Thermoelectric generators (TEGs) are currently a topic of interest in the field of energy harvesting for automobiles. In applying TEGs to the outside of the exhaust tailpipe of a vehicle, the difference in temperature between the hot exhaust gases and the automobile coolant can be used to generate a small amount of electrical power to be used in the vehicle. The amount of power is anticipated to be a few hundred watts based on the temperatures expected and the properties of the materials for the TEG. This study focuses on developing efficient heat exchanger modules in order to maximize the power generation for a given vehicle and TEG. A computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model run by the authors has provided performance predictions for various cases on the cooling side of the heat exchanger. This paper discusses the setup and results of the experimental validation for the CFD model for the proposed TEG heat exchanger module.

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