First Detailed View of the Tesla Turbine

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Introduction: First Detailed View of the Tesla Turbine

Working Tesla Turbine
Pulse combustion has been one of the most exciting new technologies considered for the Sea Bird. It is important that each system and design be put to the test to ensure it is truly as effective as we want it to be. These tests not only tell us what, if any, changes need to be made, but reassure us that we are on the right path to refitting the Sea Bird.

Pulse Combustion in a Working Environment
After the hot rotor section was fully assembled, we attached it to the turbine nozzle of the pulse combustor to test operation. The combustor performed properly, however, the rotor was slow to self start and could not achieve more than about 25rpm's. Problems were created by the small size of the 1.5" x 3" rectangular tube, which lowered the amount of gas between plates in the Tesla turbine. A majority of the gas wound up around the discs, leaving through the hot rotor case without supplying any power to the turbine.

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34 Comments


I thought I'd add a bit more on the how to build part.  I'll add a bit at a time to make it more fun but it has been a ton of research and work to get a working 125KW prototype generator.

On a Tesla Turbine, we have a great article about the 3 main keys to making a Tesla Turbine work.

Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the Tesla Turbine, determined that there were three key points to achieving maximum efficiency with the turbine:

Inlet Nozzle
Disk Geometry
Outlet Nozzle


CIMG1425_920x690.jpgCIMG1418_920x690.jpgCIMG1421_690x920.jpg

.you have to use the valvular conduit to create back pressure

I would be interested in the outcome of this, now two year outdated, project. With the sudden lack of updates, it would appear the money ran out.

not being an engineer, I thought I'd put this on the table for you ...What would happen if you put the exhaust in at the center and let it out at the large end of the disks.my thinking on this is does it not want to compress as it moves toward the center of the turbine ?

I didn't read all of the posts, but from I gathered was you are basically trying to create electricity from exhaust. Couldn't you run a turbo off the exhaust to create the PSI to run the tesla turbine?

I don't know what pressure you are trying to achieve to turn the tesla turbine but take a turbo from a Cummins truck for example, they easily hit 40psi and with mods to the wastegate can get over 60psi. Compound turbos could double that easily.

I wasn't going to post this because I thought it hadn't been thought of, but further down the posts there is a suggestion to eliminate the exhaust ports in the disks and evacuate the gases through the shaft.

More disk surface extracts more work from the heat which would necessitate smaller exhaust area.

High Heat in used more, low heat out will be reduced.

The design of Tesla's turbine is, I believe, based on a continuous flow rather than pulse.
Perhaps using a Gluhareff type engine as input to the turbine then directing the exhaust from the turbine to the intake of the Gluhareff jet might make things smoother?

I think that basically the pulse jet motors are resonant. Then you can't put anything at the input neither the output because that decress drastically the efficience.

Good project. Can you explain how do you made the Tesla turbine?

Hello rimar2000,

You are absolutely correct the PDE is a resonant device we are planning on running it at 100 pulses per minute. Here is Phoenix's earlier design and Ken thoughts.

By using a one way plate, the pulse energy would enter the Tesla Turbine plates seen in the picture below and then the resonant compression would come from a fresh O2 source provided by the 90% H2O2 catalyst engine.

Quick background on the Pulse Detonation Engine.

Cheers, Kris

tesla-turbine.jpgTesla Turbine Running.jpg

Years ago I have an idea: why not use the pop-pop principle of work, applied to pulse jets engine? All designs I have seen of pulse jet (PDE too), include valves, or inlet tube. I think it can use the same tube for inlet and outlet (as the pop-pop do). This reduces a bit the efficience, but the balance is positive, (as the pop-pop do).

Maybe a day I could made a test, but I have not so means or resources for it. Basically, a place where I can do A LOT OF AWFUL NOISE.