Tour Engine to present at DEER Conference in Detroit
The title of Dr. Oded Tour’s presentation per the DEER agenda will be as follows: Splitting the Cycle the Right Way: An Inherently Ultra-efficient, Low Emissions IC Engine.
For more than a decade, the DEER Conference has been the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) primary mechanism for the public exchange of state-of-the-art advanced combustion engine research and development (R&D); and Tour Engine will be there with good reason, because every gallon saved in fuel consumption is a green event.
That is where I come in as correspondent for Torque News. Having covered engine technologies, I have been invited by Dr. Tour to meet with him for another private interview, but this time face to face.
Fact is, I have conversed with Dr. Tour about two or three times over the phone. Just recently he gave me three hours of his time with a presentation that often goes to venture capitalists, explaining in great detail the design and efficiencies of the Tour engine that bears the name of his father, Hugo Tour of Israel.
First, Tour Engine is both a company and a split cycle-cycle engine design that separates the cold side from the hot side. Furthermore, it has a unique arrangement as being the only split-cycle with opposed pistons; and there is a rational reason as to why - maximum thermal efficiency.
After I finished the 3-hour review of his design, it became clear to me that Tour intends to become the most thermally-efficient, internal-combustion engine on the planet; my words, not his. After all, it’s not everyday that I get a private tutor of the caliber of Dr. Tour.
And the plain truth is, present 4-cycle engines waste energy to a great degree, they resist green, and they have become extremely complex. As such, the Tour engine addresses the three is similar terms: efficient, green and simple.
In the words of Dr. Tour, “existing four-stroke engine designs are in conflict with optimization.”
I tend to agree as I have witnessed, as you have, the auto industry expending great amounts of time and money just to achieve incremental gains of 0.5% here, 1% at best there. Thus the industry has avoided doing what’s necessary, reconfiguring the IC engine so that those gains can be made much larger and achieved in one fell swoop.
At present, all engines use the traditional Otto Cycle or some variation like the Atkinson Cycle and Rankine Cycle, which attempt to achieve some level of efficiency of the Miller Effect. Coming up short, though, on maximizing thermal efficiency, all manufacturers end up making compromises between fuel efficiency, power and emissions. Thus, all use direct injection, turbo charging; others simply vie for variable cams and variable valve timing.
Problem is, the auto industry has approached a point where they will not be able to meet 2016 and 2025 MPG mandates unless a major change is made to increase thermal efficiency.
At present, existing engine designs allow extreme heat losses that could be used to do work, like propel the car. For example, 40% gets transferred to the radiator, another 30% goes out the tailpipe, and the remaining 30% is available to power the vehicle.