At Least One Conduit For Liquid Coolant Patents (Class 136/210)
  • Patent number: 10825976
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device (20) and a method for manufacturing and using the same are disclosed. The thermoelectric device (20) includes a hot shoe (24) and a cold shoe (28) disposed about the hot shoe. A heat conducting member (32) formed of a thermoelectric material extends between the hot shoe (24) and the cold shoe (28) and generates electricity in response to a temperature difference therebetween. The hot shoe (24) is heated and expands at a greater rate than the cold shoe (28) does during operation. The structural and spatial relationship of the hot shoe (24) and the cold shoe (28) maintains the thermoelectric material of the heat conducting member (32) in compression during operation of the thermoelectric device (20).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 12, 2015
    Date of Patent: November 3, 2020
    Assignee: Board of Trustees of Michigan State University
    Inventors: Edward J. Timm, Harold J. Schock, Guoming G. Zhu, Trevor Ruckle, Kevin D. Moran
  • Patent number: 10808592
    Abstract: A heat exchanger for a vehicle is provided to improve fuel efficiency by implementing an integrated structure of exhaust gas heat recovery function and thermoelectric generation function. The heat exchanger allows exhaust gas that is flowed into the heat exchange generator in the cold start mode of the vehicle to pass through the exhaust gas heat recovery component side and thermoelectric generation component side. Therefore, the temperature of the coolant rapidly increases, thereby reducing the engine warm-up time, and electricity is generated through thermoelectric module, thereby maximizing the fuel efficiency improvement.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: October 18, 2018
    Date of Patent: October 20, 2020
    Assignees: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Jong Ho Seon, Kwang Min Choi, Byung Wook Kim, Hoo Dam Lee, Jin Woo Kwak, Ho Chan An
  • Patent number: 10391831
    Abstract: A combined heat exchanger module includes an upper tank configured to introduce cooling water into the combined heat exchanger module; a lower tank configured to discharge the cooling water from the combined heat exchanger module; first heat radiating channels, each having an upper end connected with the upper tank and a lower end connected with the lower tank; second heat radiating channels, each having an upper end connected with the upper tank and a lower end connected with the lower tank; and thermoelectric elements, each having a first surface in surface contact with the second heat radiating channels and a second surface exposed to air, whereby heat generated from an engine or electric components of a vehicle is absorbed in the cooling water.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 17, 2015
    Date of Patent: August 27, 2019
    Assignee: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Man Ju Oh, Jae Woo Park, Jae Woong Kim
  • Patent number: 10193049
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator unit, in particular for coupling to an exhaust gas pipe of an internal combustion engine, comprises at least one inner tube (16) having gas flowing therein and whose outer circumference comprises at least one flat portion (24). An oval outer housing (12) completely surrounds the inner tube (16) in circumferential direction. A plurality of thermoelectric modules (14) are arranged on the flat portions (24) of the inner tube (16). At least one cooling element (18) is provided which comprises a flat side on which the thermoelectric modules (14) are arranged. The assembly unit made up of inner tube (16), thermoelectric modules (14) and cooling element (18) is surrounded by an elastic compensation element (20) which rests on the inner side of the outer housing (12) and is retained in the outer housing (12) by means of clamping.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 12, 2012
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2019
    Assignee: FAURECIA EMISSIONS CONTROL TECHNOLOGIES, GERMANY GMBH
    Inventors: Christian Paul Vitek, Boris Kienle
  • Patent number: 9954157
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator includes a first channel for passing a warm fluid along a direction of flow, a second channel for passing a cold fluid, a plurality of thermocouple elements disposed along the direction of flow between the first and second channels, a first member includes portions disposed between the elements and the first channel and associated with the individual elements for providing a heat coupling between the associated element and the first channel, and a second member including portions disposed between the elements and the second channel and associated with the individual elements for providing a heat coupling between the associated element and the second channel. The sum of the thermal resistances of those portions that are associated with a first element positioned upstream of a second element is bigger than the sum of the thermal resistances of those portions that are associated with the second element.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 8, 2017
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2018
    Assignee: Eberspächer Exhaust Technology GmbH & Co. KG
    Inventors: Gerd Gaiser, Fabian Frobenius, Matthias Hense
  • Patent number: 9680400
    Abstract: A method and device for generating electrical energy in a motor vehicle involves thermoelectric generator having a plurality of thermoelectric modules and coupled to at least one electrical consumer. Module open-circuit voltages of the modules are determined and those modules for which a sum of their module open-circuit voltages attains twice a predefined generator output voltage with the smallest possible deviation are determined and electrically connected to one another in series.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 26, 2012
    Date of Patent: June 13, 2017
    Assignee: Daimler AG
    Inventors: Swen Lang, Tobias Sommerfeld, Thomas Stengel
  • Patent number: 9145811
