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Author Topic: Is the Tesla turbine "better"?  (Read 17920 times)

Offline Karsten

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« on: 30/05/2009 18:35:43 »
The Tesla turbine seems simple. It is reversible and can be used to pump. It works for air or water. All I like, but how efficient is it in comparison to other turbines/pumps? Flat disks seem to be less efficient to be moved by/move air or water.

What do you think? What is the great benefit if there is one?


 

Offline erickejah

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #1 on: 31/05/2009 22:01:21 »
I don not think that it works as good. The main reason is because there is less surface for energy transfer.
 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #2 on: 01/06/2009 16:21:51 »
Tesla must have had a fantastic publicist. His name continues to come up in lots of examples and the  myth of the superiority of his ground shattering inventions lives on. He did some good stuff, no doubt, but his name seems to be revered out of all proportion. I wonder why. Even David Bowie played him in the Prestige (a brill film, btw).
 

Offline Bored chemist

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #3 on: 01/06/2009 19:18:56 »
According to this
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tesla_turbine
It's not brilliant.
"The turbine efficiency of the gas Tesla turbine is estimated to be above 60, reaching a maximum of 95 percent. Keep in mind that turbine efficiency is different from the cycle efficiency of the engine using the turbine. Axial turbines which operate today in steam plants or jet engines have efficiencies of about 80 - 98 %. "
 

Offline Karsten

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #4 on: 06/06/2009 14:09:29 »
I just wonder why so many people are all over it. Of course, Tesla is a name that attracts certain people, I just want to know what is the big deal and why now.
 

Offline erickejah

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #5 on: 08/06/2009 20:50:45 »
Because we are more advance in technologies now, and it may be that the discovery of new gases can develop a better turbine.
 

Offline Karsten

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #6 on: 09/06/2009 01:25:17 »
What new gases? How do they help a turbine perform better?
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #7 on: 09/06/2009 02:14:30 »
Tesla must have had a fantastic publicist. His name continues to come up in lots of examples and the  myth of the superiority of his ground shattering inventions lives on. He did some good stuff, no doubt, but his name seems to be revered out of all proportion. I wonder why.
Well, he did more or less invent electrical engineering as we know it; AC power transmission, transformers, induction motors, fluorescent bulbs, heterodyne radio receivers, to say nothing of wacky stuff like Tesla coils. There's even evidence that he knew about X-rays before anyone else (although he didn't know what it was).

Basically, if you look around you right now, all of the plugged-in and wireless stuff are largely technologies that are directly traceable to his patents.

In some cases others did improve his stuff and make it work (like the induction motor), but nevertheless he's nothing less than the greatest electrical engineer that ever lived; and that's probably not hyperbole.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2009 02:17:03 by wolfekeeper »
 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #8 on: 09/06/2009 09:41:06 »
There is more to Engineering than having bright ideas. He definitely 'got there first' with a lot of his ideas but did many of his actual designs get into long term use? In the sense that he had a lot of great ideas which were taken up and developed more successfully elsewhere, perhaps he should have been British?
 

Offline Pumblechook

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #9 on: 09/06/2009 11:42:06 »
""Well, he did more or less invent electrical engineering as we know it; AC power transmission,""

NO HE DIDN'T.   British John Hopkinson had devised 3 phase AC before Tesla had even arrived in the USA.

I find the claims that Tesla invented X Y an Z farsical like a radio controlled boat in 1896 when the components needed to do it didn't exist. 

 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #10 on: 09/06/2009 14:02:09 »
He would have been a great "ideas Man" to have in a development lab. He would have spent weeks swanning around and then he would come up with an idea which the 'workers' could have taken, refined and produced something worth having.

I just don't know where he got his fantastic reputation from. I bet if his name had been Bert Spriggs no one would have remembered him.

I believe the Russians invented most things, in any case.
 

Offline erickejah

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #11 on: 10/06/2009 01:42:06 »
What new gases? How do they help a turbine perform better?
I do not -know-, afaik our ingenuous can be use to upgrade stuff.
I would say that 99% of what you are saying is completely right, but there is still that 1% remaining.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 01:44:22 by erickejah »
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #12 on: 10/06/2009 04:18:34 »
""Well, he did more or less invent electrical engineering as we know it; AC power transmission,""

NO HE DIDN'T.   British John Hopkinson had devised 3 phase AC before Tesla had even arrived in the USA.
Well... true but Tesla invented/patented the induction motor; AC power wasn't much use without an AC motor, and that was the first practical one (well fairly practical anyway).

Quote
I find the claims that Tesla invented X Y an Z farsical like a radio controlled boat in 1896 when the components needed to do it didn't exist. 
He demoed it to *loads* of people though.

So far as I can tell it wasn't radio controlled in the sense you mean though, it was near-field induction. I think it's usually described as 'remote control'.

I mean he's got this image as some kind of mad scientist/genius that invented everything, that's not true, but the converse isn't true either, he really did invent some key technologies; and he was really strong on resonance; that's the fundamental thing that makes radio work.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 04:21:13 by wolfekeeper »
 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #13 on: 10/06/2009 09:38:40 »
The induction motor is not the only reason for using AC. It is more efficient to generate than DC and it enables the use of transformers.
 

Offline Pumblechook

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #14 on: 10/06/2009 10:28:49 »
Somebody posted some of Tesla patents and they don't make much sense.  He seemed to have very muddled and mysterious ideas which these days with our must greater knowledge we would just laugh at. 

It was claimed that the boat could steer and had proportional speed control which I find inpossible to believe in 1896.  It would have been difficult to do 10 or even 20 years later.

There seems to be very little hard evidence that Tesla did very much of any practical value.   
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 10:31:39 by Pumblechook »
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #15 on: 10/06/2009 15:51:03 »
He did do it, he demoed it at a fair, but in 1898, not 1896. Tesla had already applied for his patent on radio (using sine wave carriers) a year before. Eventually the courts would rule (after his death) that he had invented tuned radio receivers/transmitters before everyone else. So he pretty much invented the concept of radio as we know it today, except for untuned spark gap transmitters which are no longer used.

Incidentally, the patent office didn't believe a word of any of it either; but then he demoed them the boat!

http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ins/lab_remotec.html

There's a picture of the inside of his boat:

http://www.pbs.org/tesla/ins/remsubpop02.html

IMO the reason he was able to do it before everyone else was probably to do with Tesla coils- he invented them in 1891. They're tuned circuits, and if for example you set up one Tesla coil up next to another, and start it sparking the second one will start to spark, even if it's switched off, but only if it's tuned to the same frequency!!!

So he was just riffing on a theme really; resonance is the key invention in modern radio and Tesla coils, and if you've got resonance and plenty of power, and a bit of lateral thinking radio control is not that difficult.
« Last Edit: 10/06/2009 15:56:03 by wolfekeeper »
 

Offline Pumblechook

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #16 on: 10/06/2009 23:45:18 »
NO.

I can just about believe it was possible to send a start and stop signal for a boat in 1898 but proportional control of speed and steering..  NO WAY.

That would have to wait for a couple of decades at least. 

NO HARD EVIDENCE..  Just like so many things to do with Tesla. Just like with all his claims for radio..  You can see Marconi's early apparatus.  You can see the remains of his radio stations.  There is one near me.

I can't believe serious engineers and historians of science give much credance to Tesla.

Marconi holds the patent for tuning..  The famous patent 7777
« Last Edit: 11/06/2009 00:17:46 by Pumblechook »
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #17 on: 11/06/2009 00:13:01 »
Proof by (dis)belief is a well known fallacious form of reasoning.
 

