The Future of the Car
January 2, 2005 11:01 AM   Subscribe

Obsession: Mr. Singh’s Search for the Holy Grail American visionaries, cranks and con men have long sought the simple key to boosting the efficiency of the gasoline engine. Now a barefoot tinkerer in India believes he has unlocked the door. Is he for real?
posted by Shanachie (14 comments total)

 
Nice story..maybe completely true ? But I can't but sympathize with him when he says

This bloody country,” Singh spits. “We have millions of dollars and millions of people for puja [a Hindu festival], but when one bloody inventor wants to get a simple engine tested . . .”

Yeah dude, millions for ball kicking idiots here too.
posted by elpapacito at 11:16 AM on January 2, 2005


Much better as a human interest story than documentation of a new technology, but I found it a pretty engaging read; better than I'd expect from Popular Science. (Who, I'm sure, could afford to sponsor some tests for the guy, if they wanted to).
posted by Wolfdog at 11:16 AM on January 2, 2005


Man, this story breaks my heart. Having had a number of great ideas that never got off the ground for lack of funding, I'm astonished that there aren't any investors in India willing to try. Doesn't sound like he's gotten a very fair shake.

I hope that the deal he reached with the Indian company (at the end of the article) allows him to keep control over the IP. It would be a damned shame to see such a clever, persistent guy get ripped off by the bigger fishes (as usual).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:36 AM on January 2, 2005


Now if he would only turn his attention to renewable resources....
posted by IndigoJones at 11:52 AM on January 2, 2005


I suspect his claims but the US Patent is #6,237,579.
posted by edmo at 12:02 PM on January 2, 2005


Great story. I went in expecting yet-another-perpetual-motion story full of crazed lunacy and scientific mysticism. It was very a very refreshing change from what I normally associate with these sorts of claims.

That being said, I hope that the testing does bear out his theories and that his patent enables him to collect a proper fortune so that he live the rest of his life as he chooses. The best result being that he chooses to go on inventing and comes up with another kick ass breakthrough.

Thanks for the link.
posted by C.Batt at 12:07 PM on January 2, 2005


Oh, btw, here's a link to the patent.
posted by C.Batt at 12:08 PM on January 2, 2005


The patent has some images attached to it. The first page loaded fully for me, but the additional ones only load about 20%. Anyone else have any luck?

On preview: cbatt beat me to it ;-)
posted by odinsdream at 12:09 PM on January 2, 2005


Interesting story.

I think he may have actually come up with an improvement for injecting fuel into the cylinder there, but I doubt that there will be efficiency increases of 20% or more.

On the other hand, even 1 or 2% would be more than respectable.
posted by sour cream at 1:33 PM on January 2, 2005


But it's still not exactly the holy grail of IC engines. For me, that would be the all-ceramic compression-ignition petroleum engine. The ceramics would allow very high temperature operation with no cooling. Compression-ignition (aka Diesel cycle) would improve fuel efficiency and simplify the engine. It's been able to be done on testbeds for a short while. Getting durability and reliability has been hard.

I fear that Mr S may have reinvented part of the Lean Burn Engine, something that the UK car industry (remember them?) poured tons of money into in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The designs had worse emissions, and relied on having lead in petrol. It's all history now.
posted by scruss at 1:37 PM on January 2, 2005


The designs had worse emissions, and relied on having lead in petrol.

This guy might have made an engine perfect for India, though. We're not talking about the land of anti-pollution, here. And some lead in petrol is not going to faze anyone there.
posted by shepd at 1:49 PM on January 2, 2005


And some lead in petrol is not going to faze anyone there.

I heard they eat babies in India, too.
posted by TheSpook at 10:20 PM on January 2, 2005


This guy might have made an engine perfect for India, though. We're not talking about the land of anti-pollution, here. And some lead in petrol is not going to faze anyone there.

*boggles*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:47 PM on January 2, 2005


> In India, four metropolitan cities became lead free in 1999. Unleaded gasoline is now available in all large cities and along highways. Indian refineries have committed themselves to phasing out lead by April 1, 2000
posted by dhartung at 11:55 PM on January 2, 2005


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