Title:
WASTE HEAT RECOVERY SYSTEM LAYOUT AND PACKAGING STRATEGY
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A number of variations include a product including system including a fluid circuit comprising a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser, wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle; and an attachment for attaching at least the condenser to the vehicle in the path of ram air. In a number of variations, the system may include an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system in a vehicle to convert waste heat energy to usable power where the condenser of the ORC system is housed within the fairing on the vehicle cabin roof to ensure placement within the path of ram air on the vehicle.



Inventors:
Fraser, Brock S. (Asheville,, NC, US)
Huscher, Frederick M. (Hendersonville, NC, US)
Application Number:
15/006417
Publication Date:
08/04/2016
Filing Date:
01/26/2016
Assignee:
BorgWarner Inc. (Auburn Hills, MI, US)
Primary Class:
International Classes:
F01K23/10; F01K25/10; F01N5/02
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:



Foreign References:
WO2016039439A12016-03-17
WO2016069658A12016-05-06
JP2012184697A2012-09-27
GB1048130A1966-11-09
JP2005126052A2005-05-19
Primary Examiner:
DOUNIS, LAERT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BrooksGroup (Royal Oak, MI, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A product comprising: a system comprising: a fluid circuit comprising a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser, wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle; and an attachment for attaching at least the condenser to the vehicle in the path of ram air.

2. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on or enclosed within the fairing of a vehicle.

3. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on a top surface of the vehicle.

4. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on a side surface of the vehicle.

5. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on a bottom surface of the vehicle.

6. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on a front surface of the vehicle.

7. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the fluid comprises at least one of steam, fluorinol, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, propanol, butanol, water, benzene, toluene, methane, ethane, propane, butane, acetone, or liquid hydrogen.

8. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the fluid circuit is an organic Rankine cycle.

9. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to recover waste heat from a vehicle exhaust system.

10. A system as set forth in claim 1 wherein the entire fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to be in a single housing mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle through the attachment.

11. A method comprising: providing a system comprising a fluid circuit comprising a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser; attaching at least the condenser of the system to a surface of a vehicle though an attachment; and operating the fluid circuit to generate usable work from the fluid wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle.

12. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on or enclosed within the fairing of a vehicle.

13. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on a top surface of the vehicle.

14. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on a side surface of the vehicle.

15. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on a bottom surface of the vehicle.

16. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on a front surface of the vehicle.

17. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the fluid comprises at least one of steam, fluorinol, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, propanol, butanol, water, benzene, toluene, methane, ethane, propane, butane, acetone, or liquid hydrogen.

18. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the fluid circuit is an organic Rankine cycle.

19. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to recover waste heat from a vehicle exhaust system.

20. A method as set forth in claim 11 wherein the entire fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to be in a single housing mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle through the attachment.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 62/111,437 filed Feb. 3, 2015.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The field to which the disclosure generally relates to includes fluid systems and methods of making and using the same. The fluid system may include a vehicle organic Rankine cycle (ORC) system, including a condenser, in which at least one of the ORC system or condenser is mounted within the vehicle fairing.

BACKGROUND

Currently, some fluid systems may be used to take energy from a fluid and convert it into useful work on a system and may include a condenser.

A Rankine cycle is a model used to predict the performance of a heat engine, in which a working fluid may be directed to a boiler or heat exchanger where it is evaporated. The evaporated fluid may then be passed through an expansion device (turbine or other expander) in which work may be performed by the evaporated fluid on the expansion device, and then may be passed through a condenser where it may be re-condensed. In a final step, a pump may be used to return the liquefied working fluid to the boiler or heat exchanger. In a Rankine cycle, heat may be converted into useful work that can itself be converted into electricity.

An organic Rankine cycle (ORC) is named for its use of an organic, high molecular mass working fluid with a liquid-vapor phase-change, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change. When used in a Rankine cycle system, the organic, high molecular mass working fluid may allow waste heat recovery from lower temperature sources such as biomass combustion, industrial waste heat, geothermal heat, or may be another source. An ORC system is ideally suited to recover energy from waste heat generated in a vehicle, where it is estimated that for each drop of fuel, only forty to fifty percent of the fuel energy is delivered to the power train, and the remainder is waste heat. The waste heat is typically lost to the environment via the vehicle exhaust, the radiator that cools the engine, and other pathways.

SUMMARY OF ILLUSTRATIVE VARIATIONS

A number of variations may include a product including a system including a fluid circuit including a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser, wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle; and an attachment for attaching at least the condenser to the vehicle in the path of ram air.

A number of variations may include a method including providing a fluid circuit including a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser; attaching at least the condenser of the system to a surface of a vehicle though an attachment; and operating the fluid circuit to generate usable work from the fluid wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle.

