Introduction: Build an Amazing Tesla CD Turbine

Picture of Build an Amazing Tesla CD Turbine

Build a real working turbine from recycled CD's!

This Tesla CD Turbine is based on the Tesla turbine, which was invented by Nikola Tesla in the early 1900's.

Tesla's pumps and motors were unique in that they only used discs, and took advantage of the boundary layer effect. His smallest designs were over 100 horsepower.

This Instructable is an introduction to my recently developed Tesla CD Turbine, which is made from CD's, CD spindle, pipe fittings and glue. This easy beginners version runs on garden hose pressure and is fun for demonstration or experimentation purposes. This same CD Turbine can also be powerful, versatile, useful and dangerous when used with compressed air pressure.

The basic model Tesla CD Turbine shows how the boundary layer idea works to deliver power. The CD Turbine has unique design features such as no moving shaft, no bearings, no seals and uses recycled CD's. It is so frictionless that it can go over 500 rpm just by blowing into it hard!

The advanced model has many cool features, such as the use of neodymium magnets to separate the CD's with the correct gap and a Magnetic Coupler to attach implements, and much more.

My next CD Turbine Instructable shows how to make a Magnetic Disc Pack and Magnetic Coupler for more advanced CD Turbine experimentation. I will develop magnetically-coupled implements that will range from the practical (Generator, SaladSpinner, etc.) to the bizarre ( Skilsaw Blade , Punch Bowl Stirrer, etc).

However, please be forewarned that this turbine on air pressure is not really a kid's toy or particularly safe to operate.
On water pressure it is safe from explosion, maxing out at about 1000 rpm.

The turbine can be run on either water and air pressure without modification. Although this simple turbine can be safely run at one or two thousand rpm on water hose pressure, it can turn tens of thousands of rpm on air pressure.

I must warn you running this turbine on air pressure could be enough to explode the CD's in the turbine and cause injury. To prevent this, regulate the air supply to lower the psi and use a digital tachometer like this one.

If this unit is run on air pressure, precautions must be taken such as protective gear (heavy leather gloves, face shield, helmet, leather jacket & pants, cup(?), etc.), as well as being behind a protective barrier. If the CD Turbine comes apart at 25,000 rpm, sharp CD parts will be impelled literally at the speed of a gun. You are forewarned!

I will be discussing ways to avoid any possible unpleasantness as we go along in these Instructables, but for now...let's have some FUN!

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Picture of Materials and Tools

MATERIALS LIST: (Total Cost about $10.)

1.) 10 (or more) recycled CD's (no labels & no cracks)
2.) CD Spindle with Cover (recycled)
3.) Orbit WaterMaster Extension Nozzle Model 91129 ( Home Depot, $5.95, or try a $1.80 Nozzle from Holland GreenHouse products.)
4.) 1-1/2 inch of plastic straw or tube to fit small end of Nozzle above
5.) Garden Hose Shut-off Valve ($3.50)
6.) 2 feet or more of 3/4 inch PVC plastic pipe ($.50?)
7.) ABS to PVC cement
8.) PVC Pipe Primer
9.) Methylene Chloride (Plastics Shop), for welding polycarbonate CD Discs to each other.
10.) Hot-glue sticks...less than a half dozen


Dremel Tool (optional)

Notes: 1.) More than 10 CD's may be used for taller CD spindles.
2.) If you can't find the "Orbit Watermaster Nozzle", you could use any plastic or brass water nozzle, such as the Holland GreenHouse brand Plastic or Brass Power Nozzle. Or simply use a combination of pipe fittings down to a 1/8 inch nozzle, and adapt with hot-glue to the CD Cover.

Step 2: Design an Inlet Nozzle for the CD Turbine

Picture of Design an Inlet Nozzle for the CD Turbine

This is where the rocket scientist in you comes out...what size, shape and angle inlet nozzle should the CD Turbine have? There will be many theories, but the facts are... WHATEVER WORKS!

I have tried several different types and materials...they all worked. There's room for experimentation here. You just need to taper down to about a 1/8 inch hole into the side of the CD case with pipe fittings, or plastic pipe, then hot-glue it all in. ( Pictures in following step.)

I used an Orbit WaterMaster Extension Nozzle Model 91129 from Home Depot for the Tesla CD Turbine II nozzle. The Orbit Nozzle has an advantage of being able to use a long 3/4 inch PVC or ABS pipe with the included fittings. One fitting is a tapered nozzle, and was originally used for burrowing under concrete sidewalks with water pressure. The other fitting connects easily to the garden-hose Shut-off Valve. A 2' piece(or longer) of PVC connects the two Orbit fittings.

