Listeroid Diesels

The Lister is an old British design, unchanged for many years. In the late 1960’s the cost of making these engines became uneconomical for British industry and so production ceased. However, Indian craftsmen saw an opportunity and with their lower labour costs were able to faithfully copy the Lister. We refer to these engines as “Listeroids”, if only to make the distinction between the old British ones, many of which are still in operation today, and the newer versions produced in India.

Listeroids are slow speed (650, 850 or 1000 RPM) open flywheel engines that are designed to work 24/7 for extended periods of time without much maintenance, other than regular oil changes and clean fuel. Given that the massive flywheels are open, extreme caution is needed when starting and running these engines. Mated to the correct heavy-duty generator head and a suitable pulley, they will faithfully produce power for you for many years. As an added bonus, with a little ingenuity they will run very successfully on Waste Vegetable Oil, reducing the cost of power production to a minimal amount. They come in a variety of sizes, ranging from the popular 6 horsepower single cylinder (6/1) to the mid-range 12 horsepower twin (12/2) to the massive 28 horsepower twin (28/2). When these engines are mated to the correct generator head (up to 5kw for the 6/1, 10kw for the 12/2 and 20kw for the 28/2) they will produce all the power you need for your off-grid cottage or even your home if you are sick of paying exorbitant Hydro “additional charges”.

As an added bonus, the generator heads that we use produce 220 volt power, so they can be wired directly into your power distribution centre (after consulting the appropriate electrician!) to run everything in your home.

Here at home we currently run a 20/2 9 hours a day on Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) to cover heavy demand times and to charge batteries then switch to a 6/1 for lesser needs. During the dark hours we revert to battery power until the 20 is turned on again the next morning. Generally, the engines are running for 15 hours per day, with the batteries taking up the remainder. We have over 5,000 hours on various engines, while my good buddy and immediate neighbour has over 6,000 hours on his 12/2 and 6/1 machines, also running on WVO. We have found that with careful oil dewatering and filtering that de-carboning is not a significant issue - we check out engines every 2,000 hours but nothing major has been noted.

While they are simple machines, heavily built and require little attention, you do need to have some minimal mechanical skills in order to get the most out of them. They are not an off-the-shelf machine from Home Depot that scream along at 3600 RPM that will burn out in a few months but slow, pleasant sounding engines that will be dependable for many years if they are prepped carefully before running. Of course, I will show and talk you through every step of the way on your road to independence!

Depending on your requirements, I can also show you how to recover the heat from the water jacket and even the exhaust stack to use for space heating or domestic hot water.

There are, however, some things to be wary of in a Listeroid. Indian quality control sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. Of the many individual foundries producing Listeriods some are very superficial in checking the engines before pronouncing them “fit for use”. We have found some of the engines we have imported have significant problems with casting sand inside the engines and some have just been plain put together wrong. How some of these engines even started in the factory and were pronounced “good” is beyond me. I have seen one particular 12/2 engine, from a big manufacturer, that had the intake and exhaust ports reversed on one side of the engine. I suppose it may have started up and run for a few seconds, but it sure could not have been smooth!

Other problems we have encountered are flywheels mounted on the wrong sides, or two left-hand flywheels being put on the engine. This causes the engine to jump around like an old Jack rabbit on steroids, not a good thing when you are dealing with 1200 lbs of cast iron!

As long as you are aware of these problems and have the aptitude and ability to deal with any problems you may encounter, I promise you that your exposure to the wonderful world of Listeroids will be a very positive experience that will give you the ability to become independent in at least a little way. Our engines carry a 1 year limited parts warrantee.

Working with other Listeroid lovers in North America and around the World I think we have identified the better quality producers of the engines, as well as good-quality generator heads and pulleys.

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For More Information Contact:
Belleghuan Ltd.
669 County Road 8, Bourget ON K0A 1E0 Canada
Tel: 613-673-5258
Fax: 613-822-5616
GPS coordinates: 45°24'36.98"N 75°05'03.40"W
Elevation: 198 ft above sea level