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  The slow speed (6hp -650 rpm and 8 hp-850 rpm) engines were first brought to India by the British during their rule . They were first introduced in India somewhere around 1920's. They were basically used as prime movers mainly to pump water, though they had various other applications too.
  The LISTER ENGINES very popular because of their simple design and ability to perform non-stop for a very long period. However the British rule did not last long after this, and were thrown out of India in 1947. The new Indian Government and the free public was in no mood for any British company or its product and most of the merchandise from Britain was banned.
  However the need for this engine was so great that people started bringing in parts to replace the old worn out ones to keep the engines running. The western Indian coast being closer to Britain was preferred for imports and as a result all the repair shops or maintenance place for such engines started cropping up around Gujarat (a western state). Some enterprising people went ahead and tried to assemble the engines from the parts and soon realized they could do it without much difficulty. They also realized they were paying too much in cost, freight and customs duty (still very high for British goods) especially on casting parts such as flywheels which were just simple castings and did not require any precision job to make them. So the first flywheel was cast in India around 1950, followed by other casting parts like the body, block and head. The first "open forged " crankshaft was manufactured around 1955 and by the year 1962 the whole engine was indigenous and being sold all over India in many local brands , however the "Lister " name stuck to the engines and any engine with two flywheels is still known as "Lister-type" in India.
  With growing economy and increasing needs and applications, people felt the need for more power, so the 10 hp came into being around 1980 and soon the 12hp double cylinder was in place by 1990 and than
16hp - double cyl followed by a 20hp-double cylinder. The research on these types of engines still continues and therefore we now have a "LITTLE GIANT " and other variations.
  The British continued to produce the Lister CS 8/1 and 16/2 thru 1967. Some suggest that the interruption AND SLOWING DOWN of the trade between INDIA and Britain which saw the demand and profitability fall , was the cause of shuting down the production line for these engines. Production of the British 6/1 and 12/2 engines stopped in 1974 / 1975.
  This left India as the sole producers of "Lister" Type engines. Today , it is far easier to get parts from India then anywhere else. Since Indian companies had to be backwards compatible with the British built Lister they have continued to offer highly faithful copies of this design, and there is a good degree of interchange possible.
  It is interesting to read about slow speed diesel engines verses high speed engines. Some think that the wear in an engine is in direct relationship with the travel of piston and other parts. In some design, running at half the speed produced more than four times the life. These finding are often seen in slow speed marine and power generating plants. When you want the best examples of efficiency, look at Marine Propulsion. These companies live or die according to the efficiency of their fleet and longevity & efficiency of the engine is critical. These are the same things that producers of off grid personal power should be looking at. Who knows, the Lister types may live on longer than anyone could imagine.
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