by Ken Rieli
In the early 1900's, Nikola Tesla (inventor of the polyphase electric motor and many well-known technologies) designed, developed & demonstrated a new engine. His new engine was designed to deliver more horsepower per pound than any engine of the day, without the high pollution levels.
This Serbian-American genius predicted in 1920 the pollution crisis that would soon overtake mankind if internal combustion piston and bladed turbine engines were allowed to proliferate.
Several factors worked simultaneously to sweep his advanced disk turbine technology under the carpet.
First of all, the scientific community of the day was too ignorant to forecast the cumulative effects of air pollution, citing the assumption that the ecosystem was vast enough to absorb anything man could throw at it.
Secondly, the engineering community was highly focused on piston engines and could not understand these new-fangled aerodynamics principles that make modern turbines work.
And last of all, the investment community had already put its money into other turbine designs for electrical power production.
Without support for this space-age technology, Tesla had to drop it -- even though he could prove efficiency and power performance beyond all other technologies.
So today we are completely immersed in the toxic wasteland that Nikola Tesla foresaw, and it's now past time to backtrack and implement the engine he designed to solve the problem!
Theory of Operation
Most people are familiar with the basic operation of conventional turbines. Air is compressed by a radial or axial fan into combustion chambers where fuel and air are mixed & burned. Hot expanding gases exit the engine after passing through a hot rotor section, where the high velocity gas spins blades to impart energy and motion to the engine's main shaft. This main shaft horsepower can be coupled to fans, wheels, propellers, generators, etc. to do useful work.
The Tesla turbine is similar in operation in the basic layout.
The main difference is that there are no blades in a Tesla turbine. In place of the blades are a stack of closely-spaced metal plates through which high velocity gases pass in a spiraling manner from the outer periphery towards the inner hub.
These closely spaced disks use a boundary layer skin effect, a well-known phenomenon in aerodynamics. Adhesion of gas molecules to the metal plates creates a type of barrier that the high velocity gases must overcome.
This resistance to gas flow absorbs the kinetic energy of the gas, imparting it to the plates and then to the shaft. Shaft rotation horsepower may then be applied to useful work.
Room for Experimentation
Even though Tesla proved that he could reach 60% efficiency using his proprietary valvular conduit pulse combustor, he was unable to produce the high energy needed for real application.
PNGinc has focused its research & development efforts on two areas relating to Tesla turbines:
- improvements to the original disk geometry
- combustion breakthroughs
Results of tests on our improved disk geometry technology have shown a 30% increase in efficiency over traditional Tesla turbines. At the same time, we are projecting 40%-50% thermal efficiency on our Phoenix Turbines using our proprietary Pulse Detonation Combustion cycle.
And to promote further experimentation on this Engine of the 21st Century, we are now providing new tools for conducting experimentation: the Experimenter’s 4.5” DIY Tesla Turbine Plans CD, the New Turbine Workshop training program, the 7” steam & ORC (organic Rankine Cycle) Tesla Turbogenerator (solar thermal power, heat recovery engine), and a new 3-in-1 Tesla turbine plans CD!!!
Tesla Turbine U.S. Patent 1,061,206 (May 6, 1913)
Improvements in the Construction of Steam and Gas Turbines British Patent 186,082 (September 25, 1922)