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UNITED STATES PATENT OFFICE.

NIltOLA ~LA, OJ' NEW yo:ax, N. Y. 'I'tTRBDlE.

1 061 206 SpecUicaUon of Lettet. Patent. Patented llay 6,1913.

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Original appUcation IDed Ootobe~ ~1, 1909, Serial lio. 628,832. Divided and this application IDed lanuary "17,1911. Serillllio.603,049,

Tv all '10 hom it may concern:

Be it known that I, NrnoLA TEsI,,\, 11 citizen of the United States, residing nt New York, in thecountv and State of New York, huvejnvented certnirrnew and useful Improvements in Rotary Engines and Turbines, of which the following is afull, c~enr, and exact description ..

In the practical application of mechanical power. based on the use of fluid as the vehicle of energy, it has been demonstrated that, in order to attain the highest economy, the changes in the velocity and direction of movement of the fluid should be as g-radual as possible. In the forms of apparatus heretofore devised or proposed, more or less sudden changes, shocks and vibrations are unavoidable. Besides, the employment of the usual devices for imparting to, or deriving energy from a fluid, such as pistons, paddles, vanes nnd blades, necessarily introduces numerous defects and limitations and ndds to the complication, cost of production and maintenance of the machines.

The object of my invention is to overcome these deficiencies and to effect the transmission and transformation of mechanical energy through the agency of fluids in a more perfect manner. and by means simpler and more economical than these heretofore employed. I accomplish this by causing the propelling fluid to move in natural paths or stream lines of least resistance, free from constraint and disturbance such as occasioned by vanes or kindred devices, and to change its velocity and di-

. rection of movement by imperceptible degrees, thus avoiding the losses due to sudden variations while the fluid is imparting energy.

It is well known that II fluid possesses, among others, two salient properties,' ad" hesion and viscositv. Owing to these a solid body propelled 'through such a medium encounters a peculiar impediment known as "lateral" or" skin resistance," , .. hich is twofold, one arising from the shock of the fluid against the asperities of the solid substance, the other from internal forces opposing molecular separation. As an inevitable consequence a certain amount of the fluid is dragged along by the moving body. Conversely, if the body be placed in a fluid in motion, for the same reasons, it is im-

pelled in the direction of movement. These effects. in themselves, are of daily observation, but I believe that I am the first to apply them in a practical and economical manner in the propulsion of fluids or in. their use as motive agents ..

In .nn application fi1ed by me October 21st, 1909, Serial Number 523,832 of which this case is n division, I have illustrated the principles underlying my discovery as embodied in apparatus designed for the propulsion of fluids, The same principles, however, are capable of embodiment also in that field of mechanical engineering which is concerned in the use of fluids as motive agents, for while in certain respects the operations in the latter case are directly opposite to those met with in the propulsion of fluids, and the means employed may differ in some features. the 'fundamentalIaws applicable in the two. cases are the same. In other words, the operation' is reversible, for if water or air under pressure be admitted to the opening constituting the outlet or a pump or blower as described, the runner is set in rotation' by reason of the peculiar properties of the fluid which, in its movement through the device, imparts Its energy thereto.

The present application, which is a division of that referred to, is specially intended to describe and claim my discovery above set forth, so far as it heirs on the use of fluids ns motive agents. as distinguished from the applications of' the same to the propulsion or compression of fluids .

In the drawings, therefore, I have illustrated only the form of apparatus designed for the thermo-dvnarnic conversion of ener1!Y, a field in which the applications of the principle have the greatest practical

value. .

Figure 1 is n partial end view, and Fig. 2 a vertical cross-section 'of a rotary engine or turbine, constructed and adapted to. be operated in accordance with the principles

of mv invention. .

Tlie apparatus comprises a runner composed or a plurality of flat rigid disks 13 of suitable diameter, keyed to a shaft lG. and held in position thereon by a threaded nut 11, a shoulder 12; and 'intermediate wnshers 17. The disks have openings 14 adjacent to the shaft and spokes 15, which

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may be substantially straight. For the sake formance of such machines augments at an of clearness, but a few disks, with compara- exceedingly high rate with the increase of tively wide intervening spaces, are illus- their size and speed of revolution.

trated. The dimensions of the device as a whole.