Other illustrative variations within the scope of the invention will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while disclosing variations within the scope of the invention, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Select examples of variations within the scope of the invention will become more fully understood from the detailed description and the accompanying drawings, wherein:

FIG. 1 is an illustration of a system according to a number of variations.

FIG. 2 is an illustration of a system according to a number of variations.

FIG. 3 is an illustration of a system according to a number of variations.

FIG. 4 is an illustration of a system according to a number of variations.

FIG. 5 is an illustration of a method according to a number of variations.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE VARIATIONS

The following description of the variations is merely illustrative in nature and is in no way intended to limit the scope of the invention, its application, or uses.

As used throughout the specification, the phrases “about” and “at or about” are intended to mean that the amount or value in question may be the value designated or some other value about the same. The phrase is intended to convey that similar values promote equivalent results or effects according to the invention.

In a number of variations, ORC systems may be used to improve the fuel efficiency of vehicle engines, for example, tractor-trailers that are used for long-haul commercial trucking. In a vehicle, an ORC system may use waste heat from the engine to boil or engage in heat transfer with a working fluid. This fluid may be expanded within the thermodynamic cycle to create useful power. In a number of variations, the expansion device may be a turbine in which the working fluid performs work on a turbine wheel connected to a shaft. By connecting the shaft to a generator, the waste heat may be converted to electric power that may be stored or used by the vehicle in other ancillary systems. The working fluid may then be condensed and returned to the boiler or heat exchanger via a pump. However, implementation of the ORC in a vehicle, particularly with respect to packaging of the condenser so that it can be used in a vehicle while still effectively cooling the working fluid, is challenging. One reason for this is the relatively large size of the condenser. In addition, in order to effectively and inexpensively cool the working fluid within the condenser, the condenser may be positioned within the airflow due to the movement of the vehicle. The placement of the condenser within this airflow may be constrained by vehicle size and the presence of other vehicle systems, particularly those vehicle systems that also need to be placed within the airflow due to the movement of the vehicle, including the vehicle radiator. In a number of variations, radiators may be mounted in a position where they receive airflow from the movement of the vehicle, such as behind a front grill. In a number of variations, a location for placement of the condenser which does not obstruct the view of the vehicle driver may be done. In a number of variations, the system described herein, the condenser may be placed within the fairing or air dam located on the tractor cabin. In a number of variations, system may be placed within the fairing or air dam located on the tractor cabin. In a number of variations, the fairing is an aerodynamic surface that encloses the upper side of the vehicle cabin to provide a smooth, streamlined transition between the vehicle windshield and the trailer roof. In a number of variations, placement of the condenser within the fairing may be advantageous since the fairing may accommodate the condenser despite its size, facilitates mounting of the condenser, and provides plenty of ram air from the relative wind speed.

A product 8 including a system 10 is shown in FIG. 1 according to a number of variations. In a number of variations, the system 100 may include a fluid circuit 180. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may include a working fluid 195. In a number of variations, the working fluid 195 may be an organic, high molecular mass working fluid with a liquid-vapor phase-change, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change. In a number of variations, the working fluid 190 may include at least one of steam, fluorinol, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, propanol, butanol, water, benzene, toluene, methane, ethane, propane, butane, acetone, or liquid hydrogen. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one pump 150. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one expander 118. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one power generation component 160. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one heat exchanger 102. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one condenser 130. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may include at least one valve 190. In a number of variations, at least one of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be enclosed within a single housing 500. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be used to recover heat from a source 8. In a number of variations, the system 100 may convert heat from a source 8 into useful work through the power generation component 160. In a number of variations, the useful work may then be converted into power, which may then be converted into electricity through the power generation component 160. In a number of variations, the system 100 may direct working fluid 195 through the heat exchanger 102 where it may be evaporated. In a number of variations, the system 100 may then direct the working fluid 195 through the expander 118 where it performs work. In a number of variations, the system 100 may then direct working fluid 195 through the condenser 130 where it may be re-condensed. In a number of variations, the system 100 may then direct working fluid through the pump 150 where it may be returned to a liquefied fluid for a return to the heat exchanger 102. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be a thermodynamic cycle including but not limited to, a Rankine cycle, a Kalina cycle, an Otto cycle, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be an organic Rankine cycle. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be a Kalina or similar cycle which may provide climate control of the vehicle 10, tractor 12, or trailer 40.

