Yamaha and Sumitomo demo on-board thermoelectric generator for CO2 reduction - Green Car Congress

2022-06-09 06:35:29 By : Mr. jackyson pang

Yamaha Corporation and Sumitomo Corporation Power & Mobility Co., Ltd., a Sumitomo Corporation Group company, jointly demonstrated a new waste heat recovery system based on a thermoelectric generator (TEG), which generates electrical power via exhaust gas heat.

The TEG, which is installed in a part of vehicle exhaust system, can reduce CO2 emissions by reducing alternator load by generating electrical power from unutilized waste exhaust gas and also by early warm-up of engine by heated coolant through the TEG unit at engine start.

In this demonstration test TEG unit was installed in a test vehicle, and the generated electrical power from the TEG and CO2 emissions were measured with the vehicle on a chassis dynamometer. With the TEG, 1.9% of CO2 emissions (i.e. 3.9 g/km) was reduced throughout the European WLTP driving cycle. The companies estimate the potential benefit of the TEG to be up to 3.1% CO2 reduction (i.e. 6.4g/km) via further optimization of the vehicle installation of the TEG unit. (More on this below.)

The automotive industry has undertaken various development efforts over the years to create thermoelectric technology to reduce CO2 emissions. However, due to the insufficient performance and reliability of the TEG module, the technology has yet to be put into practical use.

In March 2021, both companies commenced sample sales of a TEG module, YGPX024 (picture below), to investigate market needs.

The demonstration test was outsourced to FEV Europe GmbH. The test TEG unit consisted of four YGPX024 TEG modules, two heat exchangers for exhaust gas and three heat exchangers for water cooling circuit stacked together (above).

The TEG unit was installed in the exhaust pipe at the downstream of the catalyst. The main engine cooling circuit was branched and extended to TEG unit. The existing water pump on the vehicle was used to supply coolant to TEG unit. In parallel with the existing alternator the TEG unit was connected directly to an existing 12V battery via a DC-DC convertor with maximum power point tracking function, which enabled the unit to operate at its optimum and efficiently obtain electrical power. No external equipment was used for this test, due to the importance of evaluating the actual benefit for the vehicle.

The test used different test cycles, including European WLTP driving cycle (incl. Phase 4), US06 driving cycle and steady-state driving cycle. During the tests on a chassis dynamometer, CO2 emissions and the electrical output generated from TEG unit were measured to evaluate the effect of TEG unit.

There were notable installation restrictions for the TEG unit, and the gas temperature at the exhaust inlet pipe could not reach the target value. An additional test achieved the target gas temperature. Based on the test result, analysis showed a maximum CO2 emissions reduction of 3.1% (6.4 g/km) by optimizing the vehicle installation of TEG unit.

Posted on 03 June 2022 in Emissions, Market Background, Thermoelectrics, Waste Heat Recovery | Permalink | Comments (13)

Can't help but wonder what the ICE related companies will do when EV demand displaces the sales of gassers. Seems to me there will be little need to concentrate on emissions reduction.

Posted by: Lad | 03 June 2022 at 08:58 AM

No scope for such innovations now, simply waste of resouces

Posted by: Nirmalkumar | 03 June 2022 at 07:06 PM

A CO2 eliminator catalyst would be worthwhile if it could be cost competitive, although Murphey's law and entropy will conspire to make it noncompetitive like this TEG invention.

Although this TEG energy recovery device might have a worthwhile application, perhaps in H2 fueled transportation.

Posted by: GdB | 03 June 2022 at 08:00 PM

Again and again the OLD comes back to the future after 14 years!

As far as is known, BMW already had a TEG in early 2008, but the EU banned the TEG loaded with "a metal" - a closed system, but the EU has always blocked good ideas from EU OEMs. And now, 14 years later, the TEG in Japan is a new "invention". It's great how that works - TEGs or a heat pump can also be installed in BEVs.

TEG or heat pump is generally useful for all vehicles, ships and trains as already used in buildings!

So do it and reduce the heat in the environment and also the CO2. Don't forget, however, that every human being, animal and war - emits heat and CO2.

