Automotive exhaust thermoelectric generators (AETEG) are gaining significant importance wherein a direct conversion of exhaust waste heat into electricity allows for a reduction in fuel consumption. Over the past two decades, extensive progress has been made in materials research, modules and thermoelectric generator (TEG) system. Many prototypes using BiTe, CoSb3 and half Heusler materials have been developed and tested for efficiency in different engines. The role of exhaust flow rate, temperature and heat exchanger type on the performance of AETEG is investigated deeply. This chapter reviews the progress made so far in the AETEG technology. Section 1 gives a brief introduction; section 2 gives a description of the technology and section 3, the construction details of a typical AETEG. The performance evaluation of AETEG is discussed in Section 4, application of TEG using engine coolant heat is discussed in Section 5 and TEGs for hybrid vehicles are described in Section 6. The parasitic losses due to AETEG and the conditioning of the power produced for practical applications using the maximum power point tracking technique are discussed in Sections 7 and 8, respectively. Finally, in Section 9, cost analysis and the challenges associated with the commercialization of AETEG is presented.
Part of the book: Bringing Thermoelectricity into Reality