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Tesla Turbine

What is tesla turbine

Among Nicolai tesla's inventions is a bladeless turbine, which he patented in 1913. Tesla predicted that the turbine would be more efficient and have lower production costs. The Tesla Turbine uses smooth, parallel discs arranged equally on a shaft, rather than curving blades like a windmill.

Why there is a need of tesla turbine

The increasing demand for energy coupled with environmental deterioration is defining the macroeconomic world order of today. There is greater scope for renewable energy sources to mitigate the increasing global energy consumption. The utilization of low-grade heat sources, such as geothermal energy, solar energy, biomass energy, and waste heat, has attracted broad attention.

How it works

In the Tesla turbine, the smooth disks spin to generate energy, as opposed to the blades in a wind turbine. Turbines work by converting the kinetic energy of a fluid into another form of energy. The blades rotate a generator, which converts the rotational energy into electricity.

What causes the disks to spin is the exchange of momentum between the fluid and the disks

Laminar flow is a phenomenon in which fluid moves in parallel layers without turbulence. The molecules of fluid closest to the disk will interact with the molecules of the metal, adhering to the surface.

Why isn't the Tesla turbine commercially used?

Due to two main reasons

  • The Tesla turbine was invented in 1903 but never adopted because it wasn't of a high enough standard.

  • The design of the turbine meant it was more efficient at 60% capacity. As the load on the blades increased the efficiency went down, again due to the nature of fluid dynamics.

Final conclusion

Disks have substantially cheaper production costs than blades, and their general design is simpler and easier to produce. The turbine may also be operated with a variety of fluids without seriously harming the discs.

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