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1.19.2012

Tesla Turbine

Tesla Turbine The Tesla Turbine is a turbine that has been patented by Nikola Tesla. It is a bladeless centripetal turbine that was patented in 1913. Other names that are used for the turbine include Prandtl layer turbine, boundary layer turbine and cohesion type turbine also. The turbine uses a boundary layer effect instead, it is a bladeless type turbine, thus the reason for the name. Unlike conventional turbines that have fluids that are in the way of the blades, there is no fluids with this type of turbine. It has also been called a multiple disk centrifugal pump as well by bioengineering researchers. Tesla's original idea for the turbine was for geothermal power to be conducted from it. Essentially a Tesla Turbine has smooth disks, that has nozzles that apply moving gas to the edges of the disks. Viscosity is what moves and drags the gas on the disks and the adhesion of the gas to the surface too. The gas adds energy to the disks, as the gas slows down and the exhaust goes to the center. There are no projections on the rotor. Tesla had created the turbine to be self sufficient and self starting too. He made it to work on steam or fluid mixes, without there needing to be any changes made to the actual construction of the turbine in the process. It was also meant to be very convenient too. Part of Tesla's construction of the turbine, was to ensure that it can be expanded and contracted as necessary or as any person needs or desires. The plates can be changed as necessary, to change the heat and centrifugal force that is applied to them. Also, as the plate area is increased and there is more power from this, the efficiency is thus also increased too. furthermore, warping of the area is almost completely eliminated and the side areas or clearances can also be used, which means there is almost no leakage and there is no longer loss from friction too. Since the discs are not ridgedly joined, there is less chance of damage happening from vibration and excessive speed too. With the Tesla Turbine, there is a mixture of steam and combustible products used to create the exhaust heat that provides the steam to turn the turbine. There is also a valve that controls the supply of the steam to the turbine so that all the pressure and temperatures can be adjusted as necessary to keep the turbine in optimum working order. However, the Tesla Turbine can start with heat alone and can work with fluids that are at high temperatures. When a Tesla Turbine is built efficiently, the discs are spaced very closely together. The discs must also be very smooth to ensure that there are no shear losses or other conditions to slow the discs down. The discs also have to be extremely thin to ensure that there is no drag from them on the edges as well. When Tesla originally built the turbine, warping nad distorting of the discs was hard to over come, due to the materials and manufacturing of the time. The Tesla Turbine can also be converted to a pump by using the same types of discs, but changing the shape of the turbine itself. There is a motor that is than attached to the shaft and the fluid enters by the center of the device. The fluid gains energy from the discs and than exits through the periphery. There is no friction with the turbine, but instead there is adhesion and viscosity instead. It still uses the boundary layer effect with the disc blades. originally it was designed to use smooth rotor discs, but these had no torque to start the turbine. Instead, smooth rotor discs were used, that had small washers that bridged the area between the discs and the place around the perimeter. Than there was another set of washers at the sub-diameter level to create the torque that was needed. With this design there was no compromise to the efficiency of the unit. The original patent for the Tesla Turbine was for it to use fluids as the move agents. It was to compress or move fluids. However, it can also be used for other reasons too. Although the turbine has been around for some time now, it has not been widely used for commercial use in any way. However, the Tesla pump has been commercially used and this began in 1982. The pump is used to move fluids that are abrasive, viscous, has solids in it, may be sensitive and over all is difficult to handle with other pumps available. There was never a contract with Tesla himself for large production of the pumps or turbines. This was mainly because of the materials available at the time and the temperatures needed to make materials than. However, currently there have been experiments done with the Tesla Turbines, such as steam turbines and turbos on cars too. It has also been considered that it may be able to be used for a waste pump at factories instead of the traditional pumps. Furthermore, it has been experimented with to be used as a blood pump too. Most recently, the Tesla design has been applied to wind turbines. ​

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