Engineers from Oregon State University have invented a technology that aims to use the car’s exhaust fumes as a source of energy thereby refuelling the car and helping reduce the huge environmental problem caused by millions of vehicles around the world.
The prototype, which was published in the Applied Thermal Engineering Journal, captures the heat that accompanies the car’s waste and converts it back into electricity.
Hailei Wang, a research associate with the School of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering at OSU, told ScienceDaily that "more than half" of the waste heat generated by industrial activities is wasted energy, and that the typical car engine only runs at a 25-40 percent conversion efficiency ratio.
"This could become a very important new energy source and way to improve energy efficiency," Wang told the publication.
"The prototype shows that these systems work as well as we expected."
So far the new system can turn 80 percent of every kilowatt of waste heat into a kilowatt of cooling ability as well as produce electricity in the process. Such a breakthrough technology would not only make future vehicles more energy efficient it could also help reduce the overall cost of cars.
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