Pbj xaustors exhaust waste energy recovery
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Client: Frank Albrecht – Future Truck. PBJ Xaustors -Exhaust Waste Energy Recovery. Peter Jorg James Stewart Robert Wiegers Jeremy Boles – Graduate Mentor. Presentation Overview. Background Concepts Testing Product Realization Recommendations. Background.

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Pbj xaustors exhaust waste energy recovery

Client: Frank Albrecht – Future Truck

PBJ Xaustors-Exhaust Waste Energy Recovery

Peter Jorg

James Stewart

Robert Wiegers

Jeremy Boles – Graduate Mentor

Presentation overview
Presentation Overview

  • Background

  • Concepts

  • Testing

  • Product Realization

  • Recommendations


  • The Future Truck Competition aims to “address important environmental and energy-related issues posed by the growing demand for sport utility vehicles.”

  • In a typical vehicle, the exhaust gas contains one of the largest portions of wasted energy, approximately 34% of available energy from the fuel. The motivation of the project is to capture some of this energy stream.

Problem formulation
Problem Formulation

  • Objectives:

    • Energy recovery will be greater than 180W

    • Compatibility and integration with other Future Truck subsystems will be realized

  • Constraints:

    • Additional system weight will be no more than 50 lbf

    • Ground clearance and crush zone competition requirements will not be violated

    • Effectiveness of catalytic converters will not be negatively impacted

    • Overall vehicle score will be positively impacted (i.e. fuel economy points exceed weight penalty)

Concept selection
Concept Selection

  • Thermophotovoltaics

    • Enable usage of high temp (over 1,000ºF) waste heat

    • Projected high cost

    • Little availability to date

  • Modified turbo system

    • Off the shelf parts

    • Low Cost

    • High back pressure

  • Adsorption cooling

    • Potential for elimination of harmful refrigerants

    • Makes direct use of thermal energy

    • Cooling unit must be rather large

Concept selection cont d
Concept Selection (Cont’d)

  • Thermoelectrics

    • Commercially available

    • Low thermal efficiency, approximately 5%

    • No moving parts, solid state device

    • Compact size and low mass

    • Load matching circuit necessary

Vehicle testing
Vehicle Testing

  • Attachment of the thermocouples to the exhaust pipes

  • Data Acquisition unit in cab of truck

Vehicle testing results future truck
Vehicle Testing Results -Future Truck

Optimal thermal conditions

450° – 500°F

Solution concept engine exhaust te chips battery
Solution Concept – Engine->Exhaust->TE chips->Battery

IC Engine

41% Mechanical Output

25% Peripheral Systems

34% Power to Exhaust

Exhaust System




Unrecovered Power




0.75% Exhaust Power

Converted to

Electrical Power

Power to Vehicle




Load Matching Circuit

Thermoelectric testing bench
Thermoelectric Testing -bench

Field point modules collecting data

Fan emulating airflow from driving

Heat sink and air ducting

Thermocouples taking measurements

Computer analyzing data

Heat distribution plate

DMM measuring current

Heat source

Lab view controls
Lab View Controls

Power vs. temp difference graph

Sampling Number

File path

Temp readings

Resistance input

Voltage, power readouts

Temperature difference graph

Generator testing results
Generator Testing Results

Power output W

Temperature Difference ºF

Thermoelectric testing engine
Thermoelectric Testing -engine


Test engine

Exhaust system

DMM measuring voltage output

Exhaust coupler

Thermal bypass valves

Exhaust system comparison
Exhaust SystemComparison

  • Last Year

    • Two catalytic converters

    • Split pipe between cats

    • Longer overall distance

    • Many bends

    • Extraneous sources of head loss

  • This Year

    • One catalytic converter

    • Larger (2.5”) pipe, consolidated after cat

    • Shorter overall distance

    • Fewer bends

    • Valves

Impact to future truck
Impact to Future Truck

  • Static Events

    • Design report, innovation

    • Judges’ interest

  • Dynamic Events

    • Reduced alternator load – improved gas mileage

    • Reduced head loss (?) – better engine performance

    • Weight issue – added vehicle weight increases engine load by ~25 W at 60 mph

    • Implementation of phase change material in cat – leg up in “cold” start emissions run

Continuing work
Continuing Work

  • Load Matching Circuit

    • Underestimated aftermarket availability

    • EE recommendations

  • Forced Air Cooling

    • Original implementation scheme

    • Change in plans

    • Parasitic fan


  • Thermoelectrics

    • Currently only have 7 operational chips

    • Load circuit implementation necessary

    • Current equipment levels – overall impact uncertain

  • Next Step

    • Expansion of generator to two heat sinks

    • Cost = $1200

    • Roughly doubled output for comparable weight

And now a moment of zen
And now a moment of Zen

Any Questions?