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Nikola Tesla’s Turbine Secrets - Global Open Source Project

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  • My understanding of why Nikola Tesla was so keen to build these turbines for automobiles is because he knew when they ran out of gas they would keep on running. Especially as in the valvular conduit patent both the fuel inlet and the air inlet had valvular conduits.

    If you've ever studied the British patents you would understand that Tesla is constantly trying to ensure that anyone copying the patents would have success in building a "self-acting machine".

    by Nikola Tesla

    Motor World, September 18,1911

    So Confident, He Offers to Build Them for Motor Cars
    Considers New Power His Greatest Invention.

    Gas turbines of practical and efficient construction, light, flexible and in every way suitable for automobile propulsion, are not a dream of the future only but a probability of only a very few years hence. At least such is the conviction of Dr. Nikola Tesla, whose newly developed method of fluid propulsion, as he calls it, and which was illustrated and described in last week's Motor World, is attracting so much attention in scientific circles. Dr. Tesla himself considers it the greatest of all his inventions. By his own statement the scientist already has built, run and carefully tested internal combustion engines operating on the new turbine principle and so confident is he of the thorough practicability of the idea that on Friday of last week he informed a Motor World man that he would even be willing today to sign a contract to build and install turbines for automobiles. He readily admits, however, that he would like to have more time, considerable more time probably, in which to develop a method of combustion entirely suited to the turbine.

    Automobile motors, as a matter of fact, play a distinct part in the inventor's plans for the future. So do airship motors, pumps of various sorts, steam engines in every conceivable size, shape and capacity, and apparatus of other and varied uses. If in steam engines and pumps wonderful results already have been obtained, it is his expectation later to accomplish equally wonderful results with internal combustion engines.

    Bearing in mind that a 110 horsepower steam engine already has been built so diminutive that its rotor or active part would drop into an ordinary water bucket, it would seem that the part of the program which might be supposed to concern the automobile industry would be well worth investigating. It was the tempting prospect of a pocket-size motor, therefore, which led a representative of the Motor World to seek the famous scientist in his offices high up in the Metropolitan Tower in New York.

    Contrary to popular impression, not all great and famous men are inaccessible, and Tesla proved not only thoroughly approachable but extremely ready to discuss the new turbine principle in many of its bearings. His easy predictions of the future developments of the system and his confident bearing when he declared it to be the greatest of his accomplishments, might have been merely the vaporings of an over enthusiastic inventor; but the broad bearing of the man, his record and the depth of perception revealed in some of his conclusions would have laid at rest such doubts. The new principle unquestionably is a great contribution to science and engineering, great in its simplicity and breadth of application. Just when its fullest realization will be given to the markets of the world is another question; one that Tesla himself cannot answer, though he explained that he is "under great pressure from all sides" to complete the development of certain kinds of apparatus, steam engines and pumps having received a great deal of attention up to the present, and that he expects to have some of them ready for production "before very long."

    Tall, erect, almost angular, with the broad brow of the philosopher and the sharply chiseled features of the habitual student, Dr. Tesla bears few of the earmarks of the. traditional genius. He wears his iron-gray hair a little low in the back, to be sure, but not for an inventor, and when he walks there is just a bare suggestion of histrionic attainments utterly at variance with the hurried preoccupation of the conventional type of man whose brains are stored in the archives of the Patent Office.

    "We understand that you are doing remarkable things with steam, but how far has your confidence been extended to the gas turbine?" the scientist was asked.

    He laughed.

    "Why, I am working with them all the time," he answered.

    "You mean to say that you already have built and operated internal combustion turbines employing your principle of fluid propulsion?"

    "Yes. But I am not satisfied—not yet. You see there are many things to be considered. The turbine, that is one thing; it is complete in itself and there is no question of its applicability .But when you come to the combustion of the gas you have a new difficulty. I am not satisfied with the present methods of gasification. I have tried one of my turbines discharging the gas into a chamber and then spraying water into it. You see in that way you get an intermittent flow through the nozzle, but you also have better thermal action because you get your adiabatic expansion, [meaning that in which theoretically there is no loss of heat]. And then, I have tried with gasoline using a constant jet, in which you get less efficient thermal action but better action for the turbine. But I am not yet satisfied. I think that some day we shall get better processes of combustion that will enable me to work more advantage with my turbine.