Note: Brass fittings and copper pipe could be used for more of a steampunk look.(future instructable!)

A Later Note: My newer instructable makes the nozzle install process much easier!

Step 3: Fit the CD Turbine Nozzle

Picture of Fit the CD Turbine Nozzle

Ok let's get started by fitting the Nozzle and its Extender Tube to the CD Case.
Cut the smaller nozzle end of the Orbit Watermaster Nozzle at an approximate angle according to the pictures, so that it sits closer to the CD Case when gluing. Start the hot-gluing by putting a dab on the side of the CD Case and sticking on the Nozzle right away. Keep hot-gluing around the Nozzle, letting things cool a bit as you go, but keep the Nozzle lined up as far as angle and direction, similar to pictures. Leave the area directly in front of the Nozzle free of glue, so that you can cut out the Case to fit an extender tube from the Nozzle into the Case. (See pics.)

A Later Note: My newer instructable makes this nozzle install process much easier!

Step 4: Join a Tube From the Nozzle Into the Case

Picture of Join a Tube From the Nozzle Into the Case

We need to be able to connect the small hole in the Nozzle into the inside of the Case. Cut a small (1-1/2 inch long) piece tubing that fits the inside of the Nozzle. Cut two slots about 1 inch long into the case in front of the Nozzle. Make them about 1/4 inch apart. (see Pics) Cut at each end of the slots to form a rectangular hole. This hole will accept the extension tube and allow it to go inside the case. Insert extension tube into both Nozzle and CD Case and hot-glue into place. Cut the tube flush with the inside of the Case when the glue is cooled. You should get something like what the pictures below show.

A Later Note: My newer instructable makes the nozzle install process much easier!

Step 5: Finish Nozzle and Attach PVC Pipe

Picture of Finish Nozzle and Attach PVC Pipe

Continue building up hot-glue until the Nozzle and Nozzle Extension are well secured to the CD Case. There should be no glue on the inside of the Case. The Nozzle Extension should have been cut flush with the inside of the Case, giving an oblong shape to the nozzle jet opening. The Nozzle should be well supported by the build-up of glue on the Case by now. Allow the glue to cool.

Now it's time to attach the 2 foot piece of 3/4 inch PVC pipe. Sand each end of the pipe to clean it, then use the PVC primer to prep. Add PVC-to-ABS cement to each fitting and pipe end, and twist together to connect. Let the cement set for an hour minimum. Here's an instructable for more info on cementing PVC.

Attach the Garden Hose Shut-Off fitting to the fitting on the end of the PVC pipe.

The Nozzle and CD Case Cover mods are done!

Step 6: Prepare the CD Spindle.

Picture of Prepare the CD Spindle.

Drill holes in the CD Spindle as shown. Clean out the holes of shavings. De-burr and polish spindle post with 400 sandpaper or cleaning pad. If desired, install a half-inch barbed garden-hose fitting on the bottom outlet of the Spindle post. This allows a garden hose to be connected to the outlet. This works especially well if the CD Spindle Cover is hot-glued or duct-taped to the bottom lip of the Spindle tray for leak-free operation.

Step 7: Assemble the CD Disc Pack

Picture of Assemble the CD Disc Pack

The CD Disc Pack is the rotating part that is made of CD's. It spins inside the CD Case. There are several options for CD Disc Packs.

The easiest thing to do, is...nothing! That is, just stack the CD's on the spindle post without gluing or using magnets...about 10 CD's in this case. You can use more CD's if the CD Spindle is taller.

Disc Packs can also be built by simply gluing together discs with a few drops of Methyl Chloride (available at a plastics shop). Methyl Chloride is the solvent glue for CD Disc polycarbonate-type plastic. Put the glue on the raised ring, which you can feel near the centre of the CD, to bond each CD to the next. The glue sets fast. Try to keep the Discs centered on the Spindle as they are glued together. A couple of wraps of paper around the Spindle to take up clearance before gluing the discs might help keep the Disc Pack aligned best.

Let the glue set-up and get ready to assemble and test your Tesla CD Turbine!

