Off-campus Michigan Tech users: To download campus access theses or dissertations, please use the following button to log in with your Michigan Tech ID and password: log in to proxy server

Non-Michigan Tech users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis or dissertation through interlibrary loan.

Date of Award


Document Type

Master's report

Degree Name

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MS)

College, School or Department Name

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

First Advisor

Scott A. Miers


This report is a dissertation proposal that focuses on the energy balance within an internal combustion engine with a unique coolant-based waste heat recovery system. It has been predicted by the U.S. Energy Information Administration that the transportation sector in the United States will consume approximately 15 million barrels per day in liquid fuels by the year 2025. The proposed coolant-based waste heat recovery technique has the potential to reduce the yearly usage of those liquid fuels by nearly 50 million barrels by only recovering even a modest 1% of the wasted energy within the coolant system.

The proposed waste heat recovery technique implements thermoelectric generators on the outside cylinder walls of an internal combustion engine. For this research, one outside cylinder wall of a twin cylinder 26 horsepower water-cooled gasoline engine will be implemented with a thermoelectric generator surrogate material. The vertical location of these TEG surrogates along the water jacket will be varied along with the TEG surrogate thermal conductivity. The aim of this proposed dissertation is to attain empirical evidence of the impact, including energy distribution and cylinder wall temperatures, of installing TEGs in the water jacket area. The results can be used for future research on larger engines and will also assist with proper TEG selection to maximize energy recovery efficiencies.