Can cars use exhaust fumes to help run themselves
by Alan Harten
February 26, 2008
In at the Cardiff School of engineering in Wales, UK, Professor Mike Rowe has spent many years studying thermoelectric generation. Basically, producing electricity from heat, using devices called thermocouples, that convert waste heat into electricity.
This is not a new idea, by any means; you have a least one in your home as they are used in the control of refrigerator temperatures. As well as controlling a central heating system.
The professor believes that this technology can be employed to generate electricity from the wasted heat emitted from the exhaust system of vehicles.
Professor Rowe, who has already received the OBE for his technological advances, says that: “The main interest in cars is to decrease the petrol consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. If you can utilise the exhaust heat you could replace the alternator. This would provide a 5 per cent saving in fuel straightaway.”
In the US this technology is already being investigated by auto manufacturers, Professor Roe claims that he has found that in the UK, carmakers seem to be considerably less interested.
He said: “Thermoelectric generation is a green solution. It can in many instances cost less than solar energy. It has huge future potential yet it has been neglected to date in the UK.”
This technology would not only reduce, or possibly remove all carbon emissions from vehicles. It would also use 5% less fuel, so it seems hard to understand why British carmakers are not taking an interest in a development from a highly respected British scientist.
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