Understood and therefore clear? Nothing is reinvented anymore, only optimized. The BEV was also presented around 1890. Past and future are great.

Posted by: Herman | 04 June 2022 at 02:51 AM

What do you want to bet that the TEG could easily operate upstream of an organic Rankine cycle and both help to heat up the engine and heat the cabin in winter conditions?

The problem is that vehicles don't have the room to accomodate the systems to make this happen.  Heat sinks especially take up too much space and create too much air drag.

Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 04 June 2022 at 04:57 AM

@Engineer-Poet: The vehicles are so huge that there will certainly be space and cooling for the components if wanted. It's always a want and then you can or you can't.

Posted by: Herman | 05 June 2022 at 12:48 AM

Combining TEGs with solar panels has a two-way effect. During hot summer days, the temperature rise on the solar panels has a negative impact on the efficiency of the panels. Cooling the panels with a TEG maintains the efficiency or even increases the panel efficiency. Additionally, the TEG production of e-power may be low but every little bit adds up. Besides that, the TEGs respond to temperature difference and remain productive at night at a low level when the sun is not shining.

Posted by: yoatmon | 05 June 2022 at 03:25 AM

I quite fancy this way of utilising the heat, using basically conventional solar panels with air rather than water cooling, so no need for the fancy plumbing that that entails:


the heat gets stored and utilised, the electrical efficiency of the panels increases, as does their longevity.

Prototypes being tested now, informative videos on link.

Conforms to the KISS standard, in my view! ;-)

Posted by: Davemart | 05 June 2022 at 03:40 AM

Good summary of the Sunovate system here:


'The Sunovate system produces both electricity and heated air from PV panels to create a total energy solution. The system generates 3 times more energy (in the form of heat and electricity) than a standalone PV system. The combination of the two solar technologies (PV & T) in one footprint offsets both heating and electricity costs and addresses the two main energy requirements in a range of sectors. This helps to reduce operating costs and maximize CO2 displacement. The beauty of the Sunovate system is its simplicity. It works in conjunction with existing solar panels. It can be fitted to the back of any existing solar panel and comprises two components: a heat exchanger and cassette/mounting system. '

Posted by: Davemart | 05 June 2022 at 03:48 AM

Just a further note that the idea is to combine this with long term thermal heat storage, as they have facilities in for instance Denmark, so that seasonal problems are in part alleviated.

I think it will work very well with agrivoltaics in Europe which would both reduce temperatures for crops and reduce evaporation in an increasingly warm climate and mean that land use issues disappear.

More here on how it works with conventional solar - this would be better yet.


Of some personal interest to me is that it should enable continued substantial wine production as the climate warms in areas like Bordeaux! ;-)

Posted by: Davemart | 05 June 2022 at 06:22 AM

The Sunovate system sounds a lot like something which would deteriorate quickly due to high summer temperatures causing accelerated degradation of all components of the panel.  If it was good at holding heat, it would cook itself; if it was good at dissipating heat, it would do a poor job of providing heat at much over ambient.

I could see something like an aerogel-insulated panel with a hydrogen-modulated thermal conductivity regulated by the partial pressure created by absorption and desorption in a hydride, but that would be complex and leak hydrogen over time.

Posted by: Engineer-Poet | 05 June 2022 at 04:03 PM

? I don' t think you have had a chance to look through the linked literature.

The heat is not held anywhere near the panel, which just has a backing structure which cool air is blown through with a fan.

The warmed air then goes to a heat exchanger, elsewhere in the building or installation to be utilised in heating water or whatever, and then the same air at reduced temperature is sent around again.

The only thing which comes into contact with the back of the panels is cooled air.

Posted by: Davemart | 05 June 2022 at 04:22 PM

I should point out that there are extensive graphs given showing the tests of the cooling, and the lower heat stress on the panels, which not only increases efficiency, even in, for instance, a Scandinavian winter, but should enhance longevity considerably.

Posted by: Davemart | 05 June 2022 at 04:26 PM

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