ELECTROTEG aims to develop a low temperature thermoelectric electro-deposition process that will enable the commercial manufacture of fully dense nano-structured thermo-electric materials in-situ, eliminating the need for material consolidation, machining and hand assembly.
Marine engine OEMs, engine marinisers, exhaust system manufacturers, operators and users are increasingly seeking to enhance the efficiency of vessels to reduce fuel usage and CO2 emissions, both for economic reasons and to satisfy legislative requirements. One very attractive way of achieving this is to use Thermo-Electric Generators (TEGs) to generate electrical power from the high-quality heat available from the exhaust system.
Material advances (in particular in nano-structuring) have produced a step change in the thermoelectric performance over the last 5 years which has led to some wate heat energy recovery technologies being explored further for the automotive sector. As a result, there is increased market pull and the market for these TEGs is growing considerably. However, the relatively high cost of large-scale manufacture due to labour intensive material consolidation, machining and hand assembly is hampering widespread commercialisation. It is therefore becoming clear that unless cost-effective manufacturing technologies for the production of the thermo-electric material and their integration into efficient devices are developed then mass production will be exported to low-cost economies.
By achieving this, our consortium of research capable partners will not only safeguard TEG manufacture in the UK but will also commercialise the results of our existing Thermo-electric research activities that are already producing globally competitive materials and processes. The technology will be initially demonstrated for marine applications (as space and cooling constraints are minimal), but other secondary markets such as automotive and industrial waste heat energy recovery will also be targeted.