Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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seebeck/peltier hood

Use the seebeck effect to replace the battery.
  [vote for,

Heat from the engine + use the cars' hood as a heat sink!

then while you drive, the cool air will cool the top of your hood and thus create electricity.

Peltiers are relitively light weight and the whole thing could be done for about $200.

I'm already baking this... But share your thought with me pls.


MadeInCA, Nov 03 2006


       //I'm already baking this... But share your thought with me pls.//   

       How about some photo's?
jmvw, Nov 03 2006

       I suggest that you re-name this idea - as your sub-title acknowledges, it's the Seebeck effect that you're using; the Peltier effect generates a thermal differential from an applied voltage.
angel, Nov 03 2006

       How much pelier will $200 buy? How much power are you hoping to get? 740W = 1HP. Don't just leave heatinks poking out into the engine bay, go all the way. run your radiator line through that shit, get maximum temperature difference. I don't think the device would withstand exhaust temperatures though.   

       Honestly I think there is a lot more power to be had by using steam or some other methed to capture exhaust heat.
AutoMcDonough, Mar 03 2010

       boy I can't wait to have my car die every time I idle in the sun. Also must point out that modern cars here in the US are required to have "illuminated indicating devices able to function when the engine is not running" and "flashing indicator lights that may be switched on when the key is removed from the ignition" as well as "brake lights that indicate the functioning of the brakes whenever they are engaged". None of this is possible without a battery of some sort.
WcW, Mar 03 2010

       how will this not impair overall fuel economy?
WcW, Mar 03 2010

       I don't see why it would impair fuel economy per se, if you're just harnessing the temperature gradient between the engine and the environment. (OK, strictly, the Peltiers are impeding heat-flow, thereby raising engine temperature by a fraction; but this will be negligible).   

       As for power - I don't have experience of Peltiers running in this way, only as active heaters/coolers. You can buy a 70W Peltier for a few tens of pounds or less, which will support a temperature difference of about 100°C. Whether this means it will produce 70W of power given a temperature differential of 100°C I don't know - seems unlikely.   

       And yes, you'd still need a battery. I guess the most you could hope for would be to replace the alternator, or at least be able to make it smaller.
MaxwellBuchanan, Mar 03 2010

       //None of this is possible without a battery of some sort.//
Nonsense; candles!
coprocephalous, Mar 03 2010

       ok, you have me there. However if you consider how rapidly consumers abandoned other car power systems in favor of the battery/generator....... some people might object to taking such a large step backwards.   

       It will also require a large area of turbulent flow which I believe will require the engine to work harder when the car is moving, I.E. reducing fuel economy.
WcW, Mar 03 2010

       I've seen a version of this baked, using exhaust heat rather than engine heat directly, for large prime movers.   

       And yes, as MB suggests, you'll be replacing (or supplementing) the alternator, not the battery.   

       [WcW]: driving an alternator off the fanbelt also places a load on the engine. The proposed system uses waste heat, which must be removed from the engine bay somehow anyway.   

       Why does this require a large area of turbulent flow?   

       Perhaps the best place to mount your heatsinks is under the car, out of the sun. This would be easier if using waste heat from the exhaust or cooling system (as suggested by [AutoMcDonough])
BunsenHoneydew, Mar 21 2010


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