Tesla Turbines for Highschool Students




Introduction: Tesla Turbines for Highschool Students

Here are some photos of some Tesla Turbines my Highschool Engineering students created as part of their studies into mechanisms and power transfer. Their brief was to investigate experimental power generation systems and create a prototype using available materials. I have provided the Task Overview below. Once the turbines where complete we tested their RPM and efficiency using a car timing light, changed and improved parts such as bearings etc and retested to see improvements in efficiency.

Task Overview (scenario)

Global - Tech Engineering are a socially conscious Engineering firm. They have commissioned you and your Engineering group to scientifically investigate a number of innovative, experimental, small – scale power generation systems. The company wants to mass produce an energy system that is efficient and can be used by families living in remote areas in developing countries.

The system must have the following considerations:
high efficiency.
made from available, cost efficient materials (preferably recycled or low impact materials).
environmentally sound (no harmful by-products or toxic materials).
small – scale or easily disassembled.
be able to be mass produced in a standard workshop.

After you have submitted your report you will be asked to sketch and then model a generation system (based on your research into the most suitable) and create a prototype. In addition you must also produce a job plan and working drawing to allow Global – Tech to produce the generator in their factories. Lastly you will be asked to test your prototype for efficiency and improve it if required.

You can start by researching the following systems:
stirling engine
tesla turbine
van de graff generator
steam engines
fresnel lenses
wind turbines
parabolic mirrors
sun burners
solar oven
solar water heaters

Task Description
2a) Analysis (10 marks)
Compare the power generation systems you researched in Task 1a) with your engineering group. As a group make a decision about which generation system you would like to base your prototype on. Justify why you have chosen the system, highlight the key design features and explain which ideas you have selected or rejected. Does your chosen solution satisfy the considerations given in the Task Overview? What are the functional requirements? That is what must it be able to do? Some considerations you may wish to include in your analysis; materials selection, weather proofing, safety issues, static, noise, corrosion, suitable bearings / bushes, weight, size, volume.
2b) Sketches of Ideas and Concepts (20 marks)
Experiment with a series of sketches to produce some redesign possibilities. The new designs should be an improvement on the original design. They should show how you are finding a solution to the key design issue and subsequent improvement. Do not forget to evaluate your concepts in relation to the key design issues. Communicate your ideas to your Engineering group to gain constructive feedback. All sketches must be annotated.
2c) 3D Modelling & Working Drawing (20 marks)
Model your best solution using ProDesktop. Include a rendered presentation drawing and a minimum 3 view orthogonal working drawing with suitable dimensioning.

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