Thermoelectric waste heat recovery tested

Amerigon Incorporated announced that its BSST subsidiary will install and test thermoelectric waste heat recovery generators in BMW Group and Ford vehicles in the newest phase of a United States Department of Energy (DOE) funded program studying the use of thermoelectric systems to convert waste heat from automobile engine exhaust into electrical power. The program, which is being conducted by a team led by BSST, was created to improve automobile fuel economy.

DOE will contribute approximately $1.1 million in funding and BSST will contribute an additional $370,000 for this fifth phase, which has a targeted completion date of March 31, 2010.

The first phase of the DOE program was launched in 2005 and analyzed the technical and commercial viability of the system concept. In phase 2, the team created a conceptual design of the system. In phase 3, Ford Motor Company joined the program and the team added more detail to the design by building and testing the subsystems on a bench using hot gas. As phase 4 nears completion, the team is integrating the complete thermoelectric system into a BMW inline six cylinder engine.