Waste heat conversion

TE-BHKW project

Increasing the efficiency of CHP units through thermoelectric power generation: field tests and economic feasibility study

In this research project, several combined heat and power plants (CHP) were equipped with thermoelectric generators and heat exchangers, which can increase the electrical output of a CHP by an estimated 3 percent. To make this possible, new types of heat exchangers were combined with new thermoelectric generators designed for temperatures of 600°C, which were integrated into the CHP units as a complete unit. The thermoelectric generators can convert part of the heat flow of the exhaust gas directly and without moving parts into electric power.

The project measured the increase in electrical energy yield over a longer period. Based on the measurement results, an economic feasibility study regarding thermoelectric heat generation in CHP units was carried out to accelerate the market introduction of this technology. The objective is to equip other plants with high-temperature waste heat, e.g. in vehicles or industrial processes, with this technology and thus increase their efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

Project term

July 2016 bis December 2019

Project partners

  • enerquinn Energiesystemtechnik GmbH, Weingarten
  • Binder Landwirtschaftliches Lohnunternehmen, Forchheim
  • Badenova AG & Co. KG, Freiburg
  • Vacuumschmelze GmbH & Co. KG, Hanau
  • Schiele Automation und Umwelttechnik, Hornberg

Project funding

The Regio-WIN project TE-BHKW was supported by a grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF funds) of the European Union and a grant from the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economics, Labor and Housing (regional co-financing funds).