Thermoelectric generation technology can be used for waste heat recovery of internal combustion engines to improve energy efficiency. In this study, the performance of a thermoelectric generator for exhaust heat recovery of a diesel engine under various operation conditions are analyzed. First, a three-dimensional model of the thermoelectric generator is built by CATIA software. The thermoelectric chip of TEP1-1264-3.4 is used in this study and its characteristic data such as Seeback coefficient, thermal conductivity, and internal resistance are modeled by different maps in MATLAB. Then, a mathematical model of the thermoelectric generator is setup and a finite volume method is employed to obtain a high accuracy. The results indicate that the power output of the thermoelectric generator is increased while the thermoelectric conversion efficiency reduces as the engine load increases. On the hand, the power output of the thermoelectric generator is decreased but the thermoelectric conversion efficiency is increased as the engine load rises.
Keywords thermoelectric generator, waste heat recovery, diesel engine, finite volume method