Technology Review

Review of Waste Heat Recovery Mechanisms for Internal Combustion Engines

[+] Author and Article Information
John R. Armstead

e-mail: jrarmste@mtu.edu

Scott A. Miers

Mechanical Engineering – Engineering
Mechanics Department,
Michigan Technological University,
Houghton, MI 49931

Manuscript received February 1, 2013; final manuscript received June 20, 2013; published online October 21, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Samuel Sami.

J. Thermal Sci. Eng. Appl 6(1), 014001 (Oct 21, 2013) (9 pages) Paper No: TSEA-13-1022; doi: 10.1115/1.4024882 History: Received February 01, 2013; Revised June 20, 2013

The demand for more fuel efficient vehicles has been growing steadily and will only continue to increase given the volatility in the commodities market for petroleum resources. The internal combustion (IC) engine utilizes approximately one third of the chemical energy released during combustion. The remaining two-thirds are rejected from the engine via the cooling and exhaust systems. Significant improvements in fuel conversion efficiency are possible through the capture and conversion of these waste energy streams. Promising waste heat recovery (WHR) techniques include turbocharging, turbo compounding, Rankine engine compounding, and thermoelectric (TE) generators. These techniques have shown increases in engine thermal efficiencies that range from 2% to 20%, depending on system design, quality of energy recovery, component efficiency, and implementation. The purpose of this paper is to provide a broad review of the advancements in the waste heat recovery methods; thermoelectric generators (TEG) and Rankine cycles for electricity generation, which have occurred over the past 10 yr as these two techniques have been at the forefront of current research for their untapped potential. The various mechanisms and techniques, including thermodynamic analysis, employed in the design of a waste heat recovery system are discussed.

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Fig. 1

Heat balance of a 1.4 l spark ignition internal combustion engine [1]

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Fig. 2

Exhaust gas temperatures from a four cylinder gasoline engine with stoichiometric combustion [6]

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Fig. 3

Effect of external electric power supplied to a 2.0 l midsize production vehicle [8]

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Fig. 4

Schematic of a TE system demonstrating the Seebeck and Peltier effect [9]

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Fig. 5

Schematic showing cross-section of a typical multicouple thermo-electric module [7]

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Fig. 6

Electrical and thermal conduction paths of a multicouple thermo-electric module [7]

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Fig. 7

Rankine cycle system and its ideal—actual cycle [1]

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Fig. 8

Rankine cycle efficiency for various turbine inlet temperatures [1]

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Fig. 9

T-s diagram for dry, wet, and isentropic fluids [1]

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Fig. 10

Effect of backpressure supplied to a 2.0 l midsize production vehicle [8]

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Fig. 11

“ZT versus T for state-of-the-practice (symbols with lines) and state-of-the-art materials (lines only)” [3]

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Fig. 12

The heating–cooling cycle performed [4]

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Fig. 13

“TEG's maximum gained power (P) and EMF (U0) during the reliability test” [4]

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Fig. 14

Scanning electron microscope micrograph for a TEG before 6000 thermal cycles [4]

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Fig. 15

Scanning electron microscope micrograph for a TEG after 6000 thermal cycles [4]

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Fig. 16

Schematic diagram of a multiple section TE power generator system without an intermediate loop [17]

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Fig. 17

The schematic for a multiple TE power generator system with an intermediate loop between the exhaust pipe and the TE generator [17]

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Fig. 18

The power output improvement (%) for a given exhaust gas mass flow (g/s) by using a three section system compared to a single section system [17]

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Fig. 19

Comparing the total cycle energy recovered (W/h) for four different drive cycles that used a single section system (optimized at 25 g/s) to that of a three section system (optimized at 5, 10, and 20 g/s) [17]

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Fig. 20

The percent improvement of energy recovered for the four drive cycles for the three section system over the single section system [17]

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Fig. 21

Schematic showing layout of subsection of thermoelectric heat exchanger [5]

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Fig. 22

Schematic of counter flow TE heat exchanger [5]

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Fig. 23

Schematic of the Rankine cycle utilizing the engine and exhaust gas waste heat [24]

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Fig. 24

An ORC-WHR system with integrated low-temperature cooling loop [25]

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Fig. 25

Schematic of a regenerative ORC [26]




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