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator apparatus may include a high temperature member having an exhaust pipe, a ring-shaped first heat transfer plate surrounding the exhaust pipe, and a plurality of first heat exchange pins radially extending outwards from the first heat transfer plate in a predetermined degree, a low temperature member having an internal casing surrounding the exhaust pipe, an external casing surrounding the internal casing with a predetermined gap, a ring-shaped second heat transfer plate contacting with an internal wall of the internal casing, and a plurality of second heat exchange pins radially extending inwards from the second heat transfer plate in a predetermined angle, and a plurality of thermoelectric modules being in contact with the first heat exchange pins and the second heat exchange pins so as to generate electricity using a thermoelectric phenomenon caused by a temperature gap between the first heat exchange pins and the second heat exchange pins.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 21, 2012
    Date of Patent: September 29, 2015
    Assignee: HYUNDAI MOTOR COMPANY
    Inventors: Ho-Chan An, Jong-Ho Seon
  • Patent number: 9029684
    Abstract: The present disclosure relates to a hybrid solar receiver that generates electricity and heat simultaneously. The solar receiver comprises photovoltaic cells for converting concentrated light on the cells into electricity. The receiver also includes a heat pipe having a heat discharge area that serves as an evaporator for discharging heat accumulated on the photovoltaic cells to a dissipation area. A dual-function interface layer is positioned between the photovoltaic cells and the heat pipe. The interface layer electrically insulates the photovoltaic cells from the heat pipe and instantaneously transfer the heat accumulated on photovoltaic cells to liquid coolant in the heat pipe. A surface of the photovoltaic cells is coated with an encapsulation layer. A transparent plate is deposited on the encapsulation layer.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 5, 2010
    Date of Patent: May 12, 2015
    Assignee: Commissariat à l'Énergie Atomique et aux Énergies Alternatives
    Inventors: Qinglong Lin, André Manificat
  • Patent number: 9006556
    Abstract: Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: April 14, 2015
    Assignee: Genthem Incorporated
    Inventors: Lon E. Bell, Douglas Todd Crane
  • Patent number: 8938946
    Abstract: An exhaust gas system for an internal combustion engine has a thermoelectric power generator with a hot side and a cold side. The hot side is arranged on the exhaust gas system and is heatable by exhaust gas of the internal combustion engine. A first heat exchanger having a first thermal conductivity is arranged between the hot side and the exhaust gas flow. At least a second thermoelectric power generator is arranged on the exhaust gas system and has a second heat exchanger with a thermal conductivity that is different from the first thermal conductivity. The arrangement of thermoelectric power generators can generate electric power over a significantly wider operating point range of the internal combustion engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2013
    Date of Patent: January 27, 2015
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Rainer Richter
  • Patent number: 8829326
    Abstract: The invention relates to a thermoelectric-based power generation system designed to be clamped onto the outer wall of a steam pipe or other heating pipe. The system can include a number of assemblies mounted on the sides of a pipe. Each assembly can include a hot block, an array of thermoelectric modules, and a cold block system. The hot block can create a thermal channel to the hot plates of the modules. The cold block can include a heat pipe onto which fins are attached.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 29, 2007
    Date of Patent: September 9, 2014
    Assignee: Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science
    Inventors: Robert Dell, Chih-Shing Wei, George Sidebotham
  • Publication number: 20140150840
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator unit, in particular for coupling to an exhaust gas pipe of an internal combustion engine, comprises at least one inner tube (16) having gas flowing therein and whose outer circumference comprises at least one flat portion (24). An oval outer housing (12) completely surrounds the inner tube (16) in circumferential direction. A plurality of thermoelectric modules (14) are arranged on the flat portions (24) of the inner tube (16). At least one cooling element (18) is provided which comprises a flat side on which the thermoelectric modules (14) are arranged. The assembly unit made up of inner tube (16), thermoelectric modules (14) and cooling element (18) is surrounded by an elastic compensation element (20) which rests on the inner side of the outer housing (12) and is retained in the outer housing (12) by means of clamping.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 12, 2012
    Publication date: June 5, 2014
    Applicant: Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies, Germany GmbH
    Inventors: Christian Paul Vitek, Boris Kienle
  • Publication number: 20140116035
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator for a vehicle is mounted at an exhaust pipe and produces electricity using a temperature difference between the exhaust gas and coolant. The generator includes: a housing; thermoelectric modules mounted at an outer circumferential surface of the housing; a plurality of coolant tubes mounted so as to closely attach the thermoelectric module to the housing; first coolant containers mounted at both ends of the coolant tubes, respectively; and second coolant containers mounted at both ends of the coolant tubes, respectively. The coolant tubes are assembled to the first and second coolant containers as a modularized type, and thus assemblability may be improved and partial replacement of components in case of breakdown may be easily performed. In the coolant tube of the present invention, heat exchange is concentratedly performed at a portion in contact with the thermoelectric module, and thus generation efficiency may be more improved.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 25, 2013
    Publication date: May 1, 2014
    Applicant: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Ho-Chan An, Jong-Ho Seon
  • Publication number: 20140069478
    Abstract: An apparatus for converting thermal energy into electrical energy comprises at least one thermoelectric module which has a hot side provided for a contact with a heat source and a cold side provided for a contact with a heat sink, a heating passage which can be flowed through by a hot fluid and which is in thermoconductive communication with the hot side of the thermoelectric module, and a cooling passage which can be flowed through by a cooling fluid and which is in thermoconductive communication with the cold side of the thermoelectric module. Provision is made that the cooling passage has at least one cooling passage opening facing toward the cold side of the thermoelectric module and/or that the heating passage has at least one heating passage opening facing toward the hot side of the thermoelectric module. The thermoelectric module is covered by a layer or film of an electrically insulating material at least in the region of the cooling passage opening and/or of the heating passage opening.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 11, 2013
    Publication date: March 13, 2014
    Applicant: FRIEDRICH BOYSEN GMBH & CO. KG
    Inventors: Roland GAUSS, Karl STOCKINGER
  • Patent number: 8650865
    Abstract: An exhaust gas routing device for an internal-combustion engine having a thermoelectric generator is fluidically connected with an exhaust gas line and a pipe guiding a coolant. The generator has a plurality of thermoelectric yoke pairs which are arranged between a first surface heated by the exhaust gas and a second surface cooled by the coolant. The exhaust gas routing device has a device guiding the exhaust gas along the first surface at a flow velocity that increases in the flow direction of the exhaust gas.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 2, 2011
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Stephan Neugebauer, Andreas Eder, Matthias Linde, Boris Mazar
  • Patent number: 8650886
    Abstract: A flexible cooling loop for providing a thermal path between a heat source and a heat sink includes a plurality of mechanically rigid tubing sections configured for being in thermal contact with the heat source and the heat sink. The cooling loop further includes a plurality if mechanically flexible tubing sections configured for connecting the mechanically rigid tubing sections to form the loop. The loop is configured for containing a liquid. The liquid is configured for being circulated within the loop for promoting transfer of thermal energy from the heat source to the heat sink via the loop.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 12, 2008
    Date of Patent: February 18, 2014
    Assignee: Rockwell Collins, Inc.
    Inventors: Ross K. Wilcoxon, David W. Dlouhy, Nathan P. Lower, James R. Wooldridge
  • Publication number: 20140007916
    Abstract: The invention relates to a thermoelectric device, comprising pipes (8), called hot pipes, through which a first fluid can flow, and elements (3p, 3n), called thermoelectric elements, that can be used to generate an electric current in the presence of a temperature gradient. According to the invention, it comprises fins (5p, 5n) that can be configured in a heat exchange relationship with pipes (9), called cold pipes, through which a second fluid can flow at a temperature lower than that of the first fluid, and in that the thermoelectric elements (3p, 3n) are in contact, on the one hand, with the hot pipes (8) and, on the other hand, with the fins (5p, 5n), such that said thermoelectric elements (3p, 3n) generate said current.
    Type: Application
    Filed: July 28, 2011
    Publication date: January 9, 2014
    Inventors: Kamel Azzouz, Michel Simonn
  • Patent number: 8581088
    Abstract: A thermoelectric power generation apparatus includes a thermoelectric device having a first surface, an opposed second surface, and a first thermal energy storage unit operatively coupled to the first surface of the thermoelectric device setting the first surface at a first temperature. The thermoelectric power generation apparatus also includes a second thermal energy storage unit having a second temperature, the second thermal energy unit for setting the second surface of the thermoelectric device at an operative temperature in response to a temperature difference between the first temperature of the first surface and the second temperature of the second thermal energy storage unit. The thermoelectric device generates power in response to a temperature differential between the first temperature of the first surface and the operative temperature of the second surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 3, 2011
    Date of Patent: November 12, 2013
    Inventor: Jeffery J. Bohl
  • Patent number: 8549835
    Abstract: An exhaust gas system for an internal combustion engine has a thermoelectric power generator with a hot side and a cold side. The hot side is arranged on the exhaust gas system and is heatable by exhaust gas of the internal combustion engine. A first heat exchanger having a first thermal conductivity is arranged between the hot side and the exhaust gas flow. At least a second thermoelectric power generator is arranged on the exhaust gas system and has a second heat exchanger with a thermal conductivity that is different from the first thermal conductivity. The arrangement of thermoelectric power generators can generate electric power over a significantly wider operating point range of the internal combustion engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Date of Patent: October 8, 2013
    Assignee: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventor: Rainer Richter
  • Publication number: 20130186448
    Abstract: A thermoelectric system is provided which includes at least one tubular conduit configured to be in thermal communication with at least one first fluid flowing through the at least one tubular coolant conduit in a first direction. A plurality of thermoelectric elements can be in thermal communication with the at least one tubular conduit. A heat exchanger in thermal communication with the plurality of thermoelectric elements is configured to be in thermal communication with at least one second fluid and to surround at least a portion of the tubular conduit and plurality of thermoelectric elements. The heat exchanger can include at least one coating configured to catalyze reactions of at least one portion of the second fluid.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 18, 2013
    Publication date: July 25, 2013
    Applicant: Gentherm, Inc.
    Inventor: Gentherm, Inc.
  • Publication number: 20130160434
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator of a vehicle converts thermal energy of exhaust gas of an engine into electric energy by using a thermoelectric phenomenon, and may include: a high-temperature part heated by exchange heat and a plurality of pairs of heat transfer plates mounted on an outer peripheral surface of an exhaust pipe at a predetermined interval; pairs of thermoelectric modules acquired by bonding a P-type semiconductor and an N-type semiconductor, interposed between the pairs of heat transfer plates to generate electricity, and electrically connected to each other; and a low-temperature part interposed between the pairs of thermoelectric modules and cooling inner surfaces of the pairs of thermoelectric modules. The plurality of thermoelectric modules generates electricity by a difference in temperature between heated outer surfaces and cooled inner surfaces. Thermoelectric efficiency is improved and a small-sized thermoelectric generator of a vehicle may be implemented.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 29, 2012
    Publication date: June 27, 2013
    Applicants: Hyundai Motor Company, Sejong Ind. Co. Ltd., Kia Motors Corporation
    Inventors: Hyundai Motor Company, Kia Motors Corporation
  • Patent number: 8471139
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion module which has a P-type thermoelectric conversion material and an N-type thermoelectric conversion material electrically connected to each other. The P-type thermoelectric conversion material and the N-type thermoelectric conversion material are joined with insulating material particles (ceramic spherical particles) interposed therebetween, so as not to be electrically connected to each other.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 23, 2010
    Date of Patent: June 25, 2013
    Assignee: Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Takanori Nakamura, Shuji Matsumoto
  • Publication number: 20130152561
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator apparatus may include a high temperature member having an exhaust pipe, a ring-shaped first heat transfer plate surrounding the exhaust pipe, and a plurality of first heat exchange pins radially extending outwards from the first heat transfer plate in a predetermined degree, a low temperature member having an internal casing surrounding the exhaust pipe, an external casing surrounding the internal casing with a predetermined gap, a ring-shaped second heat transfer plate contacting with an internal wall of the internal casing, and a plurality of second heat exchange pins radially extending inwards from the second heat transfer plate in a predetermined angle, and a plurality of thermoelectric modules being in contact with the first heat exchange pins and the second heat exchange pins so as to generate electricity using a thermoelectric phenomenon caused by a temperature gap between the first heat exchange pins and the second heat exchange pins.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2012
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Ho-Chan AN, Jong-Ho SEON
  • Publication number: 20130152989
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator and a method for manufacturing a thermoelectric generator are described. The thermoelectric generator, having a housing in which at least one heat source tube, at least one heat sink tube, and at least one generator element are between the heat source tube and the heat sink tube. A pretension mounting device is in the housing and provides an elastic force via which the tubes are pretensioned relative to one another and which compresses the tubes and the generator element in-between. An inner side of the housing of the pretension mounting device forms a support for the pretension mounting device, which is acted upon by a counterforce to the elastic force of the pretension mounting device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: December 20, 2010
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Inventors: Ilona Krinn, Martin Koehne, Franz Wetzl, Frank Felten, Manfred Schmitt, Winfried Ziegler, Miroslaw Brzoza, Patrick Glaser
  • Publication number: 20130152562
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator may include a high temperature member having an exhaust pipe, and a ring-shaped first heat transfer plate equipped with a first flange installed on an external wall of the exhaust pipe and formed along a longitudinal direction of the exhaust pipe, a low temperature member having a first coolant pipe enclosing an external wall of the exhaust pipe, and a ring-shaped second heat transfer plate installed inside the first coolant pipe, and on which a second flange extends along a longitudinal direction of the first coolant pipe, and ring-shaped thermoelectric modules, which may be formed by joining a P-shaped semiconductor and an N-shaped semiconductor.
    Type: Application
    Filed: September 21, 2012
    Publication date: June 20, 2013
    Applicant: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventors: Ho-Chan An, Jong-Ho Seon
  • Publication number: 20130145750
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator apparatus of a vehicle may include a high temperature member, through which exhaust gas passes, a low temperature member, which maintains a temperature lower than a temperature of the high temperature member, and which includes a first coolant pipe holder supporting one of coolant pipes, a heat transfer plate which extends from the first pipe holder and may be located opposite to a corresponding high-temperature member, and a second coolant pipe holder formed on the other side of the heat transfer plate and supporting another of the coolant pipes, and a thermoelectric module disposed between the high temperature member and the low temperature member.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 25, 2012
    Publication date: June 13, 2013
    Applicant: Hyundai Motor Company
    Inventor: Hyundai Motor Company
  • Patent number: 8341950
    Abstract: Systems and methods for converting engine heat energy to electricity using a thermoelectric conversion device are provided herein. One example system may include an engine heat source, a thermoelectric conversion device for converting heat into electricity, and a heat pipe. The heat pipe is positioned so that when the temperature of the engine exhaust is too high, the excess heat may be transferred away from the thermoelectric conversion device to the heat sink via the heat pipe.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: January 1, 2013
    Assignee: Ford Global Technologies, LLC
    Inventors: David Karl Bidner, Robert Jay Natkin, Shane Elwart, Gopichandra Surnilla
  • Publication number: 20120298163
    Abstract: A thermoelectric unit for electrically interconnecting a plurality of thermoelectric modules. The thermoelectric unit includes a first thermoelectric module having a plurality of interconnected thermoelectric elements, the first thermoelectric module being interposed between a main surface of an inner flat tube and a main surface of an outer flat tube of a double-walled cooling tube, a second thermoelectric module being interposed between a second main surface of the inner flat tube and a second main surface of the outer flat tube of the double-walled cooling tube and/or between a main surface of an inner flat tube and a main surface of an outer flat tube of a second double-walled cooling tube, and an electrical connector designed to connect the first thermoelectric module to the second thermoelectric module in an electrically conducting manner.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 18, 2012
    Publication date: November 29, 2012
    Inventors: Holger BREHM, Thomas Himmer, Thomas Heckenberger, Rudolf Riedel
  • Patent number: 8247679
    Abstract: An apparatus for generating electrical power from the waste heat generated by an internal combustion engine includes a first pipe wall through which a heated medium flows, a thermoelectric generator disposed exteriorly to the inner pipe wall, and a second pipe wall disposed exteriorly to the thermoelectric generator. The first pipe wall and the second pipe wall form at least a partially double-walled pipe. The first pipe wall saves as a high-temperature source. The second pipe wall serves as a low-temperature source.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 7, 2009
    Date of Patent: August 21, 2012
    Assignee: Benteler Automobiltechnik GmbH
    Inventors: Wilfried Rostek, Torsten Howe, Thorsten Andres, Björn Richter, Mathilde Kny
  • Patent number: 8222512
    Abstract: Traditional power generation systems using thermoelectric power generators are designed to operate most efficiently for a single operating condition. The present invention provides a power generation system in which the characteristics of the thermoelectrics, the flow of the thermal power, and the operational characteristics of the power generator are monitored and controlled such that higher operation efficiencies and/or higher output powers can be maintained with variably thermal power input. Such a system is particularly beneficial in variable thermal power source systems, such as recovering power from the waste heat generated in the exhaust of combustion engines.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 28, 2006
    Date of Patent: July 17, 2012
    Assignee: BSST, LLC
    Inventors: Lon E. Bell, Douglas Todd Crane
  • Publication number: 20120174567
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device or thermoelectric generator (TEG) includes at least one exhaust line having an inlet and an outlet. At least one first tube bundle is a thermoelectric generator module and has tubes with outer surfaces forming the exhaust line in the thermoelectric generator module. At least one further tube bundle is a heat exchanger and has tubes with inner surfaces forming the exhaust line in the heat exchanger. A method for operating a thermoelectric device and a motor vehicle having a thermoelectric device are also provided.
    Type: Application
    Filed: January 17, 2012
    Publication date: July 12, 2012
    Applicants: BAYERISCHE MOTOREN WERKE AKTIENGESELLSCHAFT, EMITEC GESELLSCHAFT FUR EMISSIONSTECHNOLOGIE MBH
    Inventors: SIGRID LIMBECK, ROLF BRÜCK, ANDREAS EDER
  • Publication number: 20120079820
    Abstract: An exhaust gas routing device for an internal-combustion engine having a thermoelectric generator is fluidically connected with an exhaust gas line and a pipe guiding a coolant. The generator has a plurality of thermoelectric yoke pairs which are arranged between a first surface heated by the exhaust gas and a second surface cooled by the coolant. The exhaust gas routing device has a device guiding the exhaust gas along the first surface at a flow velocity that increases in the flow direction of the exhaust gas.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 2, 2011
    Publication date: April 5, 2012
    Applicant: Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Stephan NEUGEBAUER, Andreas EDER, Matthias LINDE, Boris MAZAR
  • Patent number: 8134066
    Abstract: In one embodiment, a vortex tube has a gas inlet port, a cold gas outlet port and a hot gas outlet port. A thermoelectric potential generator having hot gas inlet port coupled to the hot gas outlet port of the vortex tube, a cold gas inlet port coupled to the cold gas outlet port of the vortex tube, and a thermoelectric element coupled in heat conducting relationship between the cold gas inlet port and the hot gas inlet port to promote the flow of heat/cold through the thermoelectric element from the hot gas flowing into the hot gas inlet port to the cold gas flowing through the cold gas inlet port. In another, a compressed gas source, a thermoelectric element having first and second sides, and an expansion nozzle are coupled in series. The expansion nozzle is coupled between the compressed gas source and the first side. The thermoelectric element includes an electrical output port.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 7, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 13, 2012
    Assignee: Illinois Tool Works Inc.
    Inventors: Yury Shkolnikov, Zinovy Royzen, Anatoly Gosis, Steven E. Broerman
  • Patent number: 8129882
    Abstract: A generator device for converting thermal energy to electric energy. A magnetic circuit includes at least a portion made of a magnetic material. A temperature-varying device varied the temperature in the portion made of the magnetic material alternately above and below a phase transition temperature of the magnetic material to thereby vary the reluctance of the magnetic circuit. A coil is arranged around the magnetic circuit, in which electric energy is induced in response to a varying magnetic flux in the magnetic circuit. A magnetic flux generator creates magnetic flux in the magnetic circuit. The temperature-varying device alternately passes hot and cold fluid by, or through holes in, the portion made of the magnetic material of the magnetic circuit in a single direction to thereby vary the temperature in the portion made of the magnetic material alternately above and below the phase transition temperature of the magnetic material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 2008
    Date of Patent: March 6, 2012
    Assignee: ABB Research Ltd.
    Inventors: Gunnar Russberg, Mikael Dahlgren, Stefan Thorburn
  • Publication number: 20110252774
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a heat transfer device, more preferably for an exhaust system of a combustion engine, preferentially of a motor vehicle, with at least one warm tube for conducting a fluid emitting heat, with at least one cold tube for conducting a fluid absorbing heat and with at least one thermoelectric generator for generating electric energy from a temperature difference, wherein a thermoelectric generator each is arranged between a warm tube and a cold tube. The efficiency of the heat transfer device is improved if the respective thermoelectric generator is in contact with the respective tube via a heat conducting material and if the respective heat conducting material is configured as shaped body.
    Type: Application
    Filed: April 15, 2011
    Publication date: October 20, 2011
    Applicant: J. Eberspaecher GmbH & Co., KG
    Inventors: Arnulf Spieth, Anika Burkle, Ming Dong, Jörg Oesterle, Angela Hettel
  • Publication number: 20110146743
    Abstract: The present invention relates to an exhaust system for a combustion engine, more preferably of a road vehicle, with at least one exhaust gas-conducting component having a ring-shaped closed inner wall in circumferential direction, whose inner side is exposed to the exhaust gas. The energetic efficiency of the combustion engine can be improved with at least one thermoelectric generator which converts heat into electric energy and which is arranged on an outer side of the inner wall.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 12, 2010
    Publication date: June 23, 2011
    Applicant: J. Eberspacher GmbH & Co. KG.
    Inventors: Jörg Oesterle, Rolf Jebasinski, Thomas Nording, Georg Wirth
  • Patent number: 7915516
    Abstract: In one embodiment, an operating condition of a thermoelectric module is monitored. It is determined when the monitored operating condition exceeds a desired range. Upon determining the monitored operating condition exceeds the desired range, a thermal adjustment is applied to the thermal condition to direct the operating condition to within the desired range. The monitoring the operating condition may include measuring an operating temperature of an environment adjacent a surface of the thermoelectric module, a surface temperature of a portion of the thermoelectric module, a thermal differential between the first surface and the second surface of the thermoelectric module, and an output voltage of the thermoelectric module. The desired range includes a temperature range below a level at which the thermoelectric module will sustain thermal damage and a thermal differential capable of causing the thermoelectric module to generate a minimum desired output voltage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 10, 2006
    Date of Patent: March 29, 2011
    Assignee: The Boeing Company
    Inventor: Ben P Hu
  • Patent number: 7825324
    Abstract: An apparatus includes a thermoelectric cooler having a first set of one or more metal electrodes, a second set of one or more metal electrodes, and one or more doped semiconductor members. Each member physically joins a corresponding one electrode of the first set to a corresponding one electrode of the second set. Each member has a cross-sectional area that increases along a path from the one metal electrode of the first set to the one metal electrode of the second set.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 29, 2006
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Alcatel-Lucent USA Inc.
    Inventors: Marc Scott Hodes, Christopher D. W. Jones, Shankar Krishnan, Oana Malis
  • Patent number: 7718887
    Abstract: Apparatus and method for harnessing heat energy uses at least one thermally conductive material in communication with a heat collecting material in order to conduct heat from a first region of the heat collecting material to a second region of the heat collecting material. The thermally conductive material can be interspersed within the heat collecting material and/or applied externally to the heat collecting material. Heat drawn from the second portion can be stored and/or converted into another form of energy for providing power to a structure or vehicle. Conversion can use the differential between the temperature of the second region and the temperature of a cold sink. Additional heat can be added to the heat collecting material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 2004
    Date of Patent: May 18, 2010
    Assignee: Tara Investments, LLC
    Inventor: Michael S. Hulen
  • Patent number: 7100369
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generating device has a thermoelectric element which utilizes an exhaust gas from an engine as a high temperature heat source and an engine coolant as a low temperature heat source in order to generate electricity. An introducing passage introduces a part of the exhaust gas passed through the thermoelectric element into an intake of the engine. An introducing valve opens and closes the introducing passage. A controller controls an opening degree of the introducing valve according to a load of the engine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 2004
    Date of Patent: September 5, 2006
    Assignee: DENSO Corporation
    Inventors: Hiroo Yamaguchi, Yasutoshi Yamanaka
  • Patent number: 6759586
    Abstract: Disclosed is a thermoelectric module, comprising a plurality of p-type thermoelectric elements each comprising a p-type semiconductor having a skutterdite crystal structure, a plurality of n-type thermoelectric elements each comprising a n-type semiconductor having a skutterdite crystal structure, at least one first electrode, at least one second electrode, at least one first alloy layer and at least one second alloy layer, wherein said at least one first alloy layer and said at least one second alloy layer contain Sb and at least one transition metal element selected from the group consisting of Ag, Au and Cu.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 2002
    Date of Patent: July 6, 2004
    Assignee: Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
    Inventors: Naoki Shutoh, Hiromitsu Takeda, Naruhito Kondo
  • Patent number: 6548750
    Abstract: The solid state thermoelectric device includes at least an array of metallic conductor and/or N-type and P-type semiconductor thermoelectric elements assembled on a printed circuit and forming thermoelectric couples electrically connected in series. The structure of the device is formed of at least a pair of laminated elements each formed of a supporting layer made of polymeric material and at least a layer of conductive material, a layer of joining material interposed between the two laminated elements of polymeric material for firmly connecting them one to the other. The printed circuit is made from the layer of conductive material of the laminated elements and electrically connects in series the thermoelectric elements to form thermoelectric couples having the hot or cold sides, respectively, on only one side of the structure. The structure of the thermoelectric device has a spirally or circularly wound configuration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 19, 2001
    Date of Patent: April 15, 2003
    Assignee: Peltech S.R.L.
    Inventor: Vincenzo Picone
  • Patent number: 5917144
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator using catalytic combustion heat of fuel gas as a heat source, has a construction wherein a thermoelectric element or a planar electric generation unit comprising thermoelectric elements has a construction held between the thermal input part and the heat radiation part, having fuel gas supply means and means for mixing fuel gas with air, and having a structure such that the combustion heat can be directly supplied to the thermoelectric element by burning the mixed gas of fuel with air in a catalyst part arranged in the thermal input part, the thermal input part having a heat conductive end plate and a catalyst part which are in contact with the thermoelectric element, the face opposite to the thermoelectric element of the heat conductive end plate having a structure of convex and concave configuration, and the catalyst part being constituted in the convex and concave configuration surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1997
    Date of Patent: June 29, 1999
    Assignee: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Shoko Miyake, Hisaaki Gyoten
  • Patent number: 5726380
    Abstract: A thermo-electric power generating element has the structure that two kinds of metal sheets, or foils, which form a thermocouple combination are laminated together and alternately connected at one end and the other end so as to form a plurality of thermocouples connected in series. When hot junctions are held at a high temperature, a temperature gap along the thermal flux is generated in the sheets, or foils. Electromotive force at every thermocouple derived from the temperature gap is summed up to a voltage level effective for outputting electric power through takeoff leads. This power generator is useful for converting waste heat to electric power. When the thermocouple pile is made from corrugated sheets, or foils, electric power is outputted with high efficiency.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 7, 1996
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1998
    Assignees: Nisshin Steel Co., Ltd., Ohara Metal Industries Co., Ltd.
    Inventors: Michio Ozutsumi, Toshihiko Takemoto, Shinsuke Ohara
  • Patent number: 5563368
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion member formed by a thermoelectric conversion element has a split ring shaped transverse cross section. Electrodes are disposed on ring ends of the thermoelectric conversion member facing each other. A magnetic field generating unit generates a magnetic field in a direction perpendicular to the transverse cross-sectional plane of the thermoelectric conversion member. A heating unit for heating one side of an annular wall of the thermoelectric conversion member and a cooling unit provided on the opposite side of the annular wall of the thermoelectric conversion member produces a temperature gradient in a direction radially of the thermoelectric conversion member. Electric field is induced in the direction perpendicular to both directions of the magnetic field and the temperature gradient, that is in the circumferential direction of the ring of the thermoelectric conversion member under the Nernst effect, enabling an electric voltage to be taken out at the electrodes.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 16, 1994
    Date of Patent: October 8, 1996
    Assignees: UniNet Co., Ltd., Shikoku Research Institute Inc.