    "You see, that is one great trouble," continued Dr. Tesla. "The human mind thinks but to complicate. As soon as one problem is solved, that solution introduces new complications, other problems that perhaps did not exist before. That was one of my great troubles when I was younger, I invented many things that were very fine, but always I was getting into complications. I have had to work very hard to overcome that. But here you see what I have done. Do you see how very simple it is? You take, for instance, the ordinary turbine, a bucket turbine. Here you have around the outside of the wheel a row of little jets, and within, on the periphery of a wheel, a row of buckets—many of them and very small, even on a large wheel. But don't you see that in that entire wheel you have only a narrow strip, a ring perhaps three or four inches wide, that is really useful—that is really active?

    "In my invention practically the whole surface is active. In the bucket turbine the action does not even extend all the way around; you must have a series of jets. But in my turbine you have the gas traveling all the way around in free spirals—always seeking the path of least resistance—and expending its full energy."

    Here he laid aside the pencil with which he had been illustrating the point, and reverted to the beginning of what he evidently considers his "big idea."

    "I have been working at this a long time. Many years ago I invented a pump for pumping mercury .Just a plain disk, like this, and it would work very well. ' All right,' I said, 'that is friction.' But one day I thought it out, and I thought, 'No, that is not friction, it is something else. The particles are not always sliding by the disk, but some of them at least are carried along with it. Therefore it cannot be friction. It must be adhesion. ' And that, you see, was the real beginning.

    "For if you can imagine a wheel rotating in a medium, whether the fluid is receiving or imparting energy, and moving at nearly the same velocity as the fluid, then you have a minimum of friction, you get little or no 'slip.' Then you are getting something very different from friction; you are making use of adhesion alone. It's all so simple, so very simple.

    "This is the greatest of my inventions," Tesla went on with great enthusiasm. "Now take my 'rotating field'—do you know my rotating field—are you familiar at all with electricity? There are millions invested in it already. Well, that is a very useful thing, but the field is limited to dynamos and motors. But here you have a new power for pumps, steam engines, gasoline motors, for automobiles, for airships, for many other uses, and all so simple."

    "But is it really true that you have produced 110 horsepower from a wheel only 9 3/4 inches in diameter and two inches wide, as has been reported?" asked the interviewer incredulously.

    "Oh, yes!" was the reply. "And more. We could get more power. We had 125 pounds steam pressure and no vacuum. We ran it that way for hours."

    "Was it sustained power?"

    "Yes, sustained power. And we could only use part of the drop in pressure; we would have twisted off the shaft, it was so light, if we had been able to use all the energy of the steam. I had to put in a smaller nozzle on that account."

    "And they are very light, these steam engines?"

    "I can build a steam engine that will develop one horsepower for every one tenth of a pound of weight," was the instant and amazing response. "I am now building a double turbine, one with two wheels which must revolve in opposite directions. It is for a special purpose, and I cannot talk much about that, but each wheel develops 200 horsepower, that is 400 horsepower, and it weighs 88 pounds."

    A no less amazing claim made at another time was that the steam turbine could be made to return in power at the shaft no less than 97 percent of the energy of the steam. There seems to be no limit to what the inventor thinks the new system will accomplish, though, of course, a waiting world may be pardoned for withholding a full verdict of confidence until it has had opportunity to witness some of the promised marvels.

    As far as demonstration of the basic principle is concerned, however, the success of the idea is unquestionable. A small pump, originally put together for purposes of exhibition before a body of scientists, to whom Dr. Tesla first disclosed his invention, was operated for the benefit of the Motor World man; the inventor himself obligingly switching on and off the current from the little electric motor which drove it, and operating the valve by means of which the discharge could be regulated to increase the flow and decrease the pressure, or vice versa.

