krishan arora (India)
Heat transfer from vehicle engines
Harnessing the Waste Heat Energy of the Vehicle Engines

A very large part of the fuel energy that is consumed by the vehicle engines (and other combustion engines) is wasted in the form of heat which has to be removed perforce by forced cooling.

It should be possible to use this heat energy, instead of wasting it, in several innovative ways to add value to the vehicle and increase the overall fuel efficiency of the vehicles by taking over some of the functions which presently need to draw additional power from the engines.

A few examples are:

-A heat transfer liquid filled coil could draw away the waste heat from the engine and transfer it for warming up the interiors, and the wind/rear screens of the vehicles in winters/cold weather.

-The heat transfer system could be used to warm up snacks/food being carried for the journey.

-The heat transfer system could also be used to boil water, with probably some incremental heating, either for sterilizing the drinking water or for providing a hot cup of tea or coffee during the journey.

-The heat transfer system could be used to vaporize a low boiling point liquid and run a gas turbine, akin to the systems being used in the Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion method of energy generation. The power so produced could be used to run electric motors to drive the vehicles, thereby saving on fuel consumption. This of course would be possible only in fuel/electric hybrid vehicles. In other vehicles this power could be used for battery charging, heating/cooling of the vehicles, or for any other applications needing electric power.

-The waste heat energy from the engines could also be used as the main heat source for a mini Vapor Evaporative Cooling System to provide for air conditioning the vehicles. This may need a small supplemental heating up of the working fluid to achieve the minimum working temperature but the system would subsequently provide a much larger fuel savings by allowing for smaller engines to be used in the vehicles.

Reward: No reward wanted. In fact I may be able to offer several other ideas for those wanting to make use of the above ideas.

Return to the Creativity Pool