Volkswagen showed a prototype vehicle fitted with a thermoelectric generator (TEG) for waste heat recovery at the “Thermoelektrik—Eine Chance Für Die Atomobillindustrie?” meeting held in Berlin, October 2008, according to a report on the International Thermoelectric Society website.
Volkswagen claims 600W output from the TEG under highway driving condition. The TEG-produced electricity reportedly meets around 30% of the car’s electrical requirements, resulting in a reduced mechanical load (alternator) and a reduction in fuel consumption of more than 5%.
Also on display was a system developed by BMW and DLR (German Aerospace) with a 200W maximum yield, and which has been used successfully for more than 12,000 km. Both BMW and GM are integrating TEGs with gasoline powertrains, with BMW planning to introduce TEGS in the 2010-2014 timeframe in the Series 5. (Earlier post.)