It is no secret that our beloved internal combustion engines are not very efficient. In fact, the average amount of energy lost is somewhere in the 65%-70% region, with most of this figure being lost in the form of heat through the exhaust system. Eric Mattessich, a senior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, has developed a way to harness some of this energy and put it back into the system.
The technology he is using has been around for over 100 years, the only real issue was the amount of space such a system required to work properly. By reducing the size of the components needed, he should be able to fit the components onto even the smallest hybrids.
The whole setup relies on a pair of turbines that are hooked to a generator. As pressurized gasses are forced through the exhaust, they spin the first turbine, which spins the generator and produces electricity. The gasses are then used to heat water into steam which will push a second turbine and produce more electricity. The steam will continue into a condenser and then make the cycle again.
Mattessich has said that the system can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 20% while increasing the efficiency of the vehicle by 20%. He is currently working on a prototype and applying for a patent so he can move forward with testing and offering data for his performance estimations.
He is also in the process of finding an automaker that is interested in incorporating the system into their new vehicles. Eric has also decided to keep the aftermarket possibility open. Adapting the system into an aftermarket kit would be fairly simple and could offer current Hybrid owners the same technology. "It could be a fun project for do-it-yourself types like me," said Mattessich.
Via : Popular Science