Design and Construction of Chem-E-Car SMARTTRONS Powered by Thermoelectric Generator Utilising Temperature Gradient of Two Reactors

To cite this article: Hartanto, D. et al. (2018). Design and construction of Chem-E-Car SMARTTRONS powered by thermoelectric generator utilising temperature gradient of two reactors. J. Phys. Sci., 29(Supp. 2), 203–214,


SMARTTRONS is an engineering car developed by the Department of Chemical Engineering, Universitas Negeri Semarang, Indonesia, to compete in the annual Chem-E-Car competition. This car is powered by a set of thermoelectric generators (TEG), which utilises the heat gradient between two reactors: hot reactor (i.e., reaction of CaO + H2O) and cold reactor (ice + NaCl), with an average temperature gradient of 83.4°C (356.55 K). The heat flux produced by the temperature difference is then converted into electric energy by the help of eight TEGs, which generate a maximum voltage of 34.8 V. The temperature profile was analysed using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to gain understanding of the heat distribution for the heat sink. The sodium thiosulfate clock reaction was used as a stopping mechanism which stopped the car at a predicted time limit. Additionally, a unique feature of this car is that the reactor and body of the car are mostly made from renewable local materials, i.e., wood and rattan.


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