Today I was thinking about turbo chargers and using the waste heat that engines make, then I got an idea. Why not use the engine or exhaust heat to generate electricity?
For anyone that does not know, a peltier is a solid state electric device that can generate electricity when heat flows from the hot side to the cold side. It can also cause heat to flow from the cold to the hot side when electricity is applied. The greater the heat difference between the two sides, the more power is generated. Peltiers are used in areas with lots of geothermal energy to power remote homes.
If you put a peltier on a hot flat part of the engine block that was inside the plenum or another place that had good air flow, and added a heat sink to the cold side, I believe you could generate all the power you could want. Peltiers are very reliable. There would be zero moving parts in the entire electric system. You would need a few peltiers running in parallel to generate the electricity you needed. This would make the system redundant.
You could also try the exhaust pipe. If the pipe is too hot, insulating it just enough to get the ideal temp would be easy. A small heat sink located in the slip stream designed to not disrupt the air flow would probably work well.
The entire system would weight a fraction of what a light weight alternator does, would not have any parasitic losses, and should be more reliable.
What do you think? Do you see any problems? I think I may try to generate some electricity with my car. The electricity would not be used in the car's electrical system at first. If I can reliably generate power then I will try running my car from it.