In a number of variations, the system 100 may be used to recover heat from a chemical process such as, but not limited to, a geothermal energy generator process, a solar energy generator process, a combustion process, an industrial waste heat process, or a wind energy generator process, or may be another process. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be a component of a vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the vehicle 10 may include, but not limited to, a bicycle, a motor vehicle (including, but not limited to, buses, automobiles, motorcycles, or recreational vehicles), a spacecraft, a watercraft, an aircraft, or a train. In a number of variations, the movement of a vehicle 10 may result in airflow through or along its exterior herein defined as “ram air.” In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the product 8 may further include an attachment 25 for attaching at least the condenser 130 to the vehicle 10 in the path of ram air. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be used to recover heat from a vehicle 10 component such as, but not limited to, a vehicle engine 14, a radiator 16, an axle oil heat exchanger 45, an engine oil heat exchanger 47, a cabin heater 43, exhaust gas turbocharger 170, exhaust gas aftertreatment system 192, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be used to recover waste heat from a vehicle 10 exhaust. As shown in FIGS. 2-3, in a number of variations, the vehicle 10 may include a tractor trailer 10. In a number of variations, the vehicle 10 may include a tractor 12. In a number of variations, the tractor 12 may be used in commercial trucking. In a number of variations, the tractor 12 may have a front surface 301, a top surface 303, a bottom surface 305, a back surface 307, and at least one side surface 309. In a number of variations, ram air may be found along or through any of the components along these parts (301, 303, 305, 107, 309) of the tractor 12. In a number of variations, the tractor 12 may be used to pull a trailer 40 that may be heavily loaded. In a number of variations, the trailer 40 may have a front surface 311, a top surface 313, a bottom surface 315, a back surface 317, and at least one side surface 319. In a number of variations, ram air may be found along or through any of the components along these parts (311, 313, 315, 317, 319) of the tractor 12. In a number of variations, the tractor 12 may include the engine 14, which may be located forward of a driver's seat 20 and may be connected to at least one wheel 18 via a drive train (not shown). In a number of variations, the driver's seat 20 may be located within a cabin 22. In a number of variations, the engine 14 may be cooled via a coolant supplied by a radiator 16. In a number of variations, the radiator 16 may be located at the front 301 of the tractor 12, behind a front grill 28. In a number of variations, the cabin 22 may have a fairing 30 on top of a cabin roof 26. In a number of variations, the fairing 30 may be a curved surface that encloses the cabin roof 26 to aerodynamically streamline a transition between a cabin windshield 24 and a trailer roof 42 or trailer top surface 313.

As shown in FIGS. 1-3, in a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within the fairing 30 of a vehicle 10 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a front surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 301, or trailer 311 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a top surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 303, or trailer 313 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a bottom surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 305, or trailer 315 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a back surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 307, or trailer 317 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 of the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a side surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 309, or trailer 319 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130.

As shown in FIG. 4, in a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within the fairing 30 of a vehicle 10 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the housing 500 enclosing the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may replace the fairing 30. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a front surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 301, or trailer 311 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a top surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 303, or trailer 313 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a bottom surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 305, or trailer 315 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a back surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 307, or trailer 317 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be mounted on or enclosed within at least one of a side surface of the vehicle 10, tractor 309, or trailer 319 in contact with ram air on at least one side of the condenser 130. In a number of variations, the system 100 or condenser 130 may be mounted externally anywhere on the vehicle 10 to be minimally invasive and may decrease condenser 130 size.

Referring Back to FIG. 1, the system 100 may include a fluid circuit 180 which may include at least one of a pump 150, an expander 118, a power generation component 160, a condenser 130, or a heat exchanger 102. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger 102 may perform a heat transfer to or from the fluid 195. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger 102 may be a heat exchanger type including, but not limited to an electric heating, a double pipe, a shell and tube, a plate heat, a plate and shell, an adiabatic wheel, a plate fin heat, a pillow plate, or a fluid heat exchanger or may be another type. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger 102 may evaporate the fluid 195. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger 102 may include a boiler which may allow the fluid to undergo a phase change from liquid to gas. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger 102 may be a shell and tube heat exchanger, and may include at least one of a heat exchanger housing 104, a heat exchanger working fluid inlet 106 and a heat exchanger working fluid outlet 108. In a number of variations, the heat exchanger working fluid inlet 106 and the heat exchanger working fluid outlet 108 may be connected by heat exchanger tubes 114 (shown schematically) disposed within the housing 104. In a number of variations, the housing 104 may include an exhaust gas inlet 110 that may be configured to receive exhaust gas from the engine 14, and an exhaust gas outlet 112. In a number of variations, in the heat exchanger 102, exhaust gas may enter the heat exchanger housing 104 via the exhaust gas inlet 110, and may pass over the heat exchanger tubes 114 which may contain the working fluid 195. As a result, in a number of variations, heat may be transferred from the exhaust gas to the working fluid 195 or vice versa within the heat exchanger tubes 114. In a number of variations, in the heat exchanger 102, the working fluid 195 may undergo a phase change from liquid to gas or vice versa due to the heat transfer. In a number of variations, the radiator 16 may be included in the system 100 inside or connected to the fluid circuit 180 to further provide heat transfer to or from the fluid 195. In a number of variations, the radiator 16 may plum to the heat exchanger 102 of the fluid circuit 180 provide heat transfer to or from the fluid 195.

