Advantages and Disadvantages of Tesla Turbine

Advantages of Tesla Turbine

There are numerous technological and operational advantages of the Tesla turbine. Some of them are listed below. 

Extreme simplicity, reliability and dependability 

Better stability owing to the uniform distribution of the mass of the rotor on the rotation axis

Owing to its compact scale and low periphery speeds, small mechanical stress are produced in the turbine.

Only radial and tangential fluid forces act on the rotating portion of the turbine, and it faces no axial load.

Within the housing the internal static pressure is very little, so heavy cast housing is not needed to ensure the structural rigidity(AndrĂ©s, 2004) 

As flow does not impinge directly on the surface of disk and there is a marginal static pressure differential inside the disk-casing assembly among the disks sides, the rotors are not much vulnerable to undergo cavitation (disks).

Exotic fluid handling ability, e.g., high viscosity fluids, mixtures of gas and liquid, suspensions and commercial slurries with high concentration, non-Newtonian fluids and by-products of combustion. 

Medium transfers fluently along the turbine with no slacking (Petrbloudicek 2007) 

Higher theoretical turbine efficiency.

Longer lifespans 

The rotor is best suited for complex balance and avoids distracting forces by rubbing friction to ensure quieter running

Tesla equipment does not have inherent valve faults typical to traditional turbo machinery. 

Due to high acceleration of fluid, fluid separation doesn’t occur between the co-rotating disks. Due to this reason unstable flow and resulting unwanted vibrations are not present (Andres, 2004).

By mounting separate nozzle systems on opposite casing sides, the operation in counterclockwise and clockwise directions can be accomplished.

Components of Tesla Turbine tends to implode inside the assembly casing and blast out of the central exhaust recess, contrary to the explosion mode of failure that threatens human and machinery reliability during over speeding of equipment in traditional turbo machines. This makes it possible to run Tesla turbines in serious scenarios. 

Good capacity for load switching of Tesla Turbine

This turbine may also be applied successfully to high vacuum condensing plants. In this case, the exhaust mixture would be at a very low temperature which is ideal to enter a condenser because of the very high expansion ratio.

Disadvantages of Tesla Turbine

Prof. Rice concluded in his review paper of 2003, that the turbine would be better suitable for applications that demands high angular velocity, low mass flow rate and low torque. The disks of rotor should be expanded to satisfy the additional operating fluid movement if the need for higher power occurs. In essence, this will lead to larger tangential inlet velocities due to discs being radially increased. Therefore, dissipation of energy on the profile faces and outer edge of the rotor takes place. The combined effects of this will be the slowdown of the operation due to velocity producing moment of momentum. 

The optimal configuration and turbine’s operating point relies heavily on the motive fluid's inlet viscosity and pressure. In comparison, with the traditional bladed turbines, there is no unitary system of design that would be able to control the process of sizing. Using intuition and basic formulas or scientific knowledge and thumb laws, most Tesla model turbines and pumps have been developed. Turbulent flow in the disk spacing has led to use larger disk spacing (Warren Rice, 1991). The established design methodologies provided in numerous book, patents and articles are often contradictory (Jedrzejewski, 2011), thus generating a decreased understanding and interest in the friction turbine.


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