Install the recently modified CD Case (with Cover and Nozzle) onto the CD Spindle and Disc Pack. Make sure the Disc Pack spins freely on the Spindle and in the CD Case. Hook up the water pressure supply, adjust the water pressure with the Shut-Off Valve, and the CD's should start to go around!

The speed of the CD Disc Pack is dependant on the water pressure, controlled by the garden hose shut-off valve. It should be able to go over 1200 rpm on garden-hose water pressure.

Welcome to the wonderful world of the Tesla CD Turbine!


Step 8: Assemble the CD Turbine

Picture of Assemble the CD Turbine

Assemble your preferred CD Disc Pack on the CD Spindle, twist on the Spindle Cover and attach a garden hose to the Shut-off Valve (make sure it's closed first). Gradually adjust the pressure to make the turbine discs rotate. Water will spray out of the bottom part of the CD Cover between Spindle Cover and Spindle. It gets a little messy, so be prepared.

You can avoid most of the water spray mess by carefully sealing the Spindle Cover to the Spindle with hot-glue. If you need to change the disc pack inside, it can be done by peeling back the cooled hot-glue, then later re-gluing the cover back on.

Step 9: Fun Things to Do With the Basic Tesla CD Turbine

Picture of Fun Things to Do With the Basic Tesla CD Turbine

Well now that you built it, what can you do with this basic version of the Tesla CD Turbine?

1.) Put on your favourite old (scratched?) CD on top for the world to see. Call it the Worlds First Turbine-Powered CD Player!

2.) Paint on a Hypno-Disc and watch it intently for a few hours...

3.) Attach a water pressure gage and find out how water pressure affects speed of the discs. Get a digital laser Tach and make a graph of pressure vs RPM. Use the CD Turbine as a lawn sprinkler at the same time.

4.) Try altering the Nozzle to get better speed. Is it better with smaller or larger diameter nozzle? Flat or round outlet? What angle? E-mail me when you find out!

5.) OK, maybe you find all of the above too boring.

Well then, think of the awesome possibilities when I tell you how to get power out of this same CD Turbine, with a Magnetic Disc Pack and Magnetic Coupler.

Check out new videos in the new SinkScience series showing the CD Turbine in action, running at the kitchen sinkl on water faucet pressure...First movie below, check for latest at my YouTube/MrfixitRick

Also, check out pics of the awesome new model below; the Steampunk Parlour Room Tabletop version of the CD Turbine.

Also, see a wild CD Turbine-powered Skilsaw in my next Instructable!

Step 10: How Fast Can It Go? ...and a Safety Reminder.

Picture of How Fast Can It Go? ...and  a Safety Reminder.

Everyone wants to know how fast it will go...that's natural in our fast-moving world. But keep something in set speed records with this tiny, but powerful, device requires a special test zone, preferably not in a populated area!

CD's will explode when over-revved. This includes any RPM over 20,000 rpm. It is unlikely that more than a couple thousand rpm will be achieved by ordinary water pressure. (1400 rpm was max with my last test on water pressure).

But, again, I must stress that this innocent-looking machine becomes a screaming demon when powered by high air pressure. The CD Turbine, with 120 psi straight air pressure, will easily exceed 20,000 rpm and will violently explode the CD's in the Disc Pack. Not will for sure. Don't use air pressure unless you are completely aware of this!

I use an air pressure regulator, digital tachometer, and a bullet-proof enclosure for high-rpm air pressure testing. And all the usual self-protection gear for dealing with sharp shrapnel.
So, be careful, wear protection and have fun!

Oh, by the way, the CD Turbine, with the plain Disc Pack has gone 14,500 rpm on half-throttle compressed air, smooth and safe!, and 11,000 rpm for the Magnetic Disc Pack. So far, so good!

I'll show more secrets in the next Instructable of the amazing Tesla CD Turbine.

UPDATE: see my latest instructable for lots more CD turbine fun, with the new Kitchen Sink Model.

Step 11: Cool CD Turbine Movies

Here's a few of my latest SinkScience videos. I've been having lots of fun, and learning, with the faucet-powered Tesla CD Turbine.

The first video is an overview of the basic faucet-powered CD Turbine and levitating Magnetic Coupler.

The second movie is of some unusual movement of a rotating ball magnet influenced by the turbine.

The third movie is the creation of a beautiful vortex by the magnetic coupler. Enjoy!


luke.zahniser.7 (author)2015-01-26

I have been working on a design for a turbine where the turbine would spin a flywheel that would help retain mechanical motion to create electrical energy. I noticed a conversation about using an alternator. I think I understand enough; regardless of what I've read up to this point; that there's not enough mechanical energy to turn an alternator with the required amount of torque necessary for optimal desired results.

