- April 8, 2010 at 8:30 pm #41552
a Lister engine is small stationary diesel engine, that old tuc-tuc diesel, used for powering pumps and etc, and bigger ones are also build in boats, diesel locomotives, and other places there a reliable supply of power is needed years to come with little maintenance.
they are usually one cylinder, two-stroke diesel engines, first developed in in ’20s, and still in production today in india and china. the name “Lister” comes from the british company who used to build them up until ’87. from then india and china (who were also producing copies of listers, called listeroids) continued the production so one can theoretically obtain a new engine from there. they, being old design,are made to last, instead of modern machines, especially cars, which are made to last only a certain time, so there is always market for new ones.
they are simple, reliable, and rugged machines who can be worked in decades. they are slow turning diesels, working speed being about 300 rpm’s (gasoline engine has about 1000 RPM’s idling), so they’re slow.
which directly influences their life expectancy, making it much longer!
start is by a hand crank, or electric motor. they have splash lubrication (so working below 300 RPMs isn’t a good idea!) and water cooling system so people often just couple the cooling systems (two) ends to a large iron barrel in which the water cools and gets back in the engine by circulation of warmth .
but the best thing, which makes it “sustainable” is it’s fuel: it can run on a variety of fuels; from diesel (best mixed with motor oil), used motor oil, to bio diesel, vegetable oil. why, i bet one can even run them on warm (fluid) pig lard!
dad told me (he has a boat powered by an at least 30 year old lister) it runs on anything.
anyway, a qoute from CoolTools (link above):
“Today there are many Indian and Chinese companies that produce Lister copies (aka: “Listeroids”) for export. These are fairly faithful to the original design — with varying quality. The price for these engines *per kilowatt* is cheap, when compared to the more commonly found gasoline-powered generators, though they are not very portable. What is truly amazing is the efficiency of the Lister: one user reports an average of 8000 watts and 0.3 gallons of diesel per hour. They can be made nearly silent with cheap car mufflers or a water muffler. They run fairly cool, and home-built radiators (water tanks, house radiators, car radiators) seem to work well. These slow-rotating workhorse machines are good for nearly 100% duty cycle if properly maintained. (A 100% duty cycle means running 24/7, with no down time due to heat and lubrication needs).”
also:”Their efficiency and raw power makes them perfectly suited for electrical generation for long-term use versus “emergency-only” generators which have an extremely short lifespan.” (same page)
this possibility to run on organic fuels makes them sustainable. i red about a guy who bought a lister to power a generator and instead of buying fuel, he gets paid to take it, in this case used up motor and gearbox oil, which is supposed to be burned. only he burns it in his engine. and gets off-grid electricity.
they can shake about (but don’t have to) if not properly adjusted, so they need a solid surface, and they are rather heavy and best suited for stationary use (although they are used on trucks and boats, too)
unless one can mount it on a small cart or on a stone boat, and horses or a yoke of oxen in our case:D…. but there’s still issue of putting it on and off, and etc, so best they stay on one spot. anyway, ideas are here:
maybe it’s good to consider these old style machines as useful in the future, especially for those who live remotely and need a reliable source of power for hours on end. or just want cheap electricity!
found a possibly interesting page here:http://www.f1-rocketboy.com/lister.html
also, some good ideas:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LL2zUvQIIuY&feature=related
guess one could put it in the shed and use it to power the house, barn, power tools, circular saw, saw bench, get the hay up, and i guess there’s be ample electricity to give or sell. people even couple the radiator (it has water cooling) to their home and get some heating – a good idea for a barn?:confused:…
or mount it on a car trailor, build in a circular saw and put a belt, and go about people’s and cut firewood to furnace-size for a fee (this is an old trade here in Zagreb, with sawyers coming to cut bought firewood for the winter)
i really like these old machines, and i hope i got some interest kindled!April 8, 2010 at 9:56 pm #59293Jim OstergardParticipant
A bit more of this history. Back in the “70’s I converted a very small coastwise tanker into a swordfish boat. It had the original Lister (from the forties) with its big flywheel and was hand crank. I sure hated starting that thing in a cramped engine room. It was very common to have a Lister for electricity aboard the commercial fishing vessels probably up until the mid eighties when the boats got bigger and the electric loads higher.
JimOApril 9, 2010 at 8:00 pm #59301jacParticipant
Used to be that every farm in our neighbourhood had a big gasoline lister for the vaccum pump. I can remember ours banging away in its little shed. One of my uncles tried to make a better silencer out of an old 10 gallon milk can . the exaust entered the bottom and a pipe took the gasses out through the roof. It worked well till someone jammed the lid down tight.. it was ment to be just lightly placed apparantly.. The resulting bang had clusters being kicked off and the collie dog running for cover:D A good engine though and Bivol makes valid points regards the sustainability aspect. The modern throwaway engines of today need to work at much higher speeds and can only run on perfect fuel.. good topic.. would those engines be any use for a baler i wonder ??
