Mike Stevens | Mar 11, 2009

The motoring geniuses at BMW are teaming up with the rocket scientists at NASA to create a version of NASA’s Thermoelectric Generator technology (TEG) that will use a car’s exhaust system to generate around 200W of power.

Such systems are already used to power satellites in orbit around Earth. But where those systems use radioactive heat to generate power, the car-based TEGs would look to the vehicle’s exhaust system for the heat it needs.

BMW-NASA-TEG-system_01

BMW expects it will gain some five percent in fuel efficiency through its TEG system, thanks to that 200W being used to power the vehicle’s climate control, or lighting, or any other secondary system.

According to BMW’s head of development, Klaus Draeger, the benefits of TEG are more than those offered by regenerative braking and stop-start technology combined.

BMW and NASA are at the prototype stage of the project, and BMW believes the TEG systems could be featured in production models within the next five years.

Do you suppose anyone at the European Space Agency is a bit pissed they never got a call?

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