    The rotor, mounted in a casing of volute form hardly more than six inches in diameter, contained five disks of three inches diameter. From a small tank, which was part of the model, water was drawn into the casing and forced through a pipe with a lift of 18 inches or so to a long strainer in a horizontal pipe, whence, after passing a baffle plate, to break up the flow and prevent splashing, it fell back into the tank over a miniature weir in a beautiful clear sheet. The hand of a pressure gauge indicated four pounds when the valve was closed, but fell to a little under two pounds when the full discharge was permitted.

    With the valve closed, the action of the disks was shown to good advantage. Rapidly snapping on and off the switch, the inventor gleefully pointed out how the hand of the gauge jumped up and fell back again so closely in response to the speed of the motor, as judged by the hum of its commutator, that eye and ear failed to detect the difference. "And so you really believe that a practical form of gas turbine can be developed on this principle and in such shape that it could be profitably adapted to automobile use?" asked the Motor World man.

    "I am so sure that I would make a contract today to build gas turbines and equip automobiles with them."


    • Full Tesla Turbine Mk2 Disclosure

      Hi everyone!

      I am open sourcing all CAD files, drawings and STL files for my Tesla Turbine Mk2.

      The design alone has personally cost me £3120, so if my prototype proves useful please share it far and wide!

      I aim to produce a video of the prototype this month.

      Tonight I have completed the design with my CAD man.

      This took 26 hours @ £100ph+VAT sitting at a Solidworks 2018 workstation in Plymouth University, England.

      I hope you enjoy our combination of US Patent 1,061,206, British Patents 186,082 and 179,043

      The files contain a version with the axle sticking out of the casing and also a version with the axle sealed inside the casing.

      The turbine is a unique machine that condenses air and turns ambient heat energy into kinetic energy.

      To unlock further secrets of the turbine add a stage 2 machine.

      Take your pick:

      a) A pump (3 tear shaped holes) from the US Patent 1,061,142.
      b) A compressor (no holes) from the US Patent 1,061,142.
      c) A vacuum (8 holes) from British Patent 179,043
      d) A fountain (3 tear shaped holes) from US Patent 1,113,716

      As a bonus I've included the CAD files for the Tesla Valvular Conduit from patent 1,329,559.

      It might appear a little large but we scaled the original drawing straight from Tesla's patent to have 1/2" BSPP thread.

      As an extra bonus, the casing has been designed to allow a port and a diverging nozzle so you can compare running it as a turbine, to running it as a motor.

      The port also allows a vacuum/pressure gauge to be connected whilst running with a diverging nozzle as a turbine. The pressure/vacuum inside the turbine casing can be monitored.

      The inner casing has a diameter of 127mm, 5". The end plates of the rotor are to be cut at 127mm and then literally take the smallest amount off the diameter, as long as there is no collision between casing and end plates.

      You will then almost have a perfect seal between the casing of the rotor ensuring only a tiny bit of air is allowed to escape without turning the rotor.

      This will ensure you have an excellent mechanical condenser.

      Any questions about any of the files, manufacturing methods or materials I am happy to answer.

      Last edited by soundiceuk; 02-17-2019, 09:04 AM.


      • Wow! Awesome work. I hope you and the world will see the benefits and betterment from all your hard work.
        There is no important work, there are only a series of moments to demonstrate your mastery and impeccability. Quote from Almine


        • I second Ewizard

          I am not skilled in the art of building machines but I like investigations and I appreciate the engineering of others.
          This is a wonderful story and sounds like it could be the thing that propels us all bravely into a cleaner future.


          • Originally posted by Aaron View Post
            Hi Paul,

            This guy's comments in YouTube seem to make sense on the surface.


