Boundary layer turbine (Tesla turbine) propulsion

One of the major weak spots with multi-rotors is the exposed propeller blades, they break and they hurt things.

I know people have designed guards and experimented with ducted fans, but has anyone done work with a boundary layer turbine arrangement? I've been kicking this idea around in the back of my head for some time now and just recently saw a ceiling fan project that uses this effect.

 I always imagined a nested conical frustum stack (imagine lamp shades stacked on top of one another with a small gap between each). As the assembly spins, air is accelerated from the center down and out at an acute angle relative to the vertical axis, whereas the above ceiling fan example moves the air perpendicular to the rotation axis. I know it will blow air, but will it move enough to provide any useful thrust? 

Any thoughts?

Now if I could just get a hold of some graphene and aerogel lampshades to experiment with...

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  • John,

    I found some references to research by Glenn A. Barlis, including a formula for calculating the disk gap.


    Does this seem legit to you? I'm still digging, lot's of learning curve left for me.

  • I've made lots of investigation last year on Tesla turbine design. The problem is an absence of scientific study on component placement (layer thickness, cross-layer gap, hole distance etc.). If brushless motors are known to reach 96% efficiency, TMs are (were) reported to reach 50%.

  • Graphene is the current holly grail of the material engineering nerd-dom

  • Graphene.. Standby... googling now ;-)


  • Forgot to add this to my last reply-

    ; )

  • John, Thats why I need graphene!

  • Very interesting... my only fear is the gyroscopic effect of spinning so much mass as such a high RPM. the bracing between each "disc" whould have to be extremely rigid!


  • Now what we have to ask ourselves is how, exactly, does Santa get up the chimney...

  • Yeah, the