In a number of variations, the expander 118 may include at least one turbine 119. In a number of variations, the turbine 119 may be an impulse or reaction turbine. In a number of variations, the turbine 119 may be at least one of a steam turbine, a gas turbine, a transonic turbine, a contra-rotating turbine, a statorless turbine, a shrouded turbine, a ceramic turbine, a shroudless turbine, a bladless turbine, a water turbine (including Pelton, Francis, Kaplan, Turgo, or Cross-flow), a pressure compound turbine, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the turbine 119 may be an axial or a radial turbine. In a number of variations, the expander 118 may include an expander housing 120 that may have an expander working fluid inlet 126 that may be connected to the heat exchanger working fluid outlet 108 and may receive the working fluid 195 from the heat exchanger 102. In a number of variations, the expander housing 120 may include an expander working fluid outlet 128. In a number of variations, the expander 118 may be an axial impulse turbine in which the high pressure gas delivered by the heat exchanger 102 may be passed through a nozzle (not shown) configured to decrease the pressure and increase the velocity of the working fluid 195. In a number of variations, the working fluid 195 may then passed over a turbine wheel 122 that may be housed in the expander housing 120. In a number of variations, the working fluid 195 may cause the turbine wheel 122 to rotate about an expander shaft 124. In a number of variations, as a result, the working fluid 195 exits the expander working fluid outlet 128 having performed usable work. In a number of variations, the turbine wheel 122 may connected to a power generation component 160 via the expander shaft 124. In a number of variations, the rotation of the turbine wheel 122 may result in electricity generation within the power generation component 160.

In a number of variations, the power generation component 160 may be an electric generator. In a number of variations, the power generation component 160 may include an armature (not shown) which may generate electric current to be collected by an electric collection component (not shown). In a number of variations, the power generation component 160 may be a dynamo or an alternator. In a number of variations, the power generation component 160 may rotate at speeds from about 0 to about 80,000 RPM, and may produce power in the range of 1 to 40 kilowatts. In a number of variations, the electric current may be used to power an engine or other component of a vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the electric current may be stored in or used to charge a battery (not shown). In a number of variations, the electrical power produced by the generator 160 can be used to power vehicle electrical systems such as the air conditioning system, a motor used to provide power to the power train, or may be another component. In a number of variations, at least one of the power generation component 160, expander shaft 124, or turbine wheel 122 may be mechanically coupled to a gear reduction device (not shown) which may be mechanically coupled to a vehicle powertrain (not shown) or engine 14. In a number of variations, at least one of the power generation component 160, expander shaft 124, or turbine wheel 122 may be mechanically coupled to a differential which may be mechanically coupled to a vehicle crank train.

In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be a heat exchanger including, but not limited to an electric heating, a double pipe, a shell and tube, a plate heat, a plate and shell, an adiabatic wheel, a plate fin heat, a pillow plate, or a fluid heat exchanger or may be another type. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be an air cooled condenser. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be an air or water heat exchanger with a water condenser. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may include a water condenser where a second fluid 197 cools the working fluid 195 where the second fluid 197 may include water. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be a shell and tube heat exchanger, and may include at least one of a condenser housing 132, a condenser working fluid inlet 134 that may be connected to the expander working fluid outlet 128, or a condenser working fluid outlet 136. In a number of variations, the condenser working fluid inlet 134 and the condenser working fluid outlet 136 may be connected by tubes 142 (shown schematically) disposed within the housing 132. In a number of variations, the condenser housing 132 may include at least one of, ram air or second fluid inlet 138 that may configured to receive ram air due to the motion of the vehicle 10, and a ram air or second fluid outlet 140. In a number of variations, when installed in the fairing 30, the condenser 130 may be oriented so that the ram air or second fluid inlet 138 faces the vehicle 10 front tractor front 301, or trailer front 311. In a number of variations, the ram air or second fluid inlet 138 may be large relative to the front-facing side of the condenser 130 in order to maximize the amount of the ram air or second fluid captured and directed across the condenser tubes 142. In a number of variations, the ratio of the area of the ram air or second fluid inlet 138 to the area of the front-facing side of the condenser housing 132 may be in a range of about 0.7 to about 0.98. In a number of variations, the ram air or second fluid outlet 140 may be corresponding large to facilitate free flow of air through the condenser 130. In a number of variations, in the condenser 130, the working fluid 195 may enter the condenser housing 132 via the condenser working fluid inlet 134, and may pass through the condenser tubes 142. In a number of variations, during motion of the vehicle 10, ram air or second fluid may pass over the condenser tubes 142, whereby the working fluid 195 may experience heat transfer or may be cooled. In a number of variations, in the condenser 130, the working fluid 195 may undergo a phase change from gas to liquid due to cooling by the ram air. In a number of variations, the size and shape of the housing 132, number and configuration of the condenser tubes 142, and materials used to form the housing 132 and condenser tubes 142 will depend on the requirements of the specific application and may be any shape including, but not limited to, rectangular, polygonal, cube, sphere, hemisphere, cuboid, cylinder, cone, dodecahedron, octahedron, pyramid, prism, or may be another shape.

