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Innovation

Aug 22, 2004
Somender Singh builds a better IC Engine

Incorporating this design into the cylinder head of his test engine, Singh witnessed some amazing improvements: the engine consumed between 10 and 20% less fuel, the exhaust was distinctly cooler and yet, the spark plug—when pulled out— was blue-hot. Clearly, the cauldron inside was busier, but little energy escaped it as exhaust. The Singh Chamber was improving combustion.

Greater revelations awaited when a Singh engine powered a car. He was “able to keep his car in fourth gear at 500 rpm without sputtering or pinging”, and “It was zippier. And in third gear I could slow down to 20 kph with no engine knock, and just speed up smoothly, like you would in first gear”. It was as though you didn’t need a gear-box at all. Singh calls it the “Direct Drive Engine”.

Singh was awarded US Patent No 6237579 in May 2001. A greater tribute—if imitation be deemed as such—followed: General Electric came up, in two months flat, with a ‘me-too’ device. After that euphoria however, Singh has been climbing steeper mountains—of neglect and impediments that India places on her sons.

He wrote to every conceivable person of substance. Nobody showed any interest. He has spent money and humiliating time trying to persuade people. Take this as an example of the laws we have: it turns out that no government funded lab will test an engine unless the engine builder approves. It’s like saying we may not assay Coca Cola, unless Atlanta allows.

Singh spent weeks in a bug-ridden hotel in Pune trying to get his engine tested at Automotive Research Association of India [ARAI]. Test showed that a Singh modified engine consumed between 10 and 42% less fuel and ran 16 degC cooler. Yet no one has come up to champion him. He is close to bitterness, though recently Tata Motors has evinced some early interest.

Graeber quotes a US expert:"what Singh needs to prove his concept is a standard, scientific A:B test, on a standard engine, preferably something mainstream and dyno testing with a five-gas analyzer. Then he needs to take one of his modified cylinder heads, swap it out on the same engine, and dyno test that. A to B. Even if the emissions don’t go down a whisker, if there’s an increase in fuel economy, my god, that’s a win… the world’s your oyster.”

Why is it so hard for an Indian to get that test done here? The longish Popular Science article is worth a read,for it highlights areas that Indians must agitate against. 

Here’s a do-able road-map. For a start, GoodNewsIndia appeals to a reader out there, willing to track down Somender Singh in Mysore [Speedwell Tune Up Centre and Garuda R&D is all the lead we have] and send his address, phone and email to be added here. Once it’s here, you can write and express your appreciation. Next, you can button-hole your favourite politician, industrialist or bureaucrat, post in message boards and newsgroups. Maybe some doors will open for this man.

India has many tinkerers in the great Yankee tradition Many are unlettered and unaware of the roads they must take to realise their potential. Singh would be a role-model if he succeeds. He must therefore, get his hearing.

Postscript: Readers Sreedevi and Krishna have already responded with contact details of Mr Somendar Singh. Here they are:

Garuda R&D,

Hyder Ali Road, Opp. Chamundivihar Stadium,

Nazarbad, Mysore-570 010

email:

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