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Can you use an intermittent bursts of air to control the output RPM of a Tesla Turbine? Answered

I've seen plenty of these projects using a constant stream of air to turn the turbine. Surely with the combination of rotational inertia and an intermittent jet of air a constant rotational force could be sustained whilst conserving the compressed air available?


You are correct about the pulsed air. Nikola Tesla, the inventor of the Tesla Turbine, had many models that worked on a pulsed principle, including one that ran on gasoline. The big advantage of the Tesla disc turbine design is that the discs can absorb the energy of surges and shocks easily, contrary to a normal bladed turbine.

The torque imparted to the discs will be related to the square of the speed of the fluid particles, so a high-speed pulse can produce a better result than a lower-speed, but constant, flow.

For an idea of this principle partly put into action, have a look at the following video, where I add compressed air blasts into a Tesla Turbine that is running on water pressure.

If you need a tesla turbine output to have a lower RPM, you could use a gear reduction system. Mind you, that increases the torque you get from it so i dunno if thats going to be a problem. As for your question, I'm not sure intermittent bursts of air is going to be an easy accomplishment but if you feel you must then PWM would be the best way to do it.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. Output is proportional to input. Could you give some more detail as to what you are aiming at? L

It looks to me like s/he's trying to use PWM to control a Tesla turbine.

You could just use a variable valve to maintain the speed you want. If you want 'digitally' controlled with on or off - you'd want a valve that won't mind being opened and closed a LOT. Solenoid valves would eventually fail. The inertia thing would work, but you might run into a fundamental problem cutting off the source, as the inertia of the turbine would try to 'suck' the nonexistant air source, and that could cause drag, drastically reducing speed.