Advanced Thermoelectric Power System Investigations for Light-Duty & Heavy-Duty Vehicle Applications

 

T. Hendricks and J. Lustbader

 

Many recent exciting developments in new, next-generation thermoelectric(TE) materials has created some interesting opportunities for energy recovery and power production in light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles.  The new, next-generation TE materials offer the promise of much higher performance and lower device and system cost.  These new TE materials include two classes of materials being investigated by government and industry researchers, skutterudites and quantum well materials, which can be further categorized into quantum wires, quantum dots, and thin-film superlattices.  This discussion will cover what new energy conversion and power production opportunities appear possible in light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles, quantify the potential power possible in light-duty and heavy-duty vehicles for different drive cycles, and show the system optimization and design tradeoff results generated to date.  We will also discuss the thermoelectric system analysis software and its connection with NREL'sADVISOR vehicle analysis package.

 

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