Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Energy Lost From Hot Engines Could Save Billions If Converted Into Electricity

Date:
October 7, 2007
Source:
Clemson University
Summary:
Energy lost from hot engines could save billions of dollars if it could be captured and converted into electricity via thermoelectric devices, according to physicists. Physicists said more than 60 percent of the energy that goes into an automotive combustion cycle is lost, primarily to waste heat through the exhaust or radiator system.

Energy lost from hot engines could save billions of dollars if it could be captured and converted into electricity via thermoelectric devices, Clemson University physicist Terry Tritt told scientists gathered in Dallas for the world-renowned NanoTX ’07 conference.

Tritt delivered an address at the Alan MacDairmid Memorial Nano Energy Summit on challenges in alternative energy, specifically thermoelectricity used to generate electrical energy from waste heat.

“Thermoelectric generators are currently used in NASA’s deep-space probes to convert the heat of radioactive elements to electrical energy, powering these systems for over 30 years,” Tritt said. “Thermoelectric energy conversion is a solid-state technology that is environmentally friendly. One of the more promising ‘down-to-earth’ applications lies in waste-heat recovery in cars.”

Tritt said more than 60 percent of the energy that goes into an automotive combustion cycle is lost, primarily to waste heat through the exhaust or radiator system.

“Even at the current efficiencies of thermoelectric devices, 7 to 8 percent, more than 1.5 billion gallons of diesel could be saved each year in the U.S. if thermoelectric generators were used on the exhaust of heavy trucks. That translates into billions of dollars saved,” Tritt said.

Clemson research focuses on developing higher-efficiency thermoelectric materials that could increase savings significantly. Research on the electrical and thermal properties of new materials could reduce the world’s reliance on fossil fuels and has shown promise with two classes of materials: low-dimensional systems for enhanced electrical properties and increased phonon scattering that leads to inherently low thermal conductivity.

Tritt heads up the Department of Energy’s Center of Excellence in Thermoelectric Materials Research at Clemson, one of the leading laboratories for thermoelectric materials in the world. The national center focuses on the next generation of thermoelectric materials for power conversion and refrigeration. Researchers in physics, materials science and chemistry screen promising new classes of materials in order to achieve higher-performance thermoelectric materials. DOE recently renewed the program with more than $1 million a year in research funding for the next three years.

NanoTX, presented by Semiconductor Industry Association, highlights advances in nanoscience and explains how nanotechnology is being used today and how it will impact a broad range of industries tomorrow, including electronics, energy, aerospace, defense, biomedicine, robotics, chemicals and more. 


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Clemson University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Clemson University. "Energy Lost From Hot Engines Could Save Billions If Converted Into Electricity." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 October 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003154956.htm>.
Clemson University. (2007, October 7). Energy Lost From Hot Engines Could Save Billions If Converted Into Electricity. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003154956.htm
Clemson University. "Energy Lost From Hot Engines Could Save Billions If Converted Into Electricity." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/10/071003154956.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

Thousands March in NYC Over Climate Change

AP (Sep. 21, 2014) — Accompanied by drumbeats, wearing costumes and carrying signs, thousands of demonstrators filled the streets of Manhattan and other cities around the world on Sunday to urge policy makers to take action on climate change. (Sept. 21) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

What This MIT Sensor Could Mean For The Future Of Robotics

Newsy (Sep. 20, 2014) — MIT researchers developed a light-based sensor that gives robots 100 times the sensitivity of a human finger, allowing for "unprecedented dexterity." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

MIT BioSuit A New Take On Traditional Spacesuits

Newsy (Sep. 19, 2014) — The MIT BioSuit could be an alternative to big, bulky traditional spacesuits, but the concept needs some work. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

New Music With Recycled Instruments at Colombia Fest

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) — Jars, bottles, caps and even a pizza box, recovered from the trash, were the elements used by four musical groups at the "RSFEST2014 Sonorities Recycling Festival", in Colombian city of Cali. Duration: 00:49 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins