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The Waste Heat Energy Such As Motorcycle Engineering Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Engineering
Wordcount: 2651 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The concept of using the waste heat energy such as motorcycle exhaust, heat exchanger, home exchangers, electrical equipment, industrial process and others to generate electrical energy is the main idea of this project. The energy produced will be used to power the battery charger.

Battery chargers refer to a device that used to put energy into a secondary cell or rechargeable battery by forcing an electric current through it. The charging protocol depends on the size and type of the battery being charge.

Existing battery charger is mainly relied on electricity to supply the energy. As electricity consumption one of the main concern nowadays. This is because it contributes to high household expenditure. In this project, we will design a new battery charger that mainly powered by thermal energy and it will backup by normal electricity source. A thermoelectric generator (TEG) module is used to harvest heat from the surrounding and convert into electricity. During the time when the electricity supply from TEG is insufficient, a microcontroller-based monitoring and switching circuit will switch to normal electricity source. An analysis and comparison of the energy consumption between the proposed battery charger and existing one will be carried out. Thermoelectric powered battery charger consists of thermoelectric generator (TEG), power management, DC to DC boost up converter, charger circuit and switching circuit.

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Thermoelectric modules can convert heat energy to electrical power directly (Jose Antonio B. V. et al., 2009). The Basic principle of a TEG is the Seebeck effect. Imposing different temperature on both ends of a thermoelectric generator, the devices can output a certain electrical energy which is proportional to the temperature difference of both ends of the device. The energy produce will be used to charge the battery charger and has the capability to reduce the power consumption. It is also in order to support and move towards a green technology application.


The demand for electrical energy around the world is increasing every year, every month and every day. The human needs the electrical energy to live their lives. Nowadays, lots of electrical equipments were design to use electrical energy in the most efficient way. However, the existing source of energy will be depleted one day. Based on the World Resource Institute, fossil fuel such as oil, natural gas and coal make up a total 80 percent of the total energy consumption in the world (Damasa, 2006). The reproductions of fossil fuels are almost impossible as they require millions of year to be produced by the anaerobic decomposition of remains of organisms that settle to the sea bottom (Habjanec, 2009).

To overcome this problem, it is important to find a new source of energy to replace the existing energy. This new energy is known as renewable energy (RE). Renewable energy means the energy that comes from the neutral source. The research for renewable energy is grown rapidly. Renewable energy such as solar, wind and hydro has limited resources and depend on weather and topography.

Heat is one of the renewable energy. More than half of the energy consumed worldwide is wasted in the form if excess heat (Quick, 2009). Heat waste energy produced and released without attempted to capture it and reuse it since heat is a kind of energy. Nowadays, global warming become a big issues caused by the heat released to the environment. In order to converse the environment, the power will enable to supply small amount of power to electronic devices.


This project has the following objectives:

To design a prototype of an efficient, reliable thermoelectric battery charger to charge the battery.

To analyze the productivity, profits, etc. compared to the existing battery charger.

To analyze the time taken, complexity efforts to design electronic devices for thermoelectric battery charger.



Proteus 7 professional will be used to design and running the simulation circuit on the hardware for thermoelectric powered battery charger. This software is choosing based on their characteristic that easy to use, and easy to run hardware simulation and software.


MPLAB will be used to write a programming assembly language for the microcontroller in the switching circuit. This switching circuit used as a backup system for the battery charger when the voltage produced from TEG is insufficient by supplying the normal supply.


This project has the following significance:

The ability to reduce power consumption by harvesting thermal energy from the surrounding

The energy produced from thermoelectric will used as a main source of battery charger and backup by normal electricity source.

In order to support and move towards a green technology application



This Chapter will present the introduction of the project, which is brief information and scope of the project is discussed. It is also including the objectives of the project, software and hardware proposed and thesis organization.


This Chapter discussed the literature review and detail about information and scope of the project. It consists of general theory and provides information about thermoelectric powered battery charger.


This chapter will discuss briefly about the methodology of this project. It consists of several phase which are project planning, design, simulation and project fabrication. A proper planning is needed to be done to complete this project.


This chapter contains all the result obtained in this study. All the simulation result for the hardware will be performed in graph form. The result for thermoelectric powered battery charger will be performed in table.


In this chapter the discussion of designed thermoelectric powered battery charger will be carried out. This provides a general discussion of the output result.


This chapter contains a brief summary of this project. A future recommendation will be carried out.




During 1821, Thomas Johann Seebeck discovers a circuit from two dissimilar metals with junction at a different temperature would deflect a compass magnet (Lazaridis, G., 2009). It was quickly realize that the temperature different could produce electrical potential which can drive an electric current in a closed loop circuit. The voltage is found to be proportional to the temperature different between the two junctions. This is then named as Seebeck Effect after his name.

In 1834, one decade after Seebeck effect was found, Jean Charles Anthanesa Peltier a French physicist investigate the thermocouple effect and found that the electrical current would produced heating as well as cooling at the two different material. This phenomenon was called Peltier Effect. In the middle of nineteenth century, Irish-born William (Lord Kelvin) completes the thermoelectric theory by trying together what Seebeck and Peltier had observed (Peter D. Heinz, 2012).


