Thermoelectric generator (TEG) and organic Rankine cycle (ORC) are both promising waste heat recovery technologies, which have different advantages and disadvantages in operating temperature, size and efficiency. A combination of TEG and ORC systems forming a TEG-ORC system has the possibility to complement each other achieving a win-win situation. The paper proposes a combined TEG-ORC system applied in passenger cars for both waste heat recovery and engine warm-up. This bifunctional TEG-ORC system has a novel layout utilizing components that already exist in a passenger car to reduce the size of system. To evaluate the performance of TEG-ORC, a semi-empirical model is developed. The fuel saving potential of the vehicular TEG-ORC system along the world light vehicle test procedure (WLTP) is estimated. The results indicate that 0.13% and 3.19 % of fuel saving potential are respectively achieved in the fast engine warm-up and waste heat recovery compared to the baseline vehicle without the TEG-ORC system.
Keywords thermoelectric generator, organic Rankine cycle, engine warm-up, waste heat recovery, passenger car