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DOE awards $1.5M to Gentherm (Amerigon) for thermoelectric-based energy recovery system for heavy-duty vehicles; expands existing LDV program

Stack-designed cylindrical TEG, built with TE cartridges, developed for LDVs in first project. Click to enlarge.

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded Gentherm (formerly Amerigon) a $1.55-million contract modification to apply the technology in its thermoelectric generator (TEG) for passenger cars to a similar program for heavy vehicles. The TEG technology, which converts waste heat from gas exhaust into electric energy and has the potential to improve passenger car fuel efficiency by as much as 5%.

The grant is an add-on to the $8 million award from the DOE in August 2011 for converting thermoelectric heat to power for passenger cars (earlier post) and extends the technology to heavy military vehicles. With the addition of this project, Gentherm adds the US Army Tank Automotive, Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) to its passenger car key partners Ford and BMW.

The project, to be completed by early 2015, will scale up the passenger car TEG and integrate it with a 15-liter diesel engine to provide fuel economy improvement and auxiliary power for combat vehicles.

This add-on leverages the existing program technology to large diesel engines, providing a new tool for military heavy vehicles, Class 8 trucks, marine and industrial power generating equipment.

TEG & Exhaust System in Lincoln MKT. Click to enlarge.

Passenger car TEG. The DOE-funded Amerigon thermoelectric project originally began in 2004 as one of several projects targeting fuel economy improvements in light-duty vehicles of 10%. That project, which received more than $7.1 million in DOE funding, wrapped up in 2011 with a complete TEG system implemented in a BMW X6 and Lincoln MKT for road testing in which they demonstrated power production of up to 450 watts in the BMW and more than 300 watts in the MKT.

The TEGs were also tested on the bench and, in a peak performance test, produced more than 700 watts as a result of improving interfaces, thermal and electrical.

The TEG developed in that project provided a proof-of-concept for stack-arranged TE engines in a cylindrical form factor. However, the project team concluded that the design has an inappropriate power form (high current, low voltage) and would be difficult to manufacture due to the complex liquid cooling circuit, number of parts and large hermetically enclosed volume. The next generation TEG will retain a cylindrical form factor and stack-designed TE engines but comprise a number of smaller cartridges.

This follow-on light-duty vehicle project, funded in 2011, has a target of a 5% fuel economy improvement.




With $100+/gal fuel on the battlefield, a fuel consumption reduction of 5% is very meaningful.

With $4/gal to $8/gal fuel for car/trucks, a fuel consumption reduction of 10% would be more than welcomed too. That would also apply to HEVs and PHEVs.


For missions like Afganistan vehicles shall be based on PHEV or EREV in combination with solar pannels. It would be beneficial both money and human life wise.


Without battle fields one could save even more money.


Far-off battlefields are a lot better than having one at home.


I am not very positive on this, it is fragile expensive and poorly efficient,


Well said E-P.


EP, I have a better idea, how about you don't wage war there OR here?


That's a nice idea, but history shows that hostilities are eternal (e.g. Muslims vs. everyone and everything infidel), so to refuse to wage war abroad is to allow hostiles to bring war to you.


Do you believe more American technical experts, or mainstream media - it's up to you.
This is what experts said:
(I'm pretty sure Mannstein is familiar with this).
Try googling the following expression "countries bombed by usa"
It's a long, long list.


MG, steel structures in uncontrolled fires fall down; steel softens and becomes malleable long before it melts.  This goes from skyscrapers down to roadway bridges, and if you bother to do a little research you'll find quite a few bridges, held up by truly massive I-beams, which collapsed because a tanker or other source of fuel started a fire beneath them.

WTC 7 also had an uncontrolled fire, fed in part by the fuel for the diesel backup generators for the emergency center therein (ironic).  Nothing further is required to explain the collapse of any of those buildings, and anyone insisting otherwise is delusional.


Preemptive measures are sometime an acceptable avenue to avoid wider damages at a latter date. This may very well be the case soon to stop a people from eliminating another with atomic weapons.

Furthermore, those preemptive measures should use unmanned means to neutralize the potential treat without prisoners.

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