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Heat energy harvesting by utilizing waste heat with small temperature differences between heat source and sink

Abstract

In this review work, energy harvesting methods for waste heat with small temperature differences between heat source and sink are discussed. At present, many methods are tried and employed to utilize this type of waste heat. A typical example is found in a conventional power generation system. By utilizing this type of waste heat, additional energy can be produced in regular power generation systems. Up to this point, two energy harvesting methods have been introduced and applied for the use with this type of waste heat. One is a method using an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) while the other is a method using a thermoelectric generation (TEG). An ORC is a Rankine cycle that can be applied to this type of waste heat using organic fluids such as refrigerants as working fluids instead of water used in a typical Ranking cycle. On the other hand, a TEG utilizes Peltier, Seebeck, and Thomson effects caused by the temperature difference between the heat source and sink for energy harvesting. In this work, various aspects associated with the use ORC and TEG for waste heat harvesting with small temperature differences between the heat source and sink.

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Acknowledgements

This work was funded by Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute (R16GA02) and supported by the New & Renewable Energy of the Korea Institute of Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) grant funded by the Korea government Ministry of Knowledge Economy (No. 201630 10140550) and also supported by Inha University (2019).

Author information

Correspondence to Joo-Hyung Kim.

Additional information

Recommended by Editor Yong Tae Kang

Sanghyp Lee is a Senior Researcher in Korea Electric Power Corporation Research Institute. His research fields include waste heat recovery with organic Rankine cycle, green energy conversion with combustion of waste material.

Kyeong-Ho Shin received the BS. and M.E. degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University, Incheon, Korea in 2016 and 2018, respectively. He is currently a Ph.D. student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University. His research interests are system of organic Rankine cycle, infrared thermography and heat transfer simulation.

Joo-Hyung Kim received the BS. and M.E. degrees from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Inha University, Incheon, Korea in 1993 and 1995, respectively, and the Ph.D. degree from the Department of Microelectronics and Information Technology, KTH (Royal Institute of Technology), Stockholm, Sweden in 2005. Currently, he is a Professor in Mechanical Engineering in Inha University and directors of the INHA IST Research Center, 3D Printing Center and GM-PACE Center. His research interests are renewable energy systems, intelligent sensor fabrication, advanced 3D printing, and advanced smart mechanical systems.

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Lee, S., Shin, K., Lee, J. et al. Heat energy harvesting by utilizing waste heat with small temperature differences between heat source and sink. J Mech Sci Technol 34, 443–455 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12206-019-1243-8

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Keywords

  • Heat source
  • Ocean thermal energy conversion
  • Organic rankine cycle
  • Refrigerant
  • Thermoelectric generation
  • Working fluid