I'm wondering though if you could in theory have a flywheel attached to the other end of the turbine on a spindle, attach a pulley from the outer dimension of the flywheel to the smallest turning point of an alternator creating optimum momentum and torque to apply from the turbine, through the flywheel via pulley to the Alternator ... Do you think that could work?

My plan is to find an efficient, low-pressure hydro-electric power source for my Aquaponic Greenhouse. I'm kind of on a limb looking for a completely free and all natural power source that's easy to replicate. All I need is enough energy to power a water pump to the top of my greenhouse to do essentially two things: water my plants hydroponically and cycle water to a pressure chamber (i.e. PVC water tower) with a nozzle to the Tesla Turbine I mentioned above. Unless I can track down something that's not wind or solar that's potentially just short of perpetual motion.

Hope that's not too wordy! Any thoughts or ideas welcome and I'm enjoying learning everything people are suggesting. Thanks!

Uset (author)luke.zahniser.72016-07-19

Look for a 'Trompe Hammer' a hydraulic/air ram. Develops 100-150 psi with 3 ft of head ... that you can use to drive a Tesla Turbine or, well, anything.

Your pressure chamber would have to be 150 feet high to give a minimum pressure of 75 psi. The tube would run out of fluid at that height in a few minutes. You would have to use a powerful pump to get the water up the pipe to start with.

The flywheel only stores a very limited amount of energy. It would not be enough to help in your situation.

My suggestion is to put on a solar panel that charges a battery that can run a utility pump.

Cheers! Rick

That answers the question! Thank you!

Sceince Projects taker (author)2015-07-05

Sir would you kindly tell how to make electricity from this model at would be very helpful thank you.

you gold attach the spinning part to an old car motor,as long as the motor shaft spins it should generate electricity.

tcarty1 (author)2015-08-03

Did you make electric power from it yet?

su095260888 (author)2015-06-27

Hi admin! I would like to how to connect your CD Turbine with AC to DC converter?I am waiting for your reply.Thank you.If you don't mind , you send me email about email is you admin

alianjum01 (author)2015-03-10

I want to create electrical energy from this turbine. i just have to show that electrical energy is created from this. i mean i have to show that this turbine can be used for a useful purpose. Regardless of how less the electrical energy is. Kindly tell me what things do i have to apply and install more to get enough electrical energy from this turbine to light up a bulb ?

subhasisd (author)2015-02-13

hi all..

i look after a 970 hectares tea estate in assam,india and all i am concerned is electricity.we have electric supply,own gensets but still is there anything that can be built to reduce electric consumption and bills for poor fellow workers.Give me idea please...

beboms123 (author)2014-04-21

Hi, can you tell me how to connect the turbine to produce electricity? My email is Thank you.

Samalex67 (author)2014-04-01

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powersourcez (author)2013-12-21

Mr.Fix i am new to instructables and because of my investigatory project in physics,this particular experiment caught my eye,but i want to power this by compressed air so my question is can you suggest other cheap sources of compressed air?also can i use a bike pump?advance thx for the answers :D

mrfixitrick (author)powersourcez2013-12-22

I have powered my CD Tesla Turbines with everything from my breath ,to compressed air and water combinations. Compressed CO2 can be used...carefully. An air compressor is safest and reliable. Use up to 90 psi...carefully! The bike pump will work for a good demo. The nozzle size going in to the turbine is important, and the more friction-free the discs are, the faster it will go.

A couple of times, I "borrowed" compressed air from a gas station into my 5-gallon tank. I then ran the turbine at home (briefly), with the "free energy" !

badmoonryzn (author)2013-10-13

Why do you have so many disks when the water only hits a few of them? I do not understand what you are doing I guess. What are you using as a bearing for the disk pack that rides on the spindle? It looks pretty cool and tesla is one smart cookie, so he had something going on. Since there are no blades does the turbine just rely on friction against the disks? I know lots of questions. I think you did a great job on using a disk case and disks. What a great idea. Thanks for the video.

mrfixitrick (author)badmoonryzn2013-10-13

Hi Den, Hehe, yes lots of questions! ;)

Many discs work well in my case, because when fluid exits the nozzle and hits the discs, it spreads immediately into about a 45 degree angle and covers most of the discs in the spray pattern. Besides, the sheer momentum of the fluid vortex helps pull the other discs at the ends along.