JohnApril 10, 2010 at 1:00 am #59300MatthewParticipant
My friend and I rebuilt a farbanks morse model Z gas one lunger in high school ag mechanics class. It ran the first vacuum pump for the milking machine when they stoped milking by hand. The engine was in the milk room with the exaust being vented outside with a pipe. The engine held a small amount of gas to get it started but the fuel tank was filed with karosene once the engine was warm it would be switched over to the karosene. Bivol thanks for the post I like old machenery as mutch as draft horses.April 10, 2010 at 8:41 pm #59299OldKatParticipant
bivol; I read somewhere that the very first diesel engines were designed to run on vegetable oil rather than petroleum diesel. Interesting engine. I was wondering the same thing that jac asked; would it work on a baler?May 11, 2010 at 11:19 pm #59295
@OldKat 17385 wrote:
bivol; I read somewhere that the very first diesel engines were designed to run on vegetable oil rather than petroleum diesel. Interesting engine. I was wondering the same thing that jac asked; would it work on a baler?
it’s been a while, so i’ll try to answer.
Jac: yes, they can power a hay baler. in fact, most of the older farm equipment had a lister or a similar diesel to power them, usually by a belt.
you can use them for anything you need power for.
you’d have to see about:
1. transmision of power
2. keeping gthe RPM high enough. listers have splach lubrication, so going
below 300 RPMs is not so good.
3. as vegetable oil is more viscous (flows harder, a bit like honey, compared to diesel), it may bave to be warm for starting the engine.
OldKat, you’re right, originally it was made to run on vegetable oil. some say coconut oil, but there would coconut oil be found in late 19th cent in germany? still, it gets the point across, it was made to burn oil.
dad worked his 30+ year old lister on oil and what-not, and it tucked away, and still does!:D
and since we’re talking sustainable (and local grown) power, maybe a lister running on woodgas could interest you.
woodgas, or producer gas, is produced from wood burning wothout oxigen in a gasifier. anywqay, the gas is then filtered, to remove all the tars and impurities, cooled and piped to a regular internal-combustion engine to power it. principles are here.
for gasoline engine there are only minor carbeurator adjustments needed, but for a diesel engine running purely on woodgas, you need to put in a spark-plug.
some guys have even made a series of vids about the conversion! you gotta love the internet!May 12, 2010 at 2:42 am #59296
when said that a lister can power a baler, that is true, if a few considerations are taken:
1. the baler has to be big enough – listers are big heavy cast-iron machines, so the baler has to be strong enough to support them
2. the engine has to be balanced – a balanced lister runs without any notable shaking, while the unbalanced shakes or even dances about while working. this isn’t good, but can be tolerated when the engine is on the ground. but lots of shaking could destroy a baler.
3. cooling – the engine needs proper cooling that is light enough, best an automotive radiator with an electric fan
4. air filters – for dust on the fields, car air filter for a sufficient displacement.
5. connecting the engine – with belts, old-style broad belts, or new rubber car-type engine belts.
if you do this all, no reason why a lister on a baler wouldn’t work.May 12, 2010 at 4:15 pm #59294near horseParticipant
Today there are many Indian and Chinese companies that produce Lister copies (aka: “Listeroids”) for export. These are fairly faithful to the original design — with varying quality
Has anyone purchased one of the Lister “knock offs”? Did it seem to be satisfactory? There are a lot of small farm machines being produced in developing countries (nobody in the west seems to find it worthwhile) – hate to waste money on junk though.May 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm #59297
@near horse 18240 wrote:
Has anyone purchased one of the Lister “knock offs”? Did it seem to be satisfactory? There are a lot of small farm machines being produced in developing countries (nobody in the west seems to find it worthwhile) – hate to waste money on junk though.
it’s definitely no junk, but it IS expensive investment. on the other hand, it will work for (at very least) the next 30 years on whatever, veg oil, no matter the oil prices, and power lots of stuff.
there have been reports from India of these engines running 24/7 for 40 years, they even changed the oil while engine was working.
there are a few guys on the net who wrote about the engines they bought from India. they seemed to be satisfied with the quality. these engines are made to last, and are SIMPLE, massive and heavy, so the quality shouldn’t be a problem.
i heard from india there’s more reliable good quality, from china it was a bit of a mix, but i don’t know how it’s now. there are two types: one cylinder 6 HP, and twin cylinder 12 HP.
anyway, they got them from india.
anways, some links, do read, it’s a load of useful info: here’s a guy that bough an engine from india, entire story, on blog, plus some vids,
check around, FAQ and all, it provides good quality info!
AND good ideas, check out here, the fellow put the engine on a little wagon so it’s a movable generator set… or power-whatever-you-need set?
MarkoMay 30, 2010 at 4:55 pm #59298
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