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HEATER Seminar Series: Xianfan Xu, Purdue University

Thermoelectrics for Automobile Waste Heat Recovery
When Apr 08, 2014
from 02:10 PM to 03:00 PM
Where BA B024, Bahen Centre, 40 St. George St
Contact Name
Contact Phone 416-946-8503
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Xianfan Xu

School of Mechanical Engineering

Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Recent advances in the improvements of thermoelectric materials promise a wider range of practical applications. One of the potential deployments is waste heat recovery from automobile exhaust gas. A large percentage (60%) of energy is wasted to the environment through the hot exhaust gas of an automobile engine. Using thermoelectric generators (TEGs), part of the waste heat can be recovered into usable form, resulting up to 10% benefits in fuel economy.

The development of an efficient TEG requires a multidisciplinary, multi-scale approach in thermal and materials sciences, ranging from atomic scale materials design and thermal transport analysis, to the impedance matching in each thermoelectric module, to the design of heat exchangers to efficiently deliver and remove heat from thermoelectric modules. In this presentation, I will describe research efforts at Purdue, which is in collaboration with the General Motors Global Development and Research (Warren, MI, USA) and a number of commercial companies and national laboratories, to develop TEGs for automobile vehicles. The on-going researches are (1) development of nano-engineered thermoelectric materials and heat transfer analysis including atomic scale materials design and simulation and experimental ultrafast phonon spectroscopy, (2) development of nanoscale thermal interface materials and advanced ultrafast laser based characterization techniques, (3) design and optimization of TEG topology for maximum energy output.  

Biography: Xianfan Xu is James J. and Carol L. Shuttleworth Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University with a courtesy appointment in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He obtained his B.Eng. degree in Engineering Thermophysics from the University of Science and Technology of China (1989), and M.S. (1991) and Ph.D. (1994) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. His current research is focused on ultrafast and nanoscale optics and their applications in energy transfer/conversion studies and nano-materials manufacturing. He is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Faculty CAREER Award and the Office of Naval Research Young Investigator Award, and is the recipient of GM Faculty Fellowship, B.F.S. Schaefer Young Faculty Award, and Discovery in Mechanical Engineering Award.  He was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2006 and Fellow of SPIE in 2009. 

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