Offline Pumblechook

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #18 on: 11/06/2009 00:28:54 »
Some of Tesla's claims (or those of his psuedoscientific followers) are plain stupid...like lighting up 20 lamps 10 miles away without wires, powering, not just controlling.   So you tend to think he is all froth and myth and no substance at all.  Then there are the loonies who think various authorities have destroyed his aparatus and documents..  As someone said (I think Sophie) why on Earth hasn't somebody demonstrated these things in the more that 100 years since Tesla did them??

Marconi doesn't escape criticism.  Many beleive that the 'first' Atlantic crossing by radio in 1901 didn't actually take place.  The frequency, time of day and equipment available at the time don't add up.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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« Reply #19 on: 11/06/2009 00:38:41 »
Well, the boat does seem to have happened. The patent is actually a real patent and it happened at a fair, lots of people saw it. The patent seems reasonably well written and there's been people who built reconstructions.

The wireless power thing may or may not have happened. But it is possible to do that, if you throw enough power in at the transmitter end, and you have a big transmitter.

Certainly he had a lot of wacky ideas though, he thought a lot of his waves went through the ground, when it must have been going through the air, but then again, ground planes and their interaction with radio waves were not at all well understood back then, so I'm prepared to cut him some slack on that. Still, whenever it has been rebuilt his hardware does seem to work as advertised, even if some of his theory behind it is now known to be wrong.

He also was well known to be a bit nuts, in modern terms he seems to have had pretty serious synesthesia and perhaps a touch of OCD.
« Last Edit: 11/06/2009 00:43:41 by wolfekeeper »
 

Offline Pumblechook

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« Reply #20 on: 11/06/2009 00:56:49 »
We will have to agree to disagree.

Have to remember in 1898 all they had was spark gaps and coherers.  How could you have proportional control??

Unless you or someone can explain in detail how it could be done when the components and techniques needed didn't exist I will continue to think it is all sham.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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« Reply #21 on: 11/06/2009 01:12:08 »
We will have to agree to disagree.

Have to remember in 1898 all they had was spark gaps and coherers.  How could you have proportional control??
He had more than that, because he also had tuned circuits and electric motors. He could easily use the radio signal to change the angle of a rudder for example based on how long the signal was transmitted for.

And he did seem to also have multiple channels.
Quote
Unless you or someone can explain in detail how it could be done when the components and techniques needed didn't exist I will continue to think it is all sham.
Well, he didn't necessarily need proportional control to drive a boat around, so I don't see how you can even make that leap. There's multiple documents that all seem to point to him having done a remote control boat, including the patent, which includes a circuit diagram and a description of the coherer and how it was employed and built.
 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #22 on: 11/06/2009 18:25:03 »
Is there any point in this discussion?
Tesla had a lot of good ideas and he made a start at getting some of them to work. Does that really make him as 'great' as his fans think? I don't think so. He might have better if he'd been born fifty or a hundred years later because technology would have  allowed the realisation of his designs.
He was a real person but a lot of his claimed activities were on the mythical side and shrouded by history.
 

Offline wolfekeeper

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #23 on: 11/06/2009 19:21:23 »
He's certainly not as good as some his more excessively open-minded fans think- he never built a death ray and never created a device to make the whole world oscillate and bring down tall buildings. That's almost certainly untrue.

But all the more mundane stuff, like remote controlled boats, Tesla coils, induction motors, some sorts of radio- stuff we take for granted today, these are well documented and he really did have a major hand in along with others like Edison, Marconi etc. etc.
 

lyner

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #24 on: 12/06/2009 00:02:37 »
I think the proof of the pudding is in the eating.

There just aren't many devices around which are directly traceable to Tesla without someone doing extensive re-engineering to get it working properly. His 'wireless' work was really bad-neighbourly. He would have been the only person for miles around who could operate a link of any sort. Spark transmitters have not been allowed for decades - for good reason.
 

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Is the Tesla turbine "better"?
« Reply #24 on: 12/06/2009 00:02:37 »

 

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