The runner is mounted in a casing com- and the spacing of the disks in any given prising two end castings 19, which contain machine will be determined.bv tbe conditions the bearings for the shaft 16, indicated but and requirements of special cases. -It may not shown in detail; stuffing boxes 21 and be stated that the intervening distance should outlets 20. The end castings are united by should be the greater, the larger the diameter u central ring 22, which is bored out to a. of the disks, the longer the spiral path of circle of a slightly larger diameter than thal, the fluid and the greater its viscosity. In of the disks. and has flanged extensions 2:l. - general. the spacing should be such that the and inlets 24, into which finished ports or entire mass of the fluid, before leaving the nozzles 25 are inserted. Circular grooves 2ii runner, is accelerated to a nearly .uniform and labyrinth packing 27 are provided 011 velocity, not much below that of the periphthe sides of the .runner. Supply pipes ~8: ery of the disks under normal working conwith valves 29, are connected to the flanged ditions, and almost equal to it when the outextensions of the central ring, one of the let is closed and the particles move in con-

valves being normally closed. centric circles.

Fot, a more ready and complete under-Considering now the converse of the above standing of the principle of operation it is described' operation and assuming that fluid of advantage to consider first the actions under pressure be allowed to pass through that take place when the device is used for the valve at the side of the solid arrow, the the propu1sion of fluids for which purpose runner will be set in rotation in a clockwise let it be assumed that power is applied to direction, the fluid traveling in a spiral path the shaft and the runner set in rotation say and with continuously diminishing velocity in a clockwise direction. Neglecting, for th·eunt.il it reaches the orifices 14 and 20, through moment, those features of construction that which it is discharged. If the runner be almake for or against the efficiency of the de- lowed to turn freely, in nearly frictionless vice as a :pump, as distinguished from a mo-jbenrings, its rim will attain a speed closely tor, a fluid, b~ reason of its properties of approximating the maximum of that of the adherence and viscosity, u:pon entering adjacent fluid and the spiral path of the through the inlets 20, and commg in contact particles will be comparatively long, consistwith the disks 13, is taken hold of by the mg of many almost circular turns. If load latter and subjected to two forces, one act- is put on and the runner slowed down, the ing tangentially in the direction of rotation. motion of the fluid is retarded. the turns are and the other radially outward. The com- reduced, and the path is shortened.

bined effect of these tangential and centrifu- Owing to a number of causes affecting the gal forces is to propel the fluid with con- performance, it is difficult to frame It precise tinuously increasing velocity in a spiral path rule which would be generally applicable, until it reaches a suitable peripheral outlet but it may be stated that within certain from which it is ejected. This spiral move- I limits, and other conditions being the same, ment, free and undisturbed and essentially the torque is directly proportionate to the . dependent on the properties of the fluid, per- square of the velocity of the fluid relatively mitting it to adjust Itself to natural paths to the runner and to the effective area of the or stream lines and to 'change its velocitv and disks and, inversely. to the distance separatdirection by insensible degrees, is a charac- ing them. The machine will, generally. perteristic and essential feature of this principle form its maximum work when the effective of operation. _ . speed of the runner is one-half of-that of the

While traversing the chamber inclosing fluid; but to attain the highest economy, the the runner, the particles of the fluid may relative speed or slip, for any given performcomplete one or more turns, or but a part ance, should be as small as possible, This of one turn, the path followed being capable condition may be to any desired degree npof close calculation and graphic representa-'I proxima ted by increasing the active area of tion, but fairly accurate estimates of turns and reducinz the space between the disks. can be obtained simply, by determining the I When apparatus of the kind described is number of revolutions required to renew the employed for the transmission of power cerfluid passing through the chamber and mul- tain departures from similarity between tiplying· it by the ratio between the mean transmitter and receiver are necessary for speed of the fluid and that of the disks. I securing the best results. It is evident that, have found that the quantity of fluid pro- when transmitting power from one shaft 1{) pelled in this manner, IS, other conditions be- another by such machines, any desired ratio mg equal, approximately proportionate to between the speeds of rotation may be obthe acti ve surface of the runner and to its tained by a ;proper selection of the diameeffective speed. For this reason, the per; . ters of the. disks, or by suitably staging the

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transmitter, the receiver or both. But it the supply. But the transition from purely may be pointed out that in one respect, at impulsive to expansive action may not be least, the two machines are essentiallv dif- continuous throughout, on account of criti£erent. In the pump, the radial or " static cal states and conditions and comparatively pressure, due to centrifugal force, is added great variations of pressure may be caused to the tangential or dynamic, thus increas- by small changes of nozzle velocity.

ing the effective head and assisting in the In the preceding it has been assumed that expulsion of the fluid. In the motor, on the the pressure of supply is constant or concontrary: the first named pressure, being op- tinuous, but it will be understood that the posed to that of su:pplv, reduces the effective operation will be: essentially the same if thehead and the velocity ·of radial flow toward pressure be fluctuating or intermittent, as the center, Again: in the propelled machine that due to explosions occurring in more or a great torque is always desirable. this call- less rapid succession.

ing for an increasednumber ofdisks and A very desirable feature, characteristic of smaller distance of separation: while in the machines constructed and operated in ncpropelling machine. for numerous economic cordnnce with this invention. is their capnreasons, the rotary effort should be the small- bility of reversal of rotation. Fig.!. while est and the speed the greatest practicable. illustrative of a special case. may be reMany other considerations, which will nat- garded as typical in this respect. If the urally suggest themselves, may affect the de- right hand valve be shut off and the fluid sign and construction. but the preceding is supplied through the second pipe. the runner thought to contain nll necessarv informa- is rotated in the direction of the clotted nrtion in this regard. .. row, the operation, and also the performance

In order to bring out a distinctive feature. remaining the same as before. the central assume, in the first place: that the motive ringbeing bored to a circle with this purpose medium is admitted to the disk chamber In VIew. The same result may be obtained through a port, that is n channel which it jn many other ways by spociully designed traverses with nearly uniform velocitv. In valves, ports or nozzles for reversing the this case, the machine will operate' as a ! flow, the description of which is omitted rotary engine, the fluid contirstouslv ex- here in the interest of simplicity und clearpanding on its tortuous path to the central ness. For the same reasons hilt one operaoutlet. The .expansion takes place chiefly tive port or nozzle is illustrated which .might alonz the spiral path: for the spread in- be adapted to a YOl11te but dcos not fit best wnl',] is opposed by the centrifugal force I a circular bore. It will be understood that due to the velocityo£ whirl and by the grent : a number of suitable inlets mav be provided resistance to radial exhaust. It IS to be ob- around the periphery 'of the runner to irnserved that the resistance to the passage of prove the action and that the construction the flujd betwe.en the plates is, npp"i-oxi- of the machine may be modified in many mately, proportionate to the square of the . ways.

relative speed. which is maximum in the I Still another valuable and probably direction toward the renter and equal to , unique quality of such motors or prime movthe full tangential velocity of the fluid. I ers may be described. By proper construeThe path or least resistance. necessarilv .tion and observance of working conditions taken in obedience to a universal law o'f the centrifugal pressure, opposing the pasmotion is, virtually. also that of least rela- sage of the fluid, may, as already indicated, tive velocity. Next, assume that the fluid be made nearly equal to the nressnre of supis admitted to the disk chamber not through ply when the machine is running idle. If a port, but a diverging nozzle. a device CO'l~ the inlet section be large, small changes in verting wholly or in part: the expansive into the speed of revolution will produce great velocity-energy. The' machine will then differences in flow which are further enwork rnthe!' like a turbine: absorbing the hanced by the concomitant variations in the energy of kinetic momentum of the particles length of the spiral path. A self-rezulatino as they 'whirl, with continuously decreasing machine is thus obtained bearing 11 'strikin; speed, to the exhaust. resemblance to a direct-current electric mo.

The above description of the operation. I tor in this respect that. with great differences may add, is suggested by experience and ob·' of impressed pressure in a wide open chan. servation, and IS advanced merely for the nel the flow of the flmd through the same is purpose of explanation. The undeniable prevented by virturc of rotation. Since the fact is that the machine does operate. both centrifugal head increases as the square of expansively and impulsively. 1Vhen the ex- the revolutions, or even more rapidly, and pansior, in- the nozzles is complete: or nearly wit 11 modern high grade steel gn~at r;~rip'h- 50, the fluid pressure in the peripheral clear- erul velocities are practicable: it is possible ance space is small; as the nozzle is made to attain that condition in n single stage less divergent and its section enlarged, the machine. more rendilv if the runner be of pressure rises, finally approximating that of Iarge diameter. Obviously this problem is

facilitated by compounding, as will be un- f disks mounted on a sJ:aft, and openat.nr,

derstood by those skilled in the art Irre- near the same, as described. .' .. .

spective o.fIts .bea.ring on economy, this t~nd-I. ~. A. machine .adapted to.be propelled .. py. : ency . which Is~to a degree, common to fluid, consistingin the combination of a plt~~ motors of the above description, is of special I rality of disks mounted on a. shaft; and 0B@', advantage in the operation of large. units, as at. or near the same, and an :mclosmg casmg it. affords a safeguard against running rnyny . WIth ports. or passages of inlet and outlet: and destruction. Besides these, such a prIme at the peripheral and central portions, remover possesses many other advantages, both spectively, the disks being spaced to.fonn' constructive and operative. It is simple, passages through which the fluid.Blay' flow, light and compact, subject to but little wear, under t~e combined influence of radial-and cheap and exceptionally easy to man.n~ac- tangential forces, m a natural spiral path ture as small clearances and accurate milling I from the periphery toward the axis of .the work are ~ot essentialto good nerfor~ance. , disks, and Impart Its ~nergy of ~oyemen~ to In opera.tI?n It IS reliable, there being no II..the. same by Its adhesive and VISCOUS action

valves, sliding contacts or troublesome vanes. thereon, as set forth. . ,

It is almost free of windage, l!tr~el~' inde- 5 .. A machineadapted to. be propelled by pendent of nozzle efficiency and suitable for I 'a fluid compl'lsm~ In combination a pluralhigh as well as for low fluid velocities, ann! ity of spaced disks rotatably mounted and speeds of revolution. having plane surfaces, an inclosing casing

It will be understood that the principles and ports or nassages of inlet and outlet adof construction and operation above gener- jacent to the periphery 'and center o-f the

ally set forth, are capable of embodiment in disks, respectivelv, as set forth. '.

machines of the most widely different forms, 6. A machine adapted to oe propelled bv n and adapted for the greatest variety of pur- fluid comprising in combination a, runner poses. In my present specification I have composed of a plurality of disks having sought to describe and explain only the gen- plane surfaces and mounted at intervals on eral and typical applications of the principle a central shaft, and formed with openings which I believe I am the first to realize and near their centers, and means for admitting

turn to useful account. the propelling fluid into the spaces between

What I claim is: the disks at the periphery and discharging it

1. A machine adapted to be propelled by at the center of the same, as set forth.

a fluid consisting in the combination with a 7. A thermo-dynamic converter, cornpriscasing having inlet and outlet norts at the ing in combination a series of rotatablv peripheral and central portions, respectively, mounted spaced disks with plane surfaces. of a rotor. having plane spaced surfaces be- a~ inclosing casing, inlet norts at the petween which the, fluid ruav flow III natural ri.iheral portion and outlet+ports lending spirals and by adhesive and viscous action from the central portion of the snrne, as set impart its enervv of movement to the rotor, forth.

as described. . 8. A thermo-dynamic converter, compris-

2. A machine adapted to be propelled by I ing in combination a series of, rotatably a fluid, comprising a rotor composed of a mounted spaced disks with plane surfaces plurality of plane spaced disks mounted on n and having openings adjacent to their censha~ and ?pen ~t or ne~r the s~me~ an ~n- !ral portio~s, an inclosing casing, inlet ports closing casing WIth a peripheral inlet or In- i In t?e peripheral portron, and outlet ports lets, m the plane of the disks, and an outlet : leading from the central portion of the same, or outlets in its central portion, as described. as set forth.

3. Arotury engine adapted to be propelled In testimony whereof I affix my signature

by adhesive and viscous action of a continu- in the presence of two subscrroing witnesses.

ous~Y expanding fluid comprising in co~nbi-' NIKOLA TESLA

nation a casing forming a chamber, an mlet .

or inlets tangential to the periphery of the Witnesses:

same. and an outlet or outlets in its central M. LAWSON DYER,

portion, with a rotor composed of spaced \V:r.r. BOHLEBER.

N. TESLA.

TURBINE . .A.PPLIOATIOlf FILED JAil. 17, 1911.

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Patented May 6, 1913.