Biowaste Powered Turbine - Power for the rest of the world

Q: If you can't afford the fuel, how do you pump clean water for irrigation, cooking and bathing?

A: The fuel is all around you: Agricultural Biowaste - rice husks, corn and crop stalks, dried cow dung, wood chips.

This will burn and power the bladeless turbine to run pumps for water, generators for electricity, farming tools, manufacturing.

 

clean_water2.jpg

In 1998, we built a working model of Nikola Tesla's Bladeless Turbine which he patented 101 years ago.  Originally designed to run on steam, we used compressed air to see how much power we could get.  At 100 psi, we ran a 4kw AC generator which powered eight 500W halogen shop lamps. This modest pressure is relatively safe and easily generated by burning biowaste.

A future crowd funding campaign will support the building of a turbine fueled exclusively by biowaste.


How does it work?

Click to enlarge

The above diagram shows the major components of a bladeless turbine/biowaste power generation system. Ambient air is taken in by the compressor and pumped into the tube furnace where it heats, expands and is forced at increased pressure and volume into the turbine. Biowaste such as rice husks is fed by a conveyor into the combustion area of the furnace keeping the tubes hot. Exhaust gases are fed back into the combustion area for added efficiency. The common shaft powered by the turbine runs the compressor and any other outputs such as AC or DC generators, water pumps, etc.

Cutaway view of the bladeless or smooth disk turbine. Click to enlarge. 

The "smooth disk" turbine is also known as:

"Boundary layer turbine"
"Bladeless turbine"
"Tesla turbine"

Why is this low tech design so well suited for rough rural conditions? The secret is in the "sticky" boundary layer of air that adheres to the surface of the disks. When high speed laminar gas flow which is traveling parallel to the disk surface meets the static boundary layer a turbulence occurs and the gas is decelerated as it transfers its kinetic energy to the disk causing it to rotate. Any dirt or abrasive particles in the gas stream are also slowed down so they have little damaging effect on the surface of the disk by the time they make contact.

In the case of an impulse or reaction turbine, the gas flow makes high velocity impact directly at the fins lined all around the perimeter of the rotating disks. An abrasive particle will impact at high speed creating cavitation or erosion. Dirty fuel in this case could destroy this $1M turbine in a matter of hours.


Prototype Turbine

4KW generator (left) coupled to turbine

4KW generator (left) coupled to turbine

We built our own working model of the bladeless turbine to test Tesla’s claim of high efficiency. Using compressed air, our prototype turbine powered a 4KW AC generator which in turn powered eight 500W shop lamps. 

Future prototypes will test the use of agricultural biowaste materials to generate the combustion gases needed to power the turbine. 

Turbine disks visible through inlet port

Turbine disks visible through inlet port

Disk assembly removed from housing

Disk assembly removed from housing

Nozzle testing

Nozzle testing

Dynamic balancing 

Dynamic balancing