In a number of variations, the pump 150 may move the fluid 195 through the fluid circuit 180 and may determine fluid 195 flowrate. In a number of variations, the pump 150 may be a rotary positive displacement pump, a reciprocating positive displacement pump, a gear pump, a screw pump, a progressing cavity pump, a roots-type pump, a peristaltic pump, a plunger pump, a rope pump, a impeller pump, a hydraulic ram pump, a radial-flow pump, an axial-flow pump, a mixed-flow pump, an eductor-jet pump, a steam pump, a gravity pump, a valveless pump, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the pump 150 may pressurize the fluid 195 as a liquid or a gas. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may include a high pressure pump 150A, a low pressure pump 150B, or both. In a number of variations, the pump 150 may include an inlet 154 that may be connected to, and may receive the working fluid 195 from the condenser working fluid outlet 136. In a number of variations, due to action of the pump 150, the working fluid 195 may be pressurized and may exit the pump 150 via the pump outlet 156. In a number of variations, the pump 150 may provide high pressure working fluid 195 to the working fluid inlet 106 of the heat exchanger 102.

In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may further include at least one valve 190. In a number of variations, the valve 190 may be at least one of a ball valve, a butterfly valve, a ceramic disc valve, a check valve, a choke valve, a diaphragm valve, a gate valve, a globe valve, a knife valve, a needle valve, a pinch valve, a piston valve, a plug valve, a poppet valve, a spool valve, a thermal expansion valve, a pressure reducing valve, a sampling valve, a safety valve, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the at least one valve 190 may be included in the fluid circuit 180 between the pump 150 and the heat exchanger 102, and may be configured to selectively redirect at least some working fluid 195 to a high pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system 168 associated with the engine 14. In a number of variations, the re-directed working fluid 195 may be heated by exhaust gas in the EGR system 168 and then may be directed to the expander working fluid inlet 126, bypassing the heat exchanger 102. In a number of variations, the fluid circuit 180 may include at least one controller 155. In a number of variations, the controller 155 may control operation of the expander 118, heat exchanger 102, valve 190, condenser 130, pump 150, power generation component 160, or other components based on a number of variations including, but not limited to, fluid temperature, fluid pressure, power generation component output, pump flowrate, amount of engine waste heat being created, or may be another variable.

In a number of variations, the system 100 or fluid circuit 180 may be arranged so that the condenser 130 may be mounted to the cabin roof 26 adjacent a forward edge thereof. In a number of variations, the fairing 30 may surround the condenser 130, facilitating mounting of the condenser 130 in this location. In a number of variations, the fairing 30 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the fairing 30 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the front surface of at least one of the vehicle 10, tractor 301, or trailer 311 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the top surface of at least one of the vehicle 10, tractor 303, or trailer 313 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the bottom surface of at least one of the vehicle 10, tractor 305, or trailer 315 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the back surface of at least one of the vehicle 10, tractor 307, or trailer 317 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the side surface of at least one of the vehicle 10, tractor 309, or trailer 319 may include a grill or louvered area that may be aligned with the ram air inlet 138 of the condenser 130 and may be configured to direct or accept ram air toward the ram air inlet 138. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be mounted on the vehicle 10 in such a way that the condenser 130 may be in the path of airflow from the movement of the vehicle, out of the sight line of a driver 5 of the vehicle 10, and outside the path of airflow from the movement of the vehicle 10 to the radiator 16. In a number of variations, the condenser 130, fluid circuit 180 or system 100 may also be used with other cabin 22 layouts, including, but not limited to, the cab-over-engine layout.

