Research project PowerDriver

An innovative environmentally friendly thermo-electric power generation system for automotive and marine applications that is powered by exhaust waste thermal energy to reduce fuel consumption, emissions and costs.

Project data

Project management organisation PTEU/CAPACITIES (7th Framework Programme) 
Project number 286503 
Term 01.02.2012 - 31.01.2014



Thermo-electric (TE) materials offer the opportunity to generate electricity from waste heat. However, due to the temperature dependence of the Figure of Merit (ZT), the average efficiency of TE materials is relatively low and varies across the operating temperature range (100-500°C). Whilst current TE generators (TEGs) are able to achieve high efficiencies within a relatively small temperature range, their efficiency is still too low for practical, commercial applications and their TE properties can rapidly degrade.

Highly efficient nano-structured TEG materials and functionally graded segmented TEGs are both novel, cost effective technologies that allows to overcome this problems. The solution developed in the frame of the Power Drive project will be demonstrated for a high profile case study application: The use of waste heat from automotive and marine for production of electrical output to power on-board applications. Such applications have not been achieved commercially due to materials limitations in terms of output per € and long-term thermal stability.


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