This metre-high tube uses a magnetically-driven Tesla Pump to create a beautiful water vortex. With green food colouring and lights behind it, it makes an awesome alternative to a Christmas tree!
Nikola Tesla patented the Tesla Pump (U.S. patent #1,061,142) in 1913. It featured only flat discs to supply pressure from the pump, and makes use of the same "adhesion of fluids to a surface" and boundary layer principles as the simple, but effective, Tesla Turbine.
This Tesla Tornado is made using a Subaru blower fan motor, complete with its 3-position speed switch mounted on the base. The blower motor has a flywheel fabricated out of Lexan with 6 neodymium magnets mounted in it. It magnetically couples with 6 magnets in the Tesla Pump disc pack, which is inside the vortex tube.
The Tesla pump discs are magnetically driven by the blower motor flywheel magnets, so there is no direct connection. The pump disc pack is self-centering, and there is no rotating shaft, shaft bearings, or seals required!
Step 1: Materials and Tools
1.) Subaru Heater Blower Motor, complete with stock plug-in 3-speed switch and resistor circuit. (from 1980's-90's Subaru or other equivalent electric motor)
2.) Lexan Polycarbonate tube, approximately 1 metre or more in length. 6 inch is a good diameter.
3.) 7.5 cm length of same 6" tube as above for motor mount. (or custom length to your motor specs)
4.) 2 of 8 inch x 8 inch Lexan plate, 1/4 inch thick. (one for Motor mount plate and one Tube bottom plate)
5.) 3 of brass threaded rod, 1/4 inch x 8cm, for motor mounting, with wingnuts and washers.
6.) 12-volt heavy-duty on-off switch.
7.) 6 of 1/2 x 1/2 inch neodymium magnets, preferably N52 strength
8.) 6 of 3/8 inch x 1/32 inch neodymium magnets for each layer of discs (typical 8 discs x 6 each = 48 magnets)
9.) Fondue base, found at a Thrift store
10.) Polycarbonate solvent (methylene chloride)
11.) 12-volt car battery or equivalent
12.) CD discs, from 3 to 30 depending on design. (less discs require more rpms to get same effect. I found 8 discs worked well)
13.) Crazy Glue
14.) 4 of 1/4 inch bolts, nuts. Brass or stainless preferred, for bolting Motor Plate to Tube Plate.
Circle-cutter attachment for a drill press. (Can substitute a jigsaw if necessary)
1/4 inch tap for threaded holes.
Drill and 1/4 inch bits