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Roman 08-14-2008 05:29 AM

Alternative for alternator.
First of all: What will removing the alternater doing for FE?

I was thinking of removing the alternator and install something else. I've seen someone with 2 accu's and a solar pannel. But i think that's not efficient enough. Also got an garage so... no sun there :rolleyes:

Than i thought. What's in the car that's useless... heat :D Now we get rid of the heat whit the radiator in front. But we also could use that heat. Heat equals energie. So i thought again (not getting an headake) about somethink like a sterling engine. I know sterling engine will only get 50% of the Carnot-Faktor but could it be enough for an alternator.

Also the heat from the exhaust could be used .

Good thing is that is don't have an A/C. :cool: Bad thing is that i always hear music :D

But were to find a small sterling engine?

For testing i thougt about to let the radio run fisrt on the stering and when that's doing good i will use it for the whole car.

Someone did this before? Or someone have an other idea how to use the heat for making power?

/edit somebody tried something whit a Thermogenerator? Just peltier-elements the other way. It's called Seebeck-Effect. Transforming heat to energie. But don't know if i simple can use Peltier-elements.

MetroMPG 08-14-2008 02:16 PM

The alternator is a significant load on a small engine. Removing it can be very good for fuel economy (~10% improvement isn't uncommon).

Have a look through these search results: lots of discussion of alternatives to using an alternator, including solar, peletier, etc...

alternator - EcoModder Google Search

Roman 08-15-2008 08:25 AM

I did my homework :D and found this topic.

I think the Tiger option should be the best, but i think it wil be expensife. But number 2 is like a good idea. Just use a bigger diameter to reduce rotations and by this better FE. But how much % wil it give? And how to make it?

Roman 08-25-2008 07:26 AM

I just came on a site called and found that there are some manufactures (like BMW) are making (testing) some kind of heat 2 power stuff. Like from the exhaust.

Now i was thinking about this:

So a smal pump is puming some liquid around. This liquid getting heated by the exaust pipe til reached boilpoint. Than it's going to a trubine and finally in a condenser to get liquid again. And the turbine just feeds the alternator.

This should be makeble. I only need some parts like a turbine and a condenser. A condenser is not hard to get, but where can i find a turbine?

starquestPilot 08-25-2008 07:51 AM


Originally Posted by Roman (Post 55873)
...but where can i find a turbine?

Use the exhaust-side of a small turbo?

Roman 08-25-2008 07:59 AM

Hmmmm where to find one for cheap. The most turbo's i see are 200-400 euro and that's a little too much for this experiment. I don't want to spent a lot of money in something what maybe not working.

COMP 08-25-2008 10:41 AM


Originally Posted by Roman (Post 55875)
Hmmmm where to find one for cheap. The most turbo's i see are 200-400 euro and that's a little too much for this experiment. I don't want to spent a lot of money in something what maybe not working.

find one that needs rebuilt

MazdaMatt 08-25-2008 02:06 PM

junkyard a small stock turbo. No need to buy new.

stevey_frac 05-25-2009 10:07 AM

I've often thought of replacing the alternator with a deep cycle battery, and a large series of peltier modules that run off of the exhuast. The exhuast gets really toasty (especially if you wrap it upstream) and there is this beutiful supply of cold air running along most of it for the cold side heatsink.

Problems i can see with this?

1) You'd have to run two modules in series, possibly three to get to 15V which is about where you'd have to be to completely replace the alternator
2) You'd have to integrate your own smart charging circuitry. Charging at 15V at all times would place an undue strain on your battery, and you'd be chewing through batteries every few years (which i guess isn't terrible)
3) If you were doing a lot of short trips, you'd run into issues.
4) I have no idea how much power would be required. Most i could see you generating in this fashion would be 500w (ish) and that would be a LOT of modules
5) You would have to engineer the thermal coupling to the exhuast to ensure that the peltiers didn't approach the melting temperature of the solder used to create the junctions

If anyone knows what kind of load it takes to run a car, i'd be curious.

JacobAziza 05-25-2009 11:35 AM

I've been running sans alternator for about 2 months.
Its easier for me, since I have a diesel truck
(no ignition system to power, large dual batteries came stock; step 3 in the instructable Vehicle efficiency upgrades (Go 50-100% farther on a tank of fuel)),
but I suspect if you found a place to install a large deepcycle (RV style) battery you could get away with it too. Put in a battery switch so you can keep the old starting battery from discharging (so you don't accidentally get stranded) and then just run off the deepcycle.

At the end of the day recharge with outlet power.

I also added a 5w solar panel which helps, but not very much.

I don't think you can get much useable energy from waste heat with current technology without spending a whole lot of money, but I did just see a write up on a DIY project on that very topic: Charge Your Cellphone Using Wasted Heat (and Build a Steampunk Wall-E)

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