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Variable cooling circuit for thermoelectric generator and engine and method of control

United States Patent

October 30, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
An apparatus is provided that includes an engine, an exhaust system, and a thermoelectric generator (TEG) operatively connected to the exhaust system and configured to allow exhaust gas flow therethrough. A first radiator is operatively connected to the engine. An openable and closable engine valve is configured to open to permit coolant to circulate through the engine and the first radiator when coolant temperature is greater than a predetermined minimum coolant temperature. A first and a second valve are controllable to route cooling fluid from the TEG to the engine through coolant passages under a first set of operating conditions to establish a first cooling circuit, and from the TEG to a second radiator through at least some other coolant passages under a second set of operating conditions to establish a second cooling circuit. A method of controlling a cooling circuit is also provided.
Prior; Gregory P. (Birmingham, MI)
GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI)
12/ 753,142
April 2, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT This invention was made with government support under Department of Energy Agreement number DE-FC26-04NT42278. The government may have certain rights in the invention.