In a number of variations, the system 100 may be supplied with exhaust gas from the turbine section 174 of an exhaust gas turbocharger 170 connected to the engine 14. In a number of variations, the exhaust gas turbocharger 170 may include at least one of the turbine section 174 which houses a turbine wheel (not shown), a compressor section 172 which houses a compressor wheel (not shown), or a turbocharger shaft 176 that connects the turbine wheel to the compressor wheel. In a number of variations, the turbine wheel may be rotatably driven by an inflow of exhaust gas supplied from the exhaust manifold 14a of the engine 14. In a number of variations, rotation of the turbine wheel may cause rotation of the compressor wheel, whereby the compressor section 172 may increase the air mass flow rate, airflow density and air pressure delivered to the engine's cylinders via the engine's air intake manifold 14b. In a number of variations, exhaust gas exiting the turbine section 174 may be directed to the exhaust gas inlet 110 after treatment in an exhaust gas after treatment system 192. In a number of variations, collocating the system 100 next to the exhaust gas after treatment system 192 may reduce piping loss and increase treatment system 192 thermal efficiency or allow for vehicle retrofits. In a number of variations, engine heat may be used to both increase engine 14 efficiency via the turbocharger 170, and also may provide electrical power to the vehicle 10 via the system 100. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be designed to fit within or adjacent to at least one existing component of a vehicle 10 such as, but not limited to, the exhaust system, exhaust gas turbocharger 170, exhaust gas after treatment system 192, radiator 16, or engine 14. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be used in a hybrid drive system vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be mounted under the vehicle 10 chassis without significant modifications to existing components. In a number of variations, the system 100 being mounted in the fairing 30 may lower condensing pressure/temperature and may improve overall vehicle 10 thermal performance. In a number of variations, the system 100 mounted in the fairing 30 may increase vehicle cooling system efficiency by returning airflow to existing components such as, but not limited to, the charge air cooler (not shown) or air conditioning condenser (not shown).

In a number of variations, the system 100 may be mounted to the vehicle 10 through an attachment 25. In a number of variations, the condenser 130 may be mounted to the vehicle 10 through an attachment 25. In a number of variations, the attachment 25 may attach at least one of the system 100 or condenser 130 to the vehicle 10 through a mechanical coupling. In a number of variations, the attachment 25 may comprise a frame for mounting the system 100 or condenser 130 to the vehicle. In a number of variations, the attachment 25 may comprise a part including, but not limited to, bolt, slot, edge, recess, fastener, buckle, button, cable tie, clamp, clip, clutch, flange, frog, grommet, latch, nail, peg, pin, hook and loop fastener, rivet, screw anchor, snap fastener, staple, stitch, strap, threaded fastener, tie, toggle bolt, zipper, wedge anchor, or may be another type. In a number of variations, the attachment 25 may attach at least one of the system 100 or condenser 130 to the vehicle 10 so that the condenser 130 may be constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on the vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the attachment 25 may attach at least one of the system 100 or condenser 130 to the vehicle 10 through a mechanical coupling including a process of welding (including arc welding, gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, bolting, or may be another type), use of an adhesive (such as, but not limited to, a metal epoxy, resin, silicone, polyurethane, polysifide, cyanoacrylate, UV-cure, or may be another type), or may be attached in a different way. In a number of variations, the system 100 may be oriented such that the condenser 130 resides in the front of the system 100 near the front 301 of the vehicle.

In a number of variations, as shown in FIG. 5, a method 800 is shown. In a number of variations, the method 800 may include a step 802 of providing a system 100 including a fluid circuit 180 which may include at least one of a fluid 195, a pump 150, an expander 118, a power generation component 160, at least one heat exchanger 102, and a condenser 130. In a number of variations, the method 800 may further include step 804 of attaching at least the condenser 130 of the system 100 to a surface of a vehicle 10 through an attachment 25. In a number of variations, the method 800 may further include step 806 of operating the fluid circuit 180 to generate usable work from the working fluid 195 wherein the condenser 130 may be constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on the vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the condenser 130 may be mounted on or enclosed within the fairing 30 of a vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the condenser 130 may be mounted on or enclosed within a top surface of the vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the condenser 130 may be mounted on or enclosed within a bottom surface of the vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the condenser 130 may be mounted on or enclosed within a front surface of the vehicle 10. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the fluid circuit 180 may be an organic Rankine cycle. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the fluid circuit 180 may be constructed and arranged to recover waste heat from a vehicle exhaust system. In a number of variations, the method may further include wherein the entire fluid circuit 180 may be constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle on a vehicle 10 through the attachment 25.

