The Tesla turbine is a device of many possibilities. It will run on
steam, air pressure, hydro power, or direct combustion. The turbine can
be used as an engine, a pump, a vacuum, or a compressor. The turbine has
only one moving part and will tolerate particulate that would destroy a
normal turbine. A Tesla turbine with 10 inch diameter rotors 4 inches in
width, can generate 110 hp. An 18 inch turbine, four inches wide can
generate 250 hp and under some conditions 650 hp. The average car engine
is right around 200 hp.
Seemingly complex the turbine is a simple machine. It consists of flat
circular plates attached to a shaft. Spacers between the plates provide
an opening for steam or other working fluid to move between the plates.
The flat plates (rotors) have a central exhaust opening as does the
containment housing. The rotor section and shaft turn inside a circular
containment housing. Working fluid (in some cases steam) enters the
containment housing at a tangent to the rotor section and exits at the
center opening along the shaft. The turbine utilizes a unique method of
propulsion. Working fluid entering the rotor section ADHERES to the
rotors and DRAGS them.
Adhesion is caused by the tendency of a fluid to stick to a smooth
surface. Drag is produced when steam enters the narrow gap between the
rotors and cannot pass through easily due to the steam adhered to the
rotors. The steam adhered to the sides produces a boundary layer similar
to the ones noted on airplanes. That is why the turbine is frequently
referred to as a boundary layer device.
Tests of the turbine are inconclusive. The preceding is an incorrect
statement. Much of the test results for the turbine are due to incorrect
construction. Over the years several people have built their own version
of the turbine only to have it fail for one reason or another. From my
research this occurs because they fail to follow the general principals
of turbine construction. My next post will outline some of the general
principals that allow the turbine to function properly, as well as some
of the mistakes that can be made in construction.