    Inventor: Sataro Yamaguchi
  • Patent number: 5450869
    Abstract: A heater mechanism incorporating a thermoelectric converter for use with a self-powered, solid, liquid or gaseous fueled, heater. During operation of the heater mechanism the thermoelectric converter supplies sufficient electrical power to (a) sustain the heater in operation, (b) maintain the starter battery at full charge, and (c) provide auxiliary power to remove and transport heat to desired locations away from the heater. The converter is a highly compact design (high power output per unit volume of space) and lends itself to high volume (mass production) and automated assembly techniques to produce it inexpensively. The thermoelectric converter is made of fewer components than prior art devices. A number of components in the thermoelectric stack serve dual or even multi-functions. The thermoelectric stack components are bonded or mounted together in such a manner as to permit handling as a unit.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 25, 1992
    Date of Patent: September 19, 1995
    Assignee: Volvo Flygmotor AB
    Inventors: Wayne M. Brittain, Richard G. Hannah, John H. Himes, Alfred H. LaPorte, Joseph B. Moore
  • Patent number: 5228923
    Abstract: A thermoelectric device has a cylindrical structure with a hollow central annulus member in which a fluid is pumped so that the heated fluid is pumped from the center of the structure and discharged on the outer surface of an outer annulus member or with the reversal of electrical current, the heated fluid is pumped from the outer periphery and discharged in the central tube. A plurality of thermoelectric cells are positioned in the space between the inner and outer annulus members with the cells being radially directed relative to the axis of the inner annulus member. A thermoelectric device having a similar structure may be used for the conversion of thermal energy to electrical energy when a thermal gradient is imposed between the inner member of the structure and the peripheral surface.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 13, 1991
    Date of Patent: July 20, 1993
    Assignee: Implemed, Inc.
    Inventor: Aharon Z. Hed
  • Patent number: 4734139
    Abstract: A thermoelectric generator module which is formed with a hot side heat exchanger having extruded fins on one surface and in contact with a series of individual thermoelectric semiconductor modules on the opposite side of the exchanger. A cold side heat exchanger attached to the opposite side of the semiconductor modules from the hot side heat exchanger, producing a thermal gradient across the semiconductor modules. The semiconductor modules are placed in an arranged pattern so that a maximum of heat flow through the modules is produced. Each semiconductor module is connected electrically to each other so that their output may be combined to produce a large quantity of electric power. A series of generator modules may be interconnected in a series or parallel combination to form a thermoelectric generator of varying power output.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 21, 1986
    Date of Patent: March 29, 1988
    Assignee: Omnimax Energy Corp.
    Inventors: Wallace Shakun, John H. Bearden, David R. Henderson
  • Patent number: 4639542
    Abstract: A thermoelectric conversion system including a burner assembly and a number of thermoelectric conversion modules for converting thermal energy resulting from the operation of the burner assembly into electrical energy. The burner assembly includes a central combustion chamber and a number of longitudinally extending heat pipes each having an evaporator section and a condenser section with the evaporator sections positioned at spaced locations around the combustion chamber. The system also includes flow means for causing the hot gases provided by the combustion chamber to flow past the evaporator sections. The heat pipes and the conversion modules correspond in number, with each of the modules connected in heat transfer relationship with a corresponding heat pipe condenser section.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 11, 1984
    Date of Patent: January 27, 1987
    Assignee: GA Technologies Inc.
    Inventors: John C. Bass, Norbert B. Elsner
  • Patent number: 4448028
    Abstract: The present invention provides a low cost, compact, efficient thermoelectric system which has no moving parts for converting waste heat into electrical energy. The system includes a plurality of heat pipes having at least one substantially planar sidewall and integral heat collecting fins. The planar sidewalls on the heat pipes enable broad surface thermal contact with thermoelectric devices. The heat pipes and integral heat collecting fins provide for the efficient collection and transmission of waste heat to the side of the thermoelectric devices contacting the heat pipes at a location outside of the flow of waste heat. The other side of each thermoelectric device is either water or air cooled to establish a temperature differential thereacross for the generation of electrical energy. The heat pipes are preferably generally rectangular in cross section to provide opposed substantially planar surfaces for making efficient, low heat loss, broad surface thermal contact with the thermoelectric devices.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 29, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 15, 1984
    Assignee: ECD-ANR Energy Conversion Company
    Inventors: Shun-lung Chao, Richard A. Vining