Automotive Exhaust Heat Power Generation

January 13, 2016 by Jeff Shepard

French automotive supplier, Faurecia's Exhaust Heat Power Generation (EHPG) system converts the heat from exhaust gas into electricity based on the principles of the Rankine cycle—an innovation designed to create cleaner, more efficient vehicles.

EHPG is directly inspired by the way a power plant works: Some 30% of the energy in fuel is lost as heat in the exhaust system. To improve vehicle efficiency, Faurecia has developed a solution to use this heat as an additional power source. The heat from exhaust gas is transferred to a fluid to produce pressurized steam. The pressurized steam powers a turbine, creating mechanical energy to drive the wheels of trucks or generate electricity for hybrid cars. The condenser cools the steam to turn it back into a liquid. The pump feeds the liquid back to the evaporator to close the loop.

Over the total lifetime of the vehicle, thanks to EHPG, CO2 emissions reduced by 2.5 metric tons & fuel savings represent 20 full tanks/around 1,000 liters for vehicles. For trucks CO2 emissions reduced by 50 metric tons &fuel savings represent 40 full tanks/around 20,000 liters.

"EHPG works like a power plant, but in this case we have adapted the technology to the highly specific challenges of cars and trucks, such as size, power, weight, etc. That is the real innovation." Luc Herbin, Chief Technology Officer at Faurecia Emissions Control Technologies.