Development of Thermoelectric Exhaust Generator (TEG) Heat Recovery Systems for Marine Diesels

Title: Development of Thermoelectric Exhaust Generator (TEG) Heat Recovery Systems for Marine Diesels
Accession Number:  01530214
Record Type: Project
Record URL:
Abstract: Thermoelectric materials are an enabling technology that allows the recapture of this wasted energy from heat sources, such as exhaust and coolant systems, which account for nearly 50% of the total combustion energy. If a fraction of the marine diesel’s wasted energy could be harnessed and stored with high power density batteries, an electric drive system could be utilized to transport ships quietly and cleanly into and out of congested ports and high population centers. Overall, a dramatic reduction of the maritime industry’s carbon footprint could be realized, as a modest 10% increase in engine efficiency translates into a savings of approximately 180,000 barrels of fuel per day on a world-wide basis.

Solid state thermoelectric materials, when exposed to a thermal gradient, generate an electric potential according to the Seebeck effect. While the automobile industry has taken a lead in commercializing thermoelectric generators (TEG) as early as 2013, it is the marine industry that may well be the greater beneficiary of this technology. Economies of scale, the ability to generate a higher thermal gradient, and fewer weight and volume constraints, all suggest a promising feasibility for marine applications. The successful development of a hybrid thermoelectric vessel (green ship) at Maine Maritime Academy is an integral part of the Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory.

Maine Maritime Academy, partnered with Thermoelectric Power Systems, LLC, has been conducting research and development in the applications of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) since 2008. The technical rationale behind the inclusion of thermoelectric research is comprised of the following objectives:

Provide data on the systems-wide effects of the use of TEGs on plant efficiency and performance (in a marine environment).

Identification of optimal marine platforms to utilize TEG energy recovery systems

Identification of optimal thermoelectric materials and TEG designs for classes of marine platforms

To provide the U.S. DOT with an objective and systems level evaluation of TEGs in marine applications.

Contract Numbers:  DTRT13-G-UTC43


Language: English
Sponsor Organizations: Research and Innovative Technology Administration

University Transportation Centers Program
Washington, DC 20590 USA

Preforming Organizations:  Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory

Castine, Maine 04420 USA

Project Status: Active
Funding: 200000.00
Start Date: 20140701
Actual Compilation Date: 20170930
TRT Terms:  Economies of scaleEnergy resourcesGeneratorsGreenhouse gasesMarine diesel enginesShipsTechnological innovationsThermoelectric materials
Geographic Terms:  
Subject Areas:  Energy; Marine Transportation
Source Agency: Marine Engine Testing and Emissions Laboratory

Castine, Maine 04420 USA

Source Data:  RiP Project 36793
Files: UTC, RiP
Last Modified:  Jul 11 2014 1:01AM