            "I know the answer: This turbine uses the boundary layer effect. That is like friction that the air has with the surfaces inside- you know that part already. This type of friction has two modes: static and kinetic. Just as with a brick sliding on the floor, the coefficient of friction is much higher from stationary than when the brick is already moving. Hence, once the turbine gets to a high enough speed, the coefficient of friction increases and the motor becomes nearly 100% efficient. This is an over celebrated effect though, because the motor cannot be in this efficient zone if it is actually doing something useful. That's why bladed turbines are used in real world situations."

            +Reginald Ford Hi, can you detail your point "This is an over celebrated effect though, because the motor cannot be in this efficient zone if it is actually doing something useful." ?

            "Yes, Pedro, I'd love to go into detail. When the blades are going close (enough) to the speed of the incoming air, the RELATIVE speed of the air and the blades is low, hence, the STATIC coefficient of friction starts to take hold. This causes the blades to start going exactly the same speed as the incoming air, which is a rare 100% efficiency. If a load is on the turbine, this will not happen. So people are always running these Tesla turbines with no load, where they excel well: going fast and doing nothing useful. Loaded, though, they might not even turn at all! Hence, as I said, bladed turbines are the real world use. IF you get the tesla turbine to that 100% efficient zone, you may be able to connect a load WHILE it's spinning and gain a useful advantage, but if the load is too much, the kinetic coefficient of air friction comes in , and the turbine will become nearly useless again."


            I don't know if it is just increasing efficiency or if the turbine is causing a suction that exceeds the pressure of the incoming air. If so, maybe in can feed itself at a high enough speed.

            That guy posting that comment doesn't think it will happen under load. I don't know.

            Maybe gear up a motor to spin the shaft of one at high speed while pumping water and see it at a certain speed the motor becomes unloaded. That might be a first basic test. Maybe some others with experience with Tesla Turbines can comment??
            What these guys didn't understand is the three spoke washer on US Patent 1,061,206 TURBINE or 8 spoke star washer British Patent 186,082 Mk2 Rotor are the blades of the turbine.

            The are cleverly situated on the fluid path to the exhaust ports.

            The pump has round washers as does the compressor US Patent 1,061,142

            The turbine has spoked washers to take full advantage of the fluid moving centripetally from the outside to the centre taking the kinetic energy from heat.

            The pump / compressor has round washer so it can take full advantage of the fluid moving from the centre to the perimeter adding centrifugal force to the fluids kinetic energy.

            The turbine/motor is an implosion machine and the pump/compressor is the opposite machine.

            Harnessing heat centripetally and centrifugally.

            Nikola Tesla


            • I found this picture online. I'm not sure I agree with all of it but it is interesting.

              It was called CERN.jpg

              So after Nikola Tesla had patented the Turbine/Motor, Pump/Compressor in 21 different countries, 8 of which is his only patent, Japan, Australia and India being 3 of them.

              What did he do next? His Fountain!

              Moving onto possible Stage 2 machines:

              Fig 1 & 2 appear to be a fountain. However, Fig 3 & 4 appear to be a rocket exhaust in disguise!

              Number 9 is to be replaced with a pump rotor with tear shaped holes.

              The motor at the top isn't needed as the fluid leaving the turbine propels number 9.

              This then amplifies what the turbine is capable of as the casing gets cleared at a faster rate.

              If you want to build an air ship don't forget to build Tesla's vacuum British Patent 179,043 and then add the Fountain as stage 3


              • Here is a bit more theory for the boundary layer and also how powerful an implosion can be. I love this video!

                Last edited by soundiceuk; 01-27-2020, 11:43 AM.


                • Here are my parts coming together for the build of the Tesla Turbine Mk2

                  Bearings rated at 156,000rpm - 22mm OD, 8mm ID, 7mm wide (Skateboard size)

                  Air Tap & Male to Male 1/2" BSPP Fittings

                  Casing Nuts & Bolts M10 x 150mm Stainless Steel A2 + Nyloc Nuts & Washers:

                  Mityvac Vacuum / Pressure Gauge - Choice of 2

                  Fitting for Gauge - Wade Hex 123 (Needs Machining a little)

                  Rotor (Not complete yet)

                  The casing will have to be tapped with a 1/2" BSPP for the air tap and 1/4" BSPP for the gauge fitting after it is either CNC machined, 3D printed, inject moulded or die cast.

