Borla, a leading manufacturer of stainless-steel performance exhaust systems, and Alphabet Energy, a global leader in thermoelectrics for waste heat recovery, announced a non-exclusive partnership to deliver what the two companies say will be the industry’s first aftermarket thermoelectric fuel-efficiency product for vehicle internal combustion engines.
Sixty percent of the energy from fuel used in cars and trucks escapes through the exhaust tailpipe as waste heat, according to the companies. Borla’s exhaust systems, coupled with Alphabet Energy’s PowerModule thermoelectric generator, has the potential to capture 5 to 10 percent of a car or truck’s waste heat and use it to improve fuel efficiency by reducing alternator loads or replacing the alternator entirely. This heat can be used to power the multitude of electrical components on a modern car normally powered by the alternator.
“Our customers count on us to deliver the highest quality exhaust products while also helping them manage their most pressing challenges for the Class 8 truck fleet operator, and that’s fuel efficiency,” said Alex Borla, co-founder and chief technology officer at Borla. “As we expand into new markets, it’s our vision to combine Borla’s state-of-the-art exhaust and filtration technologies with thermoelectrics, and Alphabet Energy is the ideal partner to fulfill this vision.”
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a Class 8 truck traveling 150,000 to 200,000 miles per year averages $70,000 to $125,000 in fuel costs. For many, the lifetime fuel costs for a Class 8 truck are approximately five times the original purchase price of the vehicle. Heat captured by a Borla Exhaust system and delivered to an Alphabet Energy’s PowerModule could deliver fuel savings of 3 to 6 percent or as much as $7,500 per year, per Class 8 truck.
“Alphabet Energy is committed to transforming waste heat into value for our customers and partners,” said Dr. Matthew Scullin, founder and CEO of Alphabet Energy. “Borla’s passion for innovation and design parallels our own and we’re excited to partner with them on the future of heavy-duty trucking exhausts and fuel efficiency improvements.”
Alphabet Energy’s PowerModules will undergo testing on both gasoline and diesel truck exhausts at Borla’s state-of-the-art R&D centers in Oxnard, California, and Johnson City, Tennessee. Based on positive results from the testing, the two companies intend to co-develop and commercialize the next-generation Borla Exhaust systems for trucks and other mobile and stationary internal combustion engines with Alphabet Energy PowerModules.