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Tesla Turbine Hybrid

High-efficiency turbine drives hybrid system
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(+3, -1)
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Turbine engines, especially Tesla turbines, are ideal for hybrid systems because they create good power for their size and run most efficiently at consistant high RPMs.

Nikola Tesla first thought of using one of his boundary disc turbines (see link), along with an AC generator and motor, in a car nearly 100 years ago.

The turbine would be kept somewhere over 10,000 RPM, producing about as much HP as a normal car engine. A generator, batteries, motors, etc. would work with it much like a conventional hybrid car.

The turbine would probably only drive the wheels directly at highway speeds, or with highly reduced gearing, in order to take advantage of the turbine's power band.

discontinuuity, Jun 21 2005

The Tesla Turbine Engine http://en.wikipedia.../wiki/Tesla_turbine
Wikipedia article about the engine [discontinuuity, Jun 21 2005]

My Turbine Hybrid build http://www.facebook...=4fb9f&id=658132013
Progress on my Capstone/ACPropulsion build. [rihilleman, Nov 30 2007]


       It's a great idea, but Volvo came out with a constant-output turbine concept about eight years ago. Bladed turbine, but that's the only significant difference. Baked.
elhigh, Jun 22 2005

       It is much simplier to build a serial hybrid. Produce electricity with the Turbine at a constant RPM and load (best for efficiency and emissions), then let the much more torque flexible Emotor provide the drive.
rihilleman, Nov 30 2007

       10,000 RPM is on the low side of the scale. Most of the larger systems spin in the 20K range, and capstones spins at 96K. This is part of the drive problem...
rihilleman, Nov 30 2007

       [rihilleman]: from what i've read, a series hybrid is only most efficient around town. once on the open road there are too many conversion losses. better to use something like the toyota hsd, where it can act in both series and/or parallel modes.   

       although, i suppose if the losses could be reduced enough using something like a tesla turbine or a stirling engine in combination with some other low-grade-heat scavenging system, and really efficient electronics, the series hybrid may win out due to its simplicity.   

       what have your real-world tests shown?
TIB, Dec 01 2007

       Petroleum stores massive amounts of energy as chemical potential. Every effort is made to reduce the impact of a collision (an inevitable event) on the release of this chemical potential energy.   

       The containment chamber necessary for the containment of kinetic energy, as found in flywheels spinning in excess of 20K rpm, is possible but expensive, and lays the finger of blame squarely on the manufacturers' shoulders. Something most manufacturers don't like to entertain. Plausible denaibility is responsible for more technological devolution than you can shake a stick at.   

       Nuclear power stores several orders of magnitude more energy than chemical potential energy, or kinetic energy, ever will. It is not considered a good power source for the public, for containment reasons.
4whom, Dec 01 2007

       [rihilleman], do you have any more information on your project? I'm curious to know more about it.   

       [4whom], the idea is to have a turbine engine powered by burning fuel, not by energy stored in flywheels. I doubt that a small turbine spinning at 20,000 rpm would have much more inertial energy than a large piston engine.
discontinuuity, Dec 02 2007

       Another possiblity that can reduce emissions is to have a closed steam system. May also reduce problems with corrosion. Wouldn't need to contain explosive force either. The big problem I've been able to find with Tesla turbines is disk expansion at high rpm. Modern materials may keep that at bay. I also had the idea once of putting magnets on the disks themselves and winding the case to make it a one stage turbine/generator.
gryphon327, Nov 20 2008

       Tesla turbines are many things but "high efficiency" ain't one of 'em. Peltier or deLaval for efficiency; Tesla for pumping fish.
Steamboat, Nov 26 2008


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