches tall by 5 inches wide (call it 8x12 cm), total dynamic pressure times area would only be about 5 N.  You'd need a coefficient of drag of about 5 to get 1 HP of drag.

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