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Increasing the Diesel and Brayton Cycle Efficiency With Thermoelectric Materials

[+] Author Affiliations
W. Peter Sarnacki, Paul A. Wlodkowski

Maine Maritime Academy, Castine, ME

Travis T. Wallace

University of Maine, Orono, ME

Paper No. IMECE2010-39889, pp. 393-401; 9 pages
  • ASME 2010 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Energy Systems Analysis, Thermodynamics and Sustainability; NanoEngineering for Energy; Engineering to Address Climate Change, Parts A and B
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, November 12–18, 2010
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4429-8
  • Copyright © 2010 by ASME


Thermoelectric materials, utilizing the Seebeck effect, have the potential of augmenting the thermal efficiency of all types of internal combustion engines and in particular, a simple cycle gas turbine, as well as the combined steam and gas turbine cycles. Current research and development at Maine Maritime Academy (MMA) has successfully demonstrated the conversion of waste exhaust heat into electrical power from a marine diesel and micro gas turbine. While the automotive industry has been investigating the utility of thermoelectric materials in passenger vehicles for a number of years, the authors believe that the marine and stationary power industries would be the significant beneficiaries of this technology given economies of scale and greater ability to generate higher thermal gradients. This paper examines both the application of thermoelectric generation on marine diesel propulsion systems, and a micro gas turbine. Research and development at MMA highlights the ability to supersede existing thermal efficiency barriers encountered by each power producer.

Copyright © 2010 by ASME
Topics: Brayton cycle , Diesel



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