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This study examines the effect of heat rate transferring from the exhaust system of motorcycle to the environment on the performance of the Thermoelectric Generator Unit (TGU). This heat rate is changed by attaching thermal insulation material on the outside of the exhaust system and changing the heat absorbing area of the TGU. The TGU consists of 8 thermoelectric generator modules and collects heat energy from the exhaust to produce electricity. It is attached on the custom muffler of the Suzuki Sapphire 125 and tested in the speed range from 20km/h to 50km/h. The results show that this heat rate affects both the temperature and output power generated by the TGU. The reduction of this heat rate reduces the cool side temperature by limiting the warming effect of cooling air and raise the hot side temperature of the TGU by decreasing heat loss. These two effects lead to the increase of the temperature difference between both sides of the TGU and therefore the output power increases. The difference in output power between test cases can reach up to 54%. Moreover, the heat loss at exhaust tube affects both temperature and output power of TGU from low to mid vehicle speed. However, at high speed, this heat loss at the exhaust tube does not considerably affect the output power of the TGU. To summarize, by reducing the heat rate between exhaust system and environment, the TGU can reach its stable working condition faster and produces more output power. Nonetheless, reducing this heat rate too much may lead to the excess of the hot side temperature of TGU, therefore damaging the thermoelectric generator modules and reducing the conversion efficiency of the TGU.

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Copyright: The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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HONG, T., NGHIEM, Q., & MAI, T. (2021). The experimental study on the performances of the thermoelectric generator unit affected by heat rate of exhaust system. VNUHCM Journal of Engineering and Technology, 3(SI2), SI24-SI36.

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