Talk about your perpetual motion machine, researchers in Great Britain are looking at ways of capturing the exhaust from cars to power those very same cars.
Cardiff University, a longtime home to engineering research, has this press release about how it is taking the next step is renewable energy:
Professor Mike Rowe’s long term research interest at the Cardiff School of Engineering has been in thermoelectric generation – employing thermocouples to convert heat into electricity. The conversion technology is used in everyday applications such as controlling the central heating system or refrigerator temperature.
Now Professor Rowe aims to use this technology to generate electricity from the waste heat in vehicles.
Professor Mike Rowe, OBE School of Engineering, said: “The main interest in cars is to decrease the petrol consumption and reduce CO2 emissions. If you can utilise the exhaust heat you could replace the alternator. This would provide a 5 per cent saving in fuel straightaway.”
The release goes on to say that this technology is also being explored by American vehicle manufacturers.