Nesarajah, M.; Felgner, F.; Frey, G.: Model-based System Assessment of Thermoelectric Energy Harvesting from the Exhaust Gas Pipe of Oil-fired Heatings. MM (Modern Machinery) Science Journal, ISSN 1803-1269, pp. 570-575, Mar. 2015.


We present a methodology to assess the design of thermoelectric Energy Harvesting Systems (EHS) from exhaust gas pipes. In this application, thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are used to generate electricity using a temperature difference, based on the Seebeck Effect. The hot side temperature is given by the waste heat in the exhaust gas of an oil-fired heating system and, at the cold TEG side, two different cooling options are considered, forced air and liquid cooling. The assessment is based on a comprehensive modular model, which includes, besides a detailed TEG model, the heat transfer conditions as well as an adaptive control strategy. The model, build up in the modeling and simulation environment Modelica®/Dymola®, serves to design such an EHS in an optimal way, meaning that a reasonable number of TEGs for the system and a suitable cooling method are chosen. Moreover, for each cooling method, an individual control strategy is defined to maximize the power output of the EHS.

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