Researchers at Atsumitec Co Ltd. in Japan have equipped a motorcycle’s exhaust with a fuel cell to create additional electricity. The Synergy Cell was developed by combining a fuel cell plus thermoelectric conversion elements.
According to TechOn, “The motorbike was exhibited at Innovation Japan 2013, which took place from Aug 29 to 30, 2013, in Tokyo. It can generate power of up to 200W, improving mileage by 2-3%, Atsumitec said. It was developed with help from a support program of Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST).
“The Synergy Cell consists of an SOFC (solid oxide fuel cell) tube and oxide-based thermoelectric conversion elements. Specifically, the high-temperature parts of n- and p-type thermoelectric conversion elements are attached on the SOFC tube. And the motorbike came with about 300 cells …
“…Atsumitec combined the SOFC and thermoelectric conversion element, considering that they will produce a synergy effect at the time of using exhaust gas. Specifically, the SOFC generates power by using remaining hydrogen and carbon hydride in exhaust gas. Moreover, the temperature of motorbike’s exhaust gas is as high as 650°C, which is within the operating temperature range of SOFC.”
In other words, waste not, want not. The waste hydrogen in the exhaust is reused in the fuel cell to create electricity. And now I ask myself, “Why didn’t I think of this first?”