The following description of variants is only illustrative of components, elements, acts, product and methods considered to be within the scope of the invention and are not in any way intended to limit such scope by what is specifically disclosed or not expressly set forth. The components, elements, acts, product and methods as described herein may be combined and rearranged other than as expressly described herein and still are considered to be within the scope of the invention.

Variation 1 may include a system including a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser, wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle.

Variation 2 may include a system as set forth in Variation 1 wherein the condenser is mounted on or enclosed within the fairing of a vehicle.

Variation 3 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-2 wherein the condenser is mounted on a top of the vehicle.

Variation 4 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-3 wherein the condenser is mounted on a side of the vehicle.

Variation 5 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-4 wherein the condenser is mounted on a bottom of the vehicle.

Variation 6 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-5 wherein the condenser is mounted on a front of the vehicle.

Variation 7 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-6 wherein the fluid comprises at least one of steam, fluorinol, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, propanol, butanol, water, benzene, toluene, methane, ethane, propane, butane, acetone, or liquid hydrogen.

Variation 8 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-7 wherein the fluid circuit is an organic Rankine cycle.

Variation 9 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 1-8 wherein the fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to recover waste heat from a vehicle exhaust system.

Variation 10 may include a system as set forth in any of Variations 8-9 wherein the entire fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to be in a single housing mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle through an attachment.

Variation 11 may include a method including providing a fluid circuit comprising a fluid, a pump, an expander, a power generation component, at least one heat exchanger, and a condenser; and operating the fluid circuit to generate usable work from the fluid wherein the condenser is constructed and arranged to be mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle.

Variation 12 may include a method as set forth in Variation 11 wherein the condenser is mounted on or enclosed within the fairing of a vehicle.

Variation 13 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-12 wherein the condenser is mounted on a top of the vehicle.

Variation 14 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-13 wherein the condenser is mounted on a side of the vehicle.

Variation 15 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-14 wherein the condenser is mounted on a bottom of the vehicle.

Variation 16 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-15 wherein the condenser is mounted on a front of the vehicle.

Variation 17 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-16 wherein the fluid comprises at least one of steam, fluorinol, ammonia, ethanol, methanol, kerosene, gasoline, diesel, propanol, butanol, water, benzene, toluene, methane, ethane, propane, butane, acetone, or liquid hydrogen.

Variation 18 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-17 wherein the fluid circuit is an organic Rankine cycle.

Variation 19 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-18 wherein the fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to recover waste heat from a vehicle exhaust system.

Variation 20 may include a method as set forth in any of Variations 11-19 wherein the entire fluid circuit is constructed and arranged to be in a single housing mounted in the path of ram air on a vehicle through an attachment.

Variation 21 may include a system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-20 wherein the fluid is an organic, high molecular mass working fluid with a liquid-vapor phase-change, occurring at a lower temperature than the water-steam phase change.

Variation 22 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-21 wherein the fluid circuit further comprises at least one valve.

Variation 23 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-22 the housing enclosing the fluid circuit replaces the fairing.

Variation 24 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-23 wherein system or fluid circuit is a thermodynamic cycle including but not limited to, a Rankine cycle, a Kalina cycle, or an Otto cycle.

Variation 25 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-24 wherein the system is used to recover heat from a chemical process such as, but not limited to, a geothermal energy generator process, a solar energy generator process, a combustion process, an industrial waste heat process, or a wind energy generator process.

Variation 26 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-25 wherein the system is used to recover heat from a vehicle component such as, but not limited to, a vehicle engine, a radiator, an axle oil heat exchanger, an engine oil heat exchanger, a cabin heater.

Variation 27 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-26 wherein the vehicle comprises a tractor trailer comprising a tractor and a trailer.

Variation 28 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-27 wherein the system or method is used to recover heat from a vehicle.

Variation 29 may include a product, system or method as set forth in of Variation 28 wherein the vehicle includes at least one of a bicycle, a motor vehicle, a spacecraft, a watercraft, an aircraft, or a train.

Variation 30 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-29 wherein the heat exchanger is a heat exchanger type including, but not limited to an electric heating, a double pipe, a shell and tube, a plate heat, a plate and shell, an adiabatic wheel, a plate fin heat, a pillow plate, or a fluid heat exchanger.

Variation 31 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-30 wherein the expander comprises a turbine comprising at least one of a steam turbine, a gas turbine, a transonic turbine, a contra-rotating turbine, a statorless turbine, a shrouded turbine, a ceramic turbine, a shroudless turbine, a bladless turbine, impulse turbine, reaction turbine, axial turbine, radial turbine, a water turbine (including Pelton, Francis, Kaplan, Turgo, or Cross-flow), a pressure compound turbine, combinations thereof, or may be another type.