                  The port can be used to start the turbine and then replaced with a gauge once operational.

                  I've got the casing in production being 3D printed in transparent acrylic. This is for educational purposes only.

                  A commercial version would be better suited to die casting.

                  I guess the best Tesla had in his day was casting from iron or possibly an alloy.

                  The rotor is at the machine shop where I am getting the shaft, washers and end plates manufactured.

                  They are going to bore the centres of the discs, washers and end plates. Then true the discs and end plates to their final diameter.

                  The final step before I put the whole rotor assembly into the casing to do a test run will be balancing.

                  I've found a company to do this. Their machines can balance down to 0.001g

                  I'm looking forward to the test run using compressed air to start the turbine.

                  I want to see all the strange behaviour my research partner in Idaho has witnessed. Pops, vapour clouds, cold air coming out, water coming out, strange water droplet patterns inside the casing and ozone production with a flame.

                  Also Tesla's "Self-acting machine" is the holy grail!

                  Apparently he saw that too! I saw videos, but nothing with my own eyes in front of my face. It was enough to make me sell the farm though haha! The Tesla Turbo died very shortly after new year. The rotor was super glued to the shaft. The rotor made contact with the casing and there was lots of polycarbonate that melted.

                  My version should be bullet proof!

                  I'm currently working on a blueprinted rotor that features 420 stainless (spring steel) sharpened discs that are lapped and weigh the same. The star washers will also be lapped and weigh the same too.

                  I should have my new permanent magnetic bearing prototype finished soon too. This will allow completely frictionless rotation.

                  If the vacuum machine from British Patent 179,043 is added. The rotor will be in a complete vacuum so no friction whatsoever.

                  That will be interesting!

                  I hope that someone else can carry the torch if I get stopped in my tracks!

                  My research partner in Idaho is currently rebuilding the Tesla Turbo Mk2. That will be interesting too!
                  Last edited by soundiceuk; 02-14-2019, 07:33 PM.


                  • "In an explosion, matter and energy fly outward, but in an implosion, matter and energy collapse inward. ... So in short, implosions are caused by having a greater pressure on the outside of an object than on the inside."


                    • Originally posted by soundiceuk View Post

                      What did he do next? His Fountain!

                      Number 9 is to be replaced with a pump rotor with tear shaped holes.

                      The motor at the top isn't needed as the fluid leaving the turbine propels number 9.

                      This then amplifies what the turbine is capable of as the casing gets cleared at a faster rate.
                      Just trying to catch up here after being away:

                      I've been studying this for a little while and I believe that the reason he didn't use his pump version for #9 is that he is looking for lift as opposed to lateral force as I believe he mentions in the patent.

                      If he is accurate with his amounts of flow, 100 gallons (834 lbs.)/minute is capable of doing considerable work properly configured.

                      Paul is right that as the the flow cycles, the impeller shown will need less and less driving force and he was probably aiming for something that would self-run.


                      • Hi Charlie,

                        The fountain patent mentions pump.

                        Now we already know Tesla's best fluid pump with a volute is featured in his two stage machine.

                        So the turbine is used as the propeller and the pump used as an amplifier.

                        This is a device that features some specific magic. I think we'll all be shocked when we see the results!

                        This is the stage 2 I'd like to build most. I used to fly in my dreams when I was younger but it was hardly ever like superman. It wasn't always very smooth hahaha!

                        Looks like I've stumbled onto a better dream!
                        Last edited by soundiceuk; 01-27-2020, 11:45 AM.


                        • "But in all such cases independent pumps of small volumetric capacity were used to raise the water to an appreciable height which involved the expenditure of considerable energy, while the spectacle offered to the eye was uninteresting. In no instance, to my knowledge, has a great mass of fluid been propelled by the use of only such power as is required to LIFT it from its normal level through a relatively short space to that from which it overflows and descends as a cascade, nor have devices especially adapted for the purpose been employed."

