The Tesla Turbine - A comprehensive review

Mohammad Zuber, Adithya Ramesh, Darpan Bansal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


One of Nikola Tesla's greatest inventions which never saw mass production was a revolutionary bladeless turbine, commonly referred to as 'Tesla turbine'. The lack of technology and knowledge during Tesla's time handicapped the development of this radical design. With no blades, this turbine uses frictional and viscous forces to drive a set of stacked discs. These forces are responsible for losses in conventional turbines. Researchers have tried to develop the turbine, but have never achieved the efficiencies predicted by Nikola Tesla. Tesla's original design was meant to replace the then inefficient full-scale turbines. However, research over the years on various scaled designs of the Tesla turbine has shown that it is most effective for microscale power generation. Though this is in contrast to Tesla's original vision, it is still a great revelation as conventional turbines suffer large losses in the microscale domain. The Tesla turbine is also called the Prandtl turbine and the boundary layer turbine, as it uses the phenomenon of the boundary layer as the main driving force. This paper aims to compile the works done on this turbine over the years and to present important information under the categories of different parameters that have been studied.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)122-137
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Advanced Research in Fluid Mechanics and Thermal Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 01-10-2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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