Date of Award

12-2016

Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering

Department

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. HoSung Lee

Second Advisor

Dr. Bade Shrestha

Third Advisor

Dr. Chris Cho

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access

Abstract

A consumption of energy continues to increase at an exponential rate, especially in terms of automotive spark ignitions vehicles. About 40% of the applied fuel into a vehicle is lost as waste exhaust to the environment. The desire for improved fuel efficiency by recovering the exhaust waste heat in automobiles has become an important subject. The thermoelectric generator (TEG) has the potential to convert exhaust waste heat into electricity as long as it is improving fuel economy. The remarkable amount of research being conducted on TEGs indicates that this technology will have a bright future in terms of power generation.

The current study discusses the optimal design of the automotive exhaust thermoelectric generator (AETEG). The work investigates the effect of leg length and ceramic plate materials on the performance of the thermoelectric module. A new design is conducted analytically based on the idea of leg length and the ceramic plate materials effect, giving a significant improvement in terms of power density. Experimental work is conducted to verify the model that used the ideal (standard) equations along with effective material properties. The model is reasonably verified by experimental work, which is mainly due to the utilization of the effective material properties. Hence, the thermoelectric module that was used in the experiment is optimized by using a newly developed optimal design theory (dimensionless analysis technique).

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