Wanted: An engine technology that best adapts to natural gas
Although I have written back and forth with Hugo Tour (left in photo, with Oded, his son, on the right) on a number of occasions, I finally met him in person at the 2012 SAE World Congress in Detroit. I’m honored to say that he emailed me today and assured me that my support of the vision of the split cycle engine technology is still founded on practical design and concepts. For ref, read - Tour Engine Prototype 2 operational before SAE World Congress.
First things first, though. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) article, "America, Start Your Natural-Gas Engines" struck a chord with Hugo Tour. It stated how the recent deluge of low-cost shale gas is already changing the way the country views this energy resource.
While electric utilities are turning to gas to power their turbines, truck carriers are investing in conversion for the big rigs, and many chemical companies that rely on the fuel are coming back to America after years of investing overseas.
In my own view, if America fails as a nation to take advantage of natural gas, those gas reserves will most likely be sold elsewhere. No wonder the old adage that America too often starves with two loaves of bread in its hands seems so true, especially when we apply it to energy resources.