There are usually no bearings in my turbines, as the discs use hydrodynamic bearing principle and are free-floating above about 2000 rpm. The central spindle helps keep the discs centred at the beginning.

Tesla said that his turbine did not rely on friction, but on adhesion and viscosity of the fluid on the discs instead.

Read the Tesla patents and this wiki description to get more of an understanding of this amazing idea from Tesla…

Zem (author)2009-09-22

Is it just me, or in the second picture is there an Alternator connected to it?

mrfixitrick (author)Zem2009-09-22

Well it's about time someone noticed! Hehe Yes, that is correct. I adapted a magnetic coupler to an automotive 12 volt alternator, and got it to rotate by magnetic coupling with the turbine. With faucet water pressure at only about 30 psi, the set-up was not effective. I could not get more than 50-100 rpm out of the turbine/alternator, and so could not get more than a few millivolts out of it. I think it would generate power if it had 60 - 80 psi water pressure to work with.

seamaas (author)mrfixitrick2010-07-07

how would you set that up?

mrfixitrick (author)seamaas2010-07-07

To set up the alternator I simply attached a magnetic coupler to the alternator shaft, then used a coffee can as an adapter to fit the turbine. The magnetic coupler was made with 6 of 1/2 inch neos as drive magnets sandwiched between two CD's. The drive magnets of the turbine repel the magnets of the coupler, and they move as one unit. I did not have enough faucet water pressure to make theTesla Tturbine Alternator go very fast, and only got a few millivolts out of it. With adequate pressure of 70 to 100 psi or more, it would likely generate good power...until the turbine case splits open, that is!!

If your getting a few milivolts out of it, it is working, but you havent connected it right. i have recently been using alternaators on gas lawnmower engines, and i know the alternator should produce useful power at 100rpm. there is a third wire coming out of the alternator (not the power output). that wire must be connected to +12v to work. the alternator has no permanent magnets in it. intead, it has an electromagnet that rotates in the alternator windings. this electromagnet is powered by the +12v third wire, so if there is no 12v, there is no magnetig feild, and only a few milivolts are made. (the reason for the electro mag intead of permanent is that the internal regulator can restrict power to the electro mag at high rpms to make it weaker at faster speeds, and thereby regulate the alternating voltage produced. then an internal rectifieer converts it to regulated DC) so try it again, and i bet you'll get something. then the electro magnet comes online, it will resist more, so i doubt it will keep 100rpm, but you might get useable voltage! I hope ive helped. i try to do justice to my name, furtherthantesla.

Thanks for the instructive comment!

As a mechanic, I've been around alternators for 40 years. Your comments are right on. I applied power to the field wire as you suggested.

The main problem of not generating power was getting the shaft to spin fast enough. The rotating/rolling resistance of the alternator took up most of the energy output of the turbine, while running it at the relatively low pressure of 30 psi or so.
So rpm's are very limited unless pressure can be increased significantly.

rocyahsoul (author)mrfixitrick2012-08-19

Do you think this would work?
Put a nice heavy fly wheel on the alternator, on the pulley for the belt. Connect the Tesla turbine, get it under some water pressure, spin the fly wheel with your hand... I wonder if then the fly wheel and by extension alternator will stay in motion? It seems to keep that fly wheel in motion, should be a lot easier than to fight the resistance of the alternator without it. The standard solution for this though, is to build a more robust alternator, that produces usable voltage at a lower RPM. .Neodymium magnets are relatively cheap considering how much they can be worth in a alternator configuration. It's a couple hundred dollars or so of magnets and less than a hundred dollars of magnet wire, to put together an alternator that works well at low RPM.

mrfixitrick (author)rocyahsoul2012-08-22

Thanks for the question!

The main problem is that you can only get so much power out of faucet water pressure. It may be in the range of one to ten watts. Most alternators will require that much power just to overcome the resistance of the bearings, seals and fan. Then there is the force of the magnetics and back EMF to be overcome in order to actually generate power.

A flywheel can store excess power, or help with the "notching" effect of magnets on coils of wire, but a flywheel will not make the alternator create more power. or keep it spinning. when there is not enough energy supplied continuously.

Using an alternator could work well with higher pressure, say 100-150 psi would be nice, at a good flow of 5 to 20 gallons per minute, and by using a maximum number of discs in the turbine. Otherwise, with my turbine setups, one is limited to a small alternator or generator design by using coils of wire to extract the few watts of power from the rotating magnets.