Variation 32 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-31 wherein the heat exchanger comprises a boiler.

Variation 33 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-32 wherein the radiator is included in the system inside or connected to the fluid circuit to further provide heat transfer to or from the fluid.

Variation 34 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-33 wherein the power generation component comprises an armature which may generate electric current to be collected by an electric collection component.

Variation 35 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-34 wherein the power generation component rotates at speeds from about 0 to about 80,000 RPM, and produces power in the range of 1 to 40 kilowatts.

Variation 36 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-35 wherein the electrical power produced by the generator is used to provide power to at least one of, vehicle electrical systems, the air conditioning system, a motor used to provide power to the power train, vehicle battery system, vehicle powertrain, or vehicle crank train.

Variation 37 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-36 wherein the condenser comprises at least one of an electric heating, a double pipe, a shell and tube, a plate heat, a plate and shell, an adiabatic wheel, a plate fin heat, a pillow plate, air cooled condenser, air or water heat exchanger with a water condenser, or a fluid heat exchanger.

Variation 38 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-37, wherein the power generation component comprises a dynamo or an alternator.

Variation 39 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-37, wherein the fluid circuit comprises at least one controller which controls operation of at least one of the turbine, heat exchanger, valve, condenser, pump, or power generation component based on a number of variations comprising at least one of fluid temperature, fluid pressure, power generation component output, or pump flowrate.

Variation 40 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-39 wherein condenser comprises a ram air or second fluid inlet 138 which is large maximize the amount of the ram air or second fluid captured and directed across the condenser.

Variation 41 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-40 wherein condenser comprises a ram air or second fluid outlet which is large to facilitate free flow of air through the condenser.

Variation 42 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-41 wherein the condenser comprises a shape comprising at least one rectangular, polygonal, cube, sphere, hemisphere, cuboid, cylinder, cone, dodecahedron, octahedron, pyramid, or prism.

Variation 43 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-42, wherein pump is at least one of a rotary positive displacement pump, a reciprocating positive displacement pump, a gear pump, a screw pump, a progressing cavity pump, a roots-type pump, a peristaltic pump, a plunger pump, a rope pump, a impeller pump, a hydraulic ram pump, a radial-flow pump, an axial-flow pump, a mixed-flow pump, an eductor-jet pump, a steam pump, a gravity pump, or a valveless pump.

Variation 44 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-43, wherein the fluid circuit comprises at least one of a high pressure pump or a low pressure pump.

Variation 45 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-44 wherein the valve is at least one of a ball valve, a butterfly valve, a ceramic disc valve, a check valve, a choke valve, a diaphragm valve, a gate valve, a globe valve, a knife valve, a needle valve, a pinch valve, a piston valve, a plug valve, a poppet valve, a spool valve, a thermal expansion valve, a pressure reducing valve, a sampling valve, or a safety valve.

Variation 46 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-45 wherein the valve is included in the fluid circuit between the pump and the heat exchanger, and may be configured to selectively redirect at least some fluid to a high pressure exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) system associated with the engine.

Variation 47 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-46 wherein at least one of the top surface, bottom surface, front surface, back surface, or side surface of the vehicle, tractor, or trailer comprises a grill or louvered area that is aligned with a ram air inlet of the condenser.

Variation 48 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-47, wherein system is supplied with exhaust gas from a turbine section of an exhaust gas turbocharger, or an exhaust gas aftertreatment system.

Variation 49 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-48, wherein system is designed to fit within or adjacent to at least one existing component of a vehicle comprising at least one of an exhaust system, exhaust gas turbocharger, exhaust gas after treatment system, radiator, or engine.

Variation 50 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-50, wherein system is mounted under the vehicle chassis.

Variation 51 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-50, wherein the attachment comprises a part including, but not limited to, bolt, slot, edge, recess, fastener, buckle, button, cable tie, clamp, clip, clutch, flange, frog, grommet, latch, nail, peg, pin, hook and loop fastener, rivet, screw anchor, snap fastener, staple, stitch, strap, threaded fastener, tie, toggle bolt, zipper, or wedge anchor.

Variation 52 may include a product, system or method as set forth in any of Variations 1-51, wherein the attachment may attach at least one of the system or condenser to the vehicle through a mechanical coupling including a process of welding (including arc welding, gas metal arc welding, shielded metal arc welding, bolting, or may be another type), or through use of an adhesive (such as, but not limited to, a metal epoxy, resin, silicone, polyurethane, polysifide, cyanoacrylate, UV-cure, or may be another type).

The above description of select variations within the scope of the invention is merely illustrative in nature and, thus, variations or variants thereof are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the invention.