Tesla Turbine Torque Modeling for Construction of a Dynamometer and Turbine

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While conventional turbines have been extensively researched and tested, Tesla and boundary layer type turbines have not. In order to construct a dynamometer, thermodynamic flow apparatus and future turbines, we modeled the Tesla turbine using theoretical calculations and preliminary experiments. Thus a series of experiments were run to determine stall torque and maximum run speed for a known pressure range. This data was then applied to modeling formulas to estimate stall torque over an extended range of variables. The data were then used to design an appropriate dynamometer and airflow experiment. The model data also served to estimate various specifications ... continued below

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Emran, Tamir Ali May 2011.

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  • Emran, Tamir Ali

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While conventional turbines have been extensively researched and tested, Tesla and boundary layer type turbines have not. In order to construct a dynamometer, thermodynamic flow apparatus and future turbines, we modeled the Tesla turbine using theoretical calculations and preliminary experiments. Thus a series of experiments were run to determine stall torque and maximum run speed for a known pressure range. This data was then applied to modeling formulas to estimate stall torque over an extended range of variables. The data were then used to design an appropriate dynamometer and airflow experiment. The model data also served to estimate various specifications and power output of the future turbine. An Obi Laser SSTG‐001 Tesla turbine was used in the experiments described. Experimental stall torque measurements were conducted in two stages. Shaft speed measurements were taken with an optical laser tachometer and Tesla turbine stall torque was measured using a spring force gauge. Two methods were chosen to model Tesla turbine stall torque: 1) flow over flat plate and 2) free vortex with a sink. A functional dynamometer and thermodynamic apparatus were constructed once the model was confirmed to be within the experimental uncertainty. Results of the experiments show that the experimental turbine at 65 PSI has a speed of approximately 27,000 RPM and a measured stall torque of 0.1279 N‐m. 65 PSI is an important data point because that data set is the cut‐off from laminar to turbulent flow. Thus at 65 PSI, a rejection of the null hypothesis for research question one with respect to the flow over flat plate method can be seen from the data, while the vortex model results in a failure to reject the null hypothesis. In conclusion, the experimental turbine was seen to have a laminar and a turbulent flow regime at different air pressures, rather than the assumed laminar flow regime. As a result of this model work, a new Tesla turbine of different dimensions was designed to adjust for flaws in the experimental turbine. The theoretical stall torque models were then applied to the new Tesla turbine design. Results of the models show that the vortex model sets the upper bound for theoretical stall torque for the new and the flat plate flow model sets the lower bound.

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UNT Theses and Dissertations

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  • May 2011

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  • Jan. 9, 2012, 9:53 p.m.

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  • Jan. 14, 2014, 2:39 p.m.

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Emran, Tamir Ali. Tesla Turbine Torque Modeling for Construction of a Dynamometer and Turbine, thesis, May 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc67979/: accessed July 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .