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Book Review -Tesla’s Turbine Engine Essay


Science and technology play a critical role in transforming society, particularly in the transport and communications sectors. Approximately two-hundred years ago, the rate at which changes in technology and science were experienced in the western societies was alarming because it was so intense.

The development of the wind power, the emergence of water, and animal power were some of the scientific and technological developments that shocked the humanity. The steam engine quickly supplemented and replaced wind, water and animal power, which actually redefined human history.

The invention of steam engine contributed to other developments, among them being the establishment of factories, which contributed to industrial revolution (Stockbridge, 1912). Technologies related to the rail made it easier to transport goods and services from one place to the other quickly over long distances. Later on, the invention of the telegraph and the telephone enable people to communicate over long distances, particularly across continents.

Electrical science and technologies surrounding it superseded the diffuse blaze of candles, which reinstated the application of kerosene and gaslights without human intervention. In the 20th century, there were major developments in science and technology that reshaped human relations and interactions in society. In the 21st century, science and technology are depended upon meaning that they define the success of an individual in society.

This article reviews the works of Nikola Tesla on the turbine, which were combined in a book titled Tesla’s engine: A New dimension for power. The article looks at the synopsis of the book before proceeding to offer a critical analysis.

The works of Nikola Tesla on the turbine engine redefined human history in many ways, as would be seen later in the review section. His writings influenced many scientists to come up with various forms of technologies that redefined humanity. In fact, current technologies on the turbine depend mostly on the views of Tesla.


In 1913, Nikola Tesla presented a bladeless centripetal flow, which was later patented meaning that no one could employ the technology without the consent of the inventor. Tesla’s engine is always termed bladeless because it utilizes the periphery layer upshot as compared to other turbines that make use of fluid.

The fluid is applied on the blades to propel the machine. Tesla described the Tesla turbine engine in a number of ways. One of the depictions is that the Tesla turbine device contains pieces of pliable disks, with nozzles that supply gas to the brim of the disk. Through glueyness and adhesion, the gases find their way into the disk. The gases twirl to the centre exhaust as the gas dawdles and inserts more power to the disks.

The rotor is expected to be powerful since it does not have protrusions (Hayes, 1994). In the introduction, the author observes that Tesla will always be remembered for his contributions in the fields of electricity and the radio. Again, Tesla was interested in the field of flight whereby he considered himself a man who would probably fly one day.

However, his mission could not be possible because aircraft using Tesla’s engine would be dangerous and unpredictable because the machine would not have adequate power. His major attention was on revamping the combustion engine in order to make the world a safer place for all people to live through reduction of carbon emission.

In his writing, he observed that the turbine engine that he had just discovered could be operated as a condensation fluid turbine at will, which made it efficient. He was of the view that the turbine could not be constructed further to make it move hence making it very convenient. His invention could perhaps benefit the owners of various factories because the turbine engine could not demand additional installations.

Many organizations tend to keep off from new technologies because of the additional costs associated with them. Tesla’s engine would not demand new installations meaning that factory owners would simply generate profits without necessarily incurring additional costs. Apart from offering a solution to the problem of carbon emission, the turbine would be utilized successfully to condense plants that operate with high vacuum (Hayes, 1994).

Due to the high expansion ratio, the exhaust concoction would be at comparatively low temperatures, which would be appropriate for permission to the condenser. Improved fuel has to be utilized and exceptional siphoning services offered, but the financial outcomes achieved would entirely rationalize the augmented expenditure.

Every plate and washer are fixed and are entered on a folder threaded at the ends and furnished with nuts and lapels for sketching the chunky end plates jointly. If considered necessary, the lapels may perhaps be just compelled onto it and the ends disturbed (Hayes, 1994).

This erection allows free extension and tightening of every plate separately under the shifting pressure of heat and centrifugal power and has some other rewards, which are of great realistic instant. A well-built dynamic plate quarter and subsequently more power are obtained for a given thickness, which enhances effectiveness.

Deformation is practically gotten rid of and lesser side clearances might be utilized, which results to reduced seepage and abrasion losses. The rotor is enhanced for forceful balancing. Abrasion resistance opposes worrying effects thereby guaranteeing quieter operation (Hayes, 1994). Due to this and for the reason that the discs are inflexibly fixed, it is cosseted against breakages, which might perhaps be caused by pulsation or extreme pace.

The Tesla turbine has the attribute of being a fitting usually working with a combination of steam and products of incineration in which the exhaust high temperature is utilized to offer steam, which is delivered to the turbine. It offers a control device overriding the delivery of such stated steam so that the forces and temperatures can be attuned to the most favourable working conditions (Manning, & Miller, 2002).

Tesla engine has two major properties that make it unique. One major characteristic is that it is capable of moving with vapour. Moreover, it has a disc variety modified to work with liquefied substances at high temperatures. An efficient Tesla engine requires a secure arrangement of the disks.

For instance, a steam-powered variety ought to retain 0.4 mm. The disks ought to be greatly soft to reduce surface and shave losses (Hayes, 1994). Disks should also be highly slim to stop haul and uproar at disk ends. Regrettably, stopping disks from deforming and disfiguring was the main problem in Tesla’s point in time.

It is believed that this incapability to stop the disks from deforming contributed to the industrial malfunction of the turbines for the reason that metallurgical knowledge at the time was not capable of creating disks of adequate eminence and stringency. If a comparable system of disks and covering with an in volute figure are utilized, the piece of equipment could be employed as a siphon. In this arrangement, a motor is attached to the beam.

