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Publication Title | INVESTIGATIONS OF AERODYNAMICS OF TESLA BLADELESS MICROTURBINES

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JOURNAL OF THEORETICAL AND APPLIED MECHANICS 49, 2, pp. 477-499, Warsaw 2011

INVESTIGATIONS OF AERODYNAMICS OF TESLA BLADELESS MICROTURBINES

Piotr Lampart

Łukasz Jędrzejewski

The Szewalski Institute of Fluid Flow Machinery, Polish Academy of Sciences, Gdańsk, Poland lampart@imp.gda.pl; jedrzejewski@imp.gda.pl

The paper presents an analysis of a Tesla bladeless turbine for a co- generating micro-power plant of heat capacity 20 kW, which operates in an organic Rankine cycle with a low-boiling medium. Numerical calcula- tions of the flow in several Tesla turbine models are performed for a range of design parameters. Results of the investigations exhibit interesting fe- atures in the distribution of flow parameters within the turbine interdisk space. The efficiency of the Tesla turbine depends on many parameters, including pressure, temperature and velocity conditions, rotational spe- ed of the rotor as well as on the number, diameter, distance between the disks and the state of the disk surface and, finally, on the number and arrangement of the supply nozzles. The calculated flow efficiences of the investigated Tesla turbine models show that the best obtained solutions can be competitive as compared with classical small bladed turbines.

Key words: bladeless frictin turbine, flow efficiency, CFD simulation

1. Introduction

The first bladeless turbine, also known as a friction turbine, was designed and manufactured by a Serbian engineer and inventor Nicola Tesla in 1913 (Tesla, 1913). This unusual device makes use of viscous effects which occur in the boundary layer flow. Opposite to classical bladed turbines, where viscous effects in flow are undesirable as a source of efficiency loss, these effects enable rotational movement of the rotor. The rotor consists of up to a few dozens of thin disks locked on a shaft perpendicular to its axis of revolution. In theory, the disks should be as thin as possible. The distances, or gaps, between the disks should also be very small. According to Rice (1991), the highest value of efficiency appears when they are approximately equal to the double boundary

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