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Numerical Study of Turbulent Rotating Flow in a Tesla Disc Pump

[+] Author Affiliations
Saima Naz, Alexandra E. Komrakova

University of Alberta, Edmonton, AB, Canada

Doug Lockhart, Peter Harwood

Lockhart Industries (Duncan) Ltd., Duncan, BC, Canada

Paper No. IMECE2017-71577, pp. V006T08A014; 9 pages
  • ASME 2017 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 6: Energy
  • Tampa, Florida, USA, November 3–9, 2017
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5841-7
  • Copyright © 2017 by ASME


The advantages of Tesla’s bladeless turbine over the conventional bladed turbine — such as an easier manufacturing process; low cost; low noise; the ability to operate with different working fluids, including Newtonian and non-Newtonian fluids; and single phase or multi-phase systems [1] — keep the design development of this device a subject of ongoing research. The first design of the Tesla turbine was presented by N. Tesla in 1913 [2]. In the 60s and 70s, a number of research groups built the Tesla device to investigate its performance (power, torque, efficiency) [3]–[6]. At the present time, the efficient design of the Tesla device is still a focus of experimental and numerical research studies [7]–[13].

In this work, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are performed to study three-dimensional turbulent compressible flow between the two corotating discs. The wide gap between the discs results in a Reynolds number of 1656, which is calculated based on the disc gap and the rotational speed of the discs. The CO2 gas is used as a working fluid. The simulations are performed using the commercial CFD software (STAR-CCM+, SIEMENS PLM). In this study, we determined the inlet and outlet boundary conditions together with the rotational speed of the discs that make the device work as a pump. The realizable k–ε turbulence model was used. The performance parameters of the pump were assessed by considering the dimensionless flow coefficient and efficiency.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME



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