Thermoelectric generators use the Seebeck effect to produce electrical power from a temperature different caused by heat energy flow [3]. Thermoelectric generator can convert heat energy into electrical energy directly (Ahmad Nazri A. R. et al., 2011). Thermoelectric power generation have advantages in term of free maintenance, quiet in operation and involving no moving or complex part.

The Thermoelectric generator works by heating one face and cooling the other face of thermoelectric module and in the thermoelectric circuit is connected a load (Jose Antonio B. V., 2009). The thermoelectric generator is formed based on two elements which are N-type and P-type semiconductors. The N-type and P-type semiconductors are connected in series electrically and in parallel thermoelectrically among two ceramics layers (Jose Antonio B. V., 2009)

The bigger temperature different, the higher the voltage can be generated (Ahmad Nazri A. R. et al., 2011). The electron flows from hot to cold side through the N-type, and the electrons hole flows from hot to cold side through the P-type will allows the combination of electrical produced in series and increased the voltage and power output. Figure 1.1 shows the diagram for thermoelectric generator. As the heat flows from hot to cold side, the voltage will produced.


Figure 1: Basic thermoelectric generator diagram.

The voltage produce from the heat flow is proportional with the temperature different between the hot and cold plate. This phenomenon can be shown by the following equation:

V = αΔT 1

Where V is the resulting voltage, α is the Seebeck coefficient and ΔT is the temperature different.


In the previous year, the research about TEG and it application has growth rapidly. In 2011, on Power Engineering and Optimization Conference, Ahmad Nazri A. R. et al., has develop "Heat Energy Harvesting for Portable Power Supply" (PosHEAT). In this research, his investigate the best material to design thermoelectric generator by using Bismuth Terlluride (Bi2Te3). Heat source for this research was taken from motorcycle engine. The voltage produce from the TEG stored in the rechargeable batteries and will used to charge the mobile phone. The portable and compact thermoelectric generator was designs to make it is easy to used and carry. From the experiment conduct, the maximum voltage produced when the temperature different 75dT/oC is 4.4V. It is sufficient to charge a mobile phone, PSP, MP3, MP4 and other digital products anywhere and anytime.

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Jose Antonio B. V., 2009, was research about "Thermoelectric Generator Using Water Gas Heater Energy for Battery Charging". In this research he designs a prototype of a maximum power point tracker (MPPT) for the thermoelectric (TE) module in order to increase the energy conversion in the battery charging. A SEPIC (single-ended primary inductance converter) DC-DC converter is applied and controller by a microcontroller and to achieve the maximum power of point tracking is used the perturbation and observation (P&O) algorithm. The performance of the battery charging by using P&O MPPT is compared to the battery charging directly to the TE module. The source of heat conversion in this research comes from water gas heater. From the experiment conduct the MPPT improved the energy delivery to the battery charger compared to the direct connection.

The principle of using thermoelectric heat converter is used to design a battery charger for a lab-top computer. In 1995, Marmudur R., Roger S., on "Thermoelectric Power Generation for Battery Charger", develop a battery charger to charge a lab-top computer that consists of thermoelectric converter system, that powered by butane gas and DC-DC boost up converter. In this research, the voltage produced from the heat is 5watts and can be used to charge the lab-top computer. In another word, the heat conversion from butane gas can expand the internal batteries for lab-top computer.

Besides that, a battery charger by using compost also has been research. On 2010, Caitlin Ahearn, investigate about heat conversion by using compost pile. The energy produced will be used to charge a battery. From the experiment, by using the copper slab insulated with extruded polystyrene at placed at the center of compost pile, would transfer 86%±2% heat from hot side to the cold side. At the 60oC ±1 oC temperature different can produced 463mW±6mW, which is this amount sufficient to charge a battery.

To improve the energy transfer, more researches were conducted. In 2012, Xu Yingyin et al., was investigate about the DC to DC boost up converter by using two controls mode, maximum power tracking (MPPT) and power matching (PM). The performance of MPPT and PM were investigated by using mathematical model and transfer function. The results for this research shown in Figure 2 below.

Figure 2.1: Input power curve and control mode

From the Figure 2.1, it show when Pin_maxCHAPTER 3



This chapter is very important to provide information of the methods that being used in completing this project.


Literature Review

Project Proposal

Technical Project 1

Project Seminar 1

Design and Build System

Design Hardware

Success? NO

Design Software YES

Success? NO

Implementation and Testing YES

Success? NO



Conclusion & Thesis Writing


Literature review

Literature review is a very important part of the research process. The general purposed of the literature review is to gain knowledge and understanding of the current state about the selected research topics. This chapter was conducted to investigate the past researches that have been done in suspension system include passive and active. It is because the research in this field has already been done before. All the works in this project is based on the previous research.

Design Hardware

The new battery charger that mainly powered by thermal energy and it will backup by normal electricity source will be design.

Design Software

During the time when the electricity supply from TEG is insufficient, a microcontroller-based monitoring and switching circuit will switch to normal electricity source. The software will be design to switch the system.

Implementation and testing

Once the system has been fabricated, the implementation and testing will be conducted and the time to the thermoelectric charge the battery will be taken. Correction might be done if needed.


From the testing process, analysis of time taken to complete the battery to charge will be obtained and will be comparing with the existing battery charger.

Conclusion and thesis writing

A thesis will be written for submission, which includes all process stated above along with conclusion obtained from this work and some recommendations for future project


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