                          There are a number of alternate designs that appear to use the discs but have no holes. There was another that appeared to draw water through a fluted turbine which in turn turned a generator to produce power.

                          Edit: There does appear to be some variants that do employ the use of his pump design but are quite different from the ones shown above and there is no volute.
                          Last edited by purelyprimitives; 02-17-2019, 05:08 AM.


                          • I think there are many designs of rotor that will work.

                            The tear shaped rotor is a definite. Tesla Mk2 rotor is another candidate.

                            Not only will is pump the fluid, it will also increase the power of the vacuum. Now looking at the YouTube video of the collapsing railway tanker we all know that inches of mercury count.

                            The larger the pressure difference between atmospheric the more economic the machine.

                            If 1/25 horsepower does that many gallons per minute. Imagine the lift the design I present will have when it can store over 500hp worth of inertia.

                            Drawing a few horsepower should be like a fly trying to stop a train!!


                            • Hi folks! I'm going to write a bit about the British Patent 179,043.

                              Until I understood the fountain patent it was my favourite Tesla patent.

                              It is responsible for opening up my eyes to the possibilities of what the Tesla turbine can do when built correctly with a tight fitting rotor and bearings that are capable of ultra high speeds over 100,000rpm.

                              Tesla must have understood that repetition is key to teaching because he repeats himself a lot in the turbine and related patents. On some subjects more than three times per patent.

                              I've highlighted the parts that I think are most important in this patent.

                              Here is the cleaned up version of the British Patent 179,043 "Improved Process of and Apparatus for Production of High Vacua"


                              There are some important things I've noticed within this patent.

                              1. Tesla states adding a vacuum to a turbine will increase efficiency from 50% to 100%.

                              2. He claims this is the evolution of his pump from previous British Patent 24,001. This is the same patent as US Patents 1,061,142 & 1,061,206

                              3. Tesla claims that by having this vacuum pump fitted, a hole of considerable size can be drilled in the condenser.

                              THE TURBINE IS THE CONDENSER!!!

                              4. Tesla claims that having a low back pressure is essential to high economy.

                              5. Tesla claims the vacuum pump works best inserted between the turbine and other pump. I believe he is referring to the 1,061,142 patent or fountain patent.
                              Last edited by soundiceuk; 02-17-2019, 08:47 PM.


                              • "This is the greatest of my inventions," Tesla went on with great enthusiasm. "Now take my 'rotating field', do you know my rotating field, are you familiar at all with electricity? There are millions invested in it already. Well, that is a very useful thing, but the field is limited to dynamos and motors. But here you have a new power for pumps, steam engines, gasoline motors, for automobiles, for airships, for many other uses, and all so simple."

                                "But is it really true that you have produced 110 horsepower from a wheel only 9 3/4 inches in diameter and two inches wide, as has been reported?" asked the interviewer incredulously.

                                "Oh, yes!" was the reply. "And more. We could get more power. We had 125 pounds steam pressure and no vacuum. We ran it that way for hours."

                                "Was it sustained power?"

                                "Yes, sustained power. And we could only use part of the drop in pressure; we would have twisted off the shaft, it was so light, if we had been able to use all the energy of the steam. I had to put in a smaller nozzle on that account."

                                I'm in the same boat with my turbine design. I've calculated that a rotor weighing 1500 grams with a 127mm diameter, spinning at 156,000rpm will have more than 500 horsepower stored in inertia.

                                The axle I'm having manufactured starts off life as a 20mm grade 5 titanium bar.

                                The axle parts that stick out of the bearings are only 8mm.

                                I've no idea how much load this can take.

                                I'm not really looking to run loads off the shaft long term.

                                It would be interesting trying to build the dynamo Tesla describes on page 1 of this thread.

                                I'm all ears for ideas on that, especially as my speciality is more mechanical than electrical.
                                Last edited by soundiceuk; 01-27-2020, 11:47 AM.