The solution would penetrate in close proximity to the centre, because of the power of the disks, and then it would exist at the margin. The Tesla engines never utilize abrasion in the conservative nous. Specifically, it keeps away from it and utilizes adhesion (the Coandă effect) and gumminess in its place. It uses the border layer effect on the disc cutting edges (Hayes, 1994).

Soft rotor disks were initially anticipated, but these presented unfortunate preliminary torque. Tesla afterwards publicized pliable rotor disks with minuscule washers crossing the disks. He did this by establishing a sub-diameter for a remarkable enrichment in an introductory torque without necessarily upsetting the good organization of the machine (Hayes, 1994).

Review of the Book

Tesla’s exclusive rights assert that the machine was planned for the utilization of liquefied substances, as motive instrument different from the appliance of the same for the impulsion or compression of solutions (although the piece of equipment can be utilized for those reasons also).

By 2006, the Tesla turbine engine had not witnessed extensive industrial utilization since its contraption. The Tesla siphon, on the other hand, has been commercially accessible since 1982 and is employed to siphon liquefied substances that are rasping, glutinous, shear responsive, include solids, or are otherwise complicated to manage with other siphons. Tesla himself never secured a great indenture for manufacturing.

The major negative aspect in his time, as stated earlier, was the meagre information regarding equipment description and behaviours of components at far above the ground temperatures. The excellent metallurgy of the day never stopped the turbine disks from moving and deforming insufficiently during the manufacturing process.

In the modern society, numerous small-scale tests in the field have been carried out using Tesla turbines, which utilizes compacted air, steam as its energy resource (the steam being produced with temperature from petroleum incineration from a motor turbocharger or from solar emission).

From the experiments, the question of discs deformation has been moderately resolved through the utilization of new resources including carbon filaments (Miller, & Fink, 1999). Both PNGinc and global engine and Power, LLC make use of carbon thread discs in their Tesla engine plans. This proves that Tesla turbine technology is influencing society positively. Moreover, Tesla’s technology on turbine engine is effective since it can be replicated in other studies using similar methods and conditions.

An anticipated modern appliance for the piece of equipment is a waste pump, which is utilized in the industrial units and mills whereby standard vane-variety turbine siphons are characteristically jammed. Exploitation of the Tesla engine as a multiple-disk middle blood tap has resulted to assured outcome.

Biomedical manufacturing investigation on such appliances has been persistent n in the modern society. In 2010, a government grant was presented for a wind turbine based on the Tesla invention. This shows that Tesla’s technology regarding the turbine engine is appreciated in the modern society. A pump designed based on the ideas of Tesla on the turbine engine won Oil Cleanup Prize meaning that the technology is of value in the modern society since it is competing favourably (Miller, & Sidhu, 1993).

Even though Tesla’s technology has various advantages and strengths, it also has a number of drawbacks. Any technology will always have its own strengths and weaknesses. During Tesla’s time, the effectiveness of conservative turbines was stumpy since the aerodynamic hypothesis demanded an efficient innovative discovery.

This never existed at the time. Moreover, the materials available for construction were of low values meaning that they could not construct high quality blades. This placed rigorous limits on operational pace and heat. The effectiveness of a conservative turbine is linked to the pressure distinction between the ingestion and the exhaust. To realize a superior pressure distinction, an extremely sizzling liquefied substance such as superheated vapour is utilized.

In this regard, it is eminent that the accessibility of superior temperature equipment permits advanced efficiencies. If the turbine utilizes a gas that is in solution form at room temperature, a condenser could be utilized after the combustion to augment the pressure distinction. Tesla’s invention failed to deal with the key problems of the bladed turbine. It faces other drawbacks including shear losses and stream limits.

A number of Tesla turbine’s strengths lie in comparatively stumpy stream rate appliances. The disks ought to be as slim as possible at the ends so as not to initiate instability, as the solution exist the disks. This results calls for the augmentation of the number of disks as the stream speed augments.

The greatest competence is achieved in this structure when the inter-disk spacing estimates the width of the periphery coating. Because the borderline coating width is reliant on thickness and external force, the assertion that a distinct invention could be utilized resourcefully for a multiplicity of petroleum products and liquefied substances is erroneous.


Hayes, J. A. (1994). Tesla’s engine: A new dimension for power. Milwaukee, Wis: Tesla Engine Builders Association.

Manning, K., & Miller, G. (2002). “Flow through an outlet cannula of a rotary ventricular assist device”. Artificial Organs, 26(8): 714–723.

Miller, G., & Fink, R. (1999). Analysis of optimal design configurations for a multiple disk centrifugal blood pump. Artificial Organs, 23(6), 559–565.

Miller, G., & Sidhu, A. (1993). Evaluation of a multiple disk centrifugal pump as an artificial ventricle. Artificial Organs, 17(7), 590–592.

Stockbridge, F. (1912). The Tesla Turbine: A Machine As Big As a Derby Hat That Generates 110 Horsepower. The World’s Work: A History of Our Time, 16(1), 543–548

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"Book Review -Tesla's Turbine Engine." IvyPanda, 11 Dec. 2019, ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-teslas-turbine-engine/.

1. IvyPanda. "Book Review -Tesla's Turbine Engine." December 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-teslas-turbine-engine/.


IvyPanda. "Book Review -Tesla's Turbine Engine." December 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-teslas-turbine-engine/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Book Review -Tesla's Turbine Engine." December 11, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/book-review-teslas-turbine-engine/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Book Review -Tesla's Turbine Engine'. 11 December.

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