Okay, cool. i firgure that if you built the turbine and attached the alternator in the first place, you plobly know what you are doing :)

Actually, if your a mechanic, i have an unrelated question. I made pans for an engine a while ago that runs on both diesel and gas using (compressive detonation). I want to make a prototype, but i need to know how much PSI will be generated at TDC right after the plug has fired with the throttle open fully. do youk know within a hundred PSI what that might be? :/ Thank you.

I have a 1948 John Deere Model G that has what they called the "all fuel engine." It will run on anything from gasoline to lamp oil, and I've heard of people who made them run on Vaseline and paraffin with a few modifications. The base part of the design is that the intake and exhaust manifolds are one piece to pre-heat the fuel. It's a two-cylinder engine. They're about six inches in diameter with a stroke of just under a foot. All things considered it's fairly efficient once you get it up to temperature. You could probably look up the design for use as a reference. With modern, computer-controlled ignition and mixture, one could probably squeeze quite a bit more out of it.

and also, would a modified gasoline engine (like a small mower engine) be able to handel those kind of forces?

i just love messing with auto alternators :3

Rottom (author)mrfixitrick2011-02-08

would it not be presumable that if you added a small engine torque converter that it would up the rpms that are being produces

mrfixitrick (author)Rottom2011-02-08

The automotive alternator takes all the turbine power available just to get it moving. Trying to increase the rpm with gearing, without additional pressure from the water supply, is futile. It would be like trying to move your car in 5th gear at an idle.

Additional water pressure will increase the turbine power and rpm's sufficiently to drive the alternator properly.

Rottom (author)mrfixitrick2011-02-08

ok point taken, but could you not design an engagement mechanism for after the turbine was up to speed that way it does not bog the turbine under instant pressure.

mrfixitrick (author)Rottom2011-02-08

The Tesla turbine has a flat torque curve compared to an auto engine that generally has increased torque with higher rpm. If the turbine bogs at low rpm, it will bog at high rpm too. (same torque) The horsepower is greater at higher rpm, but not the torque.

The engagement mechanism you mention might be useful if the turbine was tuned for maximum torque at a specific higher rpm, but usually there would be no advantage (other than flywheel effect) to "spinning up" the turbine first.

Rottom (author)mrfixitrick2011-02-09

seems i need to build one of these to do some testing for myself to see if there is maybe even a gearing system for possibility of more speed with less load... aether way love the challenge.

mrfixitrick (author)Rottom2011-02-09

Be careful...The Tesla Turbine is a deceptively simple device that will give a lifetime of experimenting and learning to those who get addicted!

Zem (author)mrfixitrick2009-09-23


Excellent I was wondering if that was possible.

Ah, well I hope you find a more successful setup!

juanjomf (author)2012-04-30

Hey the cd will not drilled?. can you give me a picture to my mail as the magnets are and how you separate the cd? Thanks and forgive my English,

keegan (author)2012-02-08

wow, you managed to get it running at 500rpm just by blowing hard? i just built one and it hardly goes at 100rpm by blowing... also, i understand there is supposed to be a gap between the discs - how do you do that? anyway thanks for the clear instructions and pictures!

elmotactics (author)2011-06-14

I have no idea as to the feasibility of something like this, but would it be possible to make this into a sort of wind turbine, and then use the magnet discs as a generator? I know that in general small-scale wind turbines have a lot of trouble overcoming the magnetism of the permanent magnets unless there is a powerful wind, so this seems like it would be a lot easier. I was thinking something like having a large, flared intake to maximize air pressure, and then a tail boom to make sure it orients itself with the wind .

wildwabbit (author)elmotactics2011-11-06

I'm been experimenting with wind turbines for about a year now and built a few HAWTS and VAWTS each one improving on the last. I'll do an intructable soon, have been a bit slack.

Funneling just doesn't work with wind turbines, its relates back to the equation that only 59% of wind energy of a given swept area can be harnessed. This is largely due to airs high viscosity, it bounces around and creates turbulence within a funnel, a small amount of funneling will improve performance slightly but large funnels actually make turbines less efficient, as they create drag and turbulence rather than allowing a clean stream of air onto the turbine. The amount of compression you could get with funneling would be minimal at best.

I do however believe that using wind turbines to compress air via a piston or pump is completely feasible and would like to look into doing this myself.

mrfixitrick (author)wildwabbit2011-11-06

The TESNIC wind turbine uses Tesla disc technology. Have a look.

wildwabbit (author)mrfixitrick2011-11-06

I have seen this video it is quite old and am yet to see this design running in anything other than a controled environment. I think the concept does work but it will only operate effectively in optimum conditions, ie: strong consistant winds.
Not a great deal of practical application, in most real world environments.

If I saw a video of this turbine out doors in a light to moderate breeze, I be more inclined to beleive it has potential. However no such video's exist. I'be made a coupe of lenz2 turbines, with a good degree of success, and recently came across the "canstien" or " c-rotor" which is a variation of the lens 2 design. I plan on building one of identical proportions to one of my. Lenz2's will post an instructable in the near future to compare the two designs.
You can see some of my turbines on my youtube channel wildwabbit74

mrfixitrick (author)elmotactics2011-06-14

There is a company that has recently patented a similar idea! Check out the Tesnic wind turbine here:

jwesson (author)mrfixitrick2011-07-28

with all the different methods of generating electricity with Tesla's designs, the only thing a patent will do is ensure that mine can't appear to be the same as yours, even if it basically works the same, because the improved application is so obvious to those of us with a good imagination.

jwesson (author)elmotactics2011-07-28

i was thinking of the same kind of wind tunnel using a 12V electric motor attached to the spindle to be a generator. here's hoping you figure it out. that's half the fun, isn't it?


mexiquinn (author)2011-08-03

could you use a water balloon nozzle

mrfixitrick (author)mexiquinn2011-08-03

A water balloon nozzle will likely be too big. The CD Turbine nozzle inside diameter should be no more than about 1/8 inch hole size.

jsimonyan (author)2011-07-19

please tell me if im crazy, i want to build one of these cd case turbines but im not sure if my case is the right size, it will hold about 53 normal cds, i measured the removable part of the case to be 3.125 inches tall (3 and 1/8) so factoring in that cds are .053 inches tall(.053x with x being the number of cds) and i need magnets for each layer which are .03125(1/32 inches tall) making the equation .053x + .03125x < 3.125(the height of the cd case) so the number of cds i could fit in (counting magnets) is 37(i rounded down to 35). am i crazy? did i totally mess up the equation??? because i see you with 10 disc turbines and you seem to have the case full, please help, i dont want to buy 5x the amount of magnets i need, they are very expensive :P

mrfixitrick (author)jsimonyan2011-07-19

it helps to be a bit crazy to build one of these. And if you weren't before, you probably will be after!

Your calculations and formulae are good, but there are some hints and important points.

1.) The height of the disc pack is not as critical as it seems. You can use almost any number of discs you wish. From around 6 discs, up to 25 discs, is generally a good number to use.

Understand that if the inlet nozzle is relatively high in the case, the whole disc pack will rise to the top of the case when the turbine is running anyway.

2.) More discs do not necessarily mean more power. The inlet velocity/pressure of the fluid is most important, and the higher speed particles can only cover so many of the discs, depending on volume of fluid and shape of inlet nozzle. 

3.) If the turbine is used with water pressure, the top magnets are usually larger for better magnetic coupling. They stick out, (without a CD on top) to be closer to the top of the case. So you have to add their height to your equation.

4.) The magnets form a bearing surface at the inner top of the case, and skim along barely touching the case when it's running due to the fluid bearing effect. (note: if the turbine is used for compressed air pressure, then larger top magnets can't be used because the rpms are too high.)

5.) The centre post gets drilled for fluid exit. Keep the holes toward the top of the post exactly where the CD's will be rubbing when they rise up to the top under running pressure.

6.) The type of CD case is important, as some of them are virtually impossible to seal properly to be able to build up pressure internally. I use the older Memorex cases with a thick bottom so the hot-glue will hold better.

Good luck and let me know how it goes!

physicsproj (author)2011-06-12

Hey there, I just finished making a turbine for a physics project, and i wanted to thank you for the very helpful instructions! It would have taken me much longer, and been much more arduous without your help.

mrfixitrick (author)physicsproj2011-06-12

Thanks much for the positive feedback!

May you continue to ponder the mysteries of the Tesla Turbine for years to come!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am re-inventing myself as an inventor, after too many years as a mechanic! I enjoy learning from Tesla disc Turbines, magnetic motors, and Crystal ... More »
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