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Influence of an Optimized Thermoelectric Generator on the Back Pressure of the Subsequent Exhaust Gas System of a Vehicle


Numerous research projects in automotive engineering focus on the industrialization of the thermoelectric generator (TEG). The development and the implementation of thermoelectric systems into the vehicle environment are commonly supported by virtual design activities. In this paper a customized simulation architecture is presented that includes almost all vehicle parts which are influenced by the TEG (overall system simulation) but is nevertheless capable of real-time use. Moreover, an optimized planar TEG with minimum nominal power output of about 580 W and pressure loss at nominal conditions of 10 mbar, synthesized using the overall system simulation, and the overall system simulation itself are used to answer a generally neglected question: What influence does the position of a TEG have on the back pressure of the subsequent exhaust gas system of the vehicle? It is found that the influence of the TEG on the muffler is low, but the catalytic converter is strongly influenced. It is shown that the TEG can reduce the back pressure of an exhaust gas system so much that its overall back pressure is less than the back pressure of a standard exhaust gas system.

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Correspondence to Roland Kühn.

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Kühn, R., Koeppen, O. & Kitte, J. Influence of an Optimized Thermoelectric Generator on the Back Pressure of the Subsequent Exhaust Gas System of a Vehicle. Journal of Elec Materi 43, 1521–1526 (2014).

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  • Thermoelectric generator
  • pressure drop minimization
  • fuel saving
  • optimization
  • customized simulation