The inventions

1. Disk-Turbine Rotary Engine

Tesla called it a powerhouse in a hat. One version developed 110 h.p. at 5000 RPM and was less than ten inches in diameter. Tesla believed larger turbines could achieve 1000 HP. The disk-turbine rotary engine runs vibration free. It is cheap to manufacture because nothing but the rotor bearings needs to be fitted to close tolerances. It requires little maintenance. If necessary, the rotor can be replaced with ease. The turbine can run on steam, compressed air, gasoline, or oil.

How ft works

Unlike conventional turbines that use blades or buckets to catch the flow, Tesla's uses a set of rigid metal disks that, instead of battling the propelling stream at steep angles, runs with smooth efficiency in parallel with the flow. What drives the disks is a peculiar adhesion that exists between the surface of a body and any moving fluid. This adhesion, is, in Tesla's words, caused by the shock of the fluid against the asperities of the solid substance (simple resistance) and from internal forces opposing molecular separation (a sticking phenomenon).

The propellant enters the intake and is directed through a nozzle onto the disks at their perimeter. It travels over the spinning disks in a spiral fashion, exiting at the disks' central openings and is exhausted from the casing. Tesla notes in his patent that, in an engine driven by a fluid, changes in the velocity and direction of movement of the fluid should be as gradual as possible. This, he observes, is not the case, though, in existing engines where sudden changes, shocks, and vibrations are unavoidable. The use of pistons, paddles, vanes and blades, notes Tesla, necessarily introduces numerous defects and limitations and adds to the complication, cost of production, and maintenance of the machines.

We who are stuck with the piston engine know this all too well. The Tesla turbine is vibration-free because the propelling fluid moves in natural paths or stream lines of least resistance, free from constraint and disturbance. Conducting the propellant through the intake valve on the other side easily reverses the turbine.

Internal combustion

A hollow casting is bolted to the top of the turbine for the internal combustion mode. A glow plug or spark plug screws into the top of this chamber. Sticking out of the sides are the intake valves. Interesting thing about these valves, there are no moving parts. They work on a fluidic principle. The Tesla turbines' only moving part is its rotor. Imagine, a powerful internal combustion engine with only one moving part. (2 of 28)2004/11/22 09:47:22 AM

the lost inventions of Nikola Tesla

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The fluidic valve, which Tesla calls a valvular conduit, allows easy flow in one direction but in the other the flow gets hung up in dead-end chambers (buckets) where it gets spun around 360 degrees, thus forming eddies, or countercurrents that stop the flow as surely as if a mechanical valve were moved into the shut position. The spinning rotor creates plenty of suction to pull fuel and air into the combustion chamber. Tesla notes that after a short lapse of time the chamber becomes heated to such a degree that the ignition device may be shut off without disturbing the established regime. In other words; it diesels. The disk-turbine motor principle in reverse becomes a very efficient pump. (Tesla's nx XM a r\r* a a a <->\

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Fluid drive

The disk turbine principle is employed in the speedometer, which presents the problem of having to turn the rotary motion of a vehicles wheels to angular motion in order to push a spring-loaded indicator needle over a short arc. Tesla's solution: the speedometer cable connects to a disk which spins in interface with a second disk, imparting spin to the fluid in between and, hence, to the second disk which moves the needle. Interface two disks of different sizes in a fluid medium and any desired ratio between speeds of rotation may be obtained by proper selection of the diameters of the disks, observes Tesla in his patent, thus anticipating in 1911 the fluid-drive automatic transmission.

Tesla First worked on his turbine early in his career, believing it would be a good prime mover for his alternating-current dynamos, far superior to the reciprocal steam engines that were the workhorses of that era. But he did not get down to perfecting and patenting it until after the collapse of his global broadcasting scheme (1909). By this time the internal-combustion piston engine was firmly rooted in Western power mechanics. Tesla referred to organized opposition to his attempts to introduce the superior engine, and so have others who have made the attempt since. But Tesla still saw a glorious future for his turbine. To his friend, Yale engineering professor Charles Scott, Tesla predicted, "My turbine will scrap all the heat engines in the world." Replied Scott, "That would make quite a pile of scrap."

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