"Design a thermoelectric generator (TEG) that can be installed in a combustion engine vehicle and produce 3 kW electrical power under full load conditions and 1-2 kW under partial load conditions."
– Project Proposal
Also from the project proposal:Concept
The concept [...] is to make an efficient use of the energy wasted in the form of heat in thermal engines. This heat is mainly dissipated in the exhaust device and in the cooling circuit. Many attempts have been made at trying to recover this waste heat with Rankine cycles and other principles , none of which have been shown viable at this time. One of the recurrent ideas in this field is the use of thermo- electric devices that convert heat into electricity statically which has also failed reaching large-scale deployment because of its lack of performance.
We are currently witnessing three trends that combine in a way that this idea can now be considered with a different perspective: on the one hand, electric power consumption is continuously increasing due to the growing part of electric and electronic devices on board modern vehicles; on the other hand, recent improvements obtained in thermoelectrics specialist laboratories show that it is close to being a viable approach; finally, the environment problems have led to strong commitments concerning the reduction of fossil-energy consumption and the emission of CO2."More in detail the project is aimed at:
Reduction of fuel consumption and abatement of CO2 emissions due to the reduced mechanical load at the crankshaft which is necessary to drive the alternator.