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Waste Heat Recovery from IC Engine Exhaust: Project Abstract
A major part of the heat supplied in an internal combustion engine is not realized as
work output, but dumped into the atmosphere as waste heat. If this waste heat energy is
tapped and converted into usable energy, the overall efficiency of an engine can be
improved. The percentage of energy rejected to the environment through exhaust gas which
can be potentially recovered is approximately 30-40% of the energy supplied by the fuel
depending on engine load.
The project aims at developing an indigenous silencer design that helps to efficiently
extract a part of the waste heat from IC engine exhaust and effectively converting it into
useful Electrical energy. The silencer design involved creating a model using CAD tools and
carrying out thermal and structural analysis to determine the various parameters influencing
the output. The Material for silencer is carefully selected based on their strength and
Thermal Conductivity. The modified silencer is capable of housing as many as 8
thermoelectric modules each of 0.75 watts capacity. Exhaust gases of the IC engine is used
as Heat source and ambience is used as heat sink. The modules convert the temperature
difference between the sources and sink into potential difference using thermoelectric
technology. Air cooling through forced convection is employed to maintain the temperature
gradient and Fins are used to accelerate this cooling effect. The modules are configured in
series to obtain maximum voltage. Plenty of trials was conducted and the results were
clocked for each trial.
Finally the aim of the project was demonstrated by recording a voltage of 12 volts
and 0.5 amperes. This clearly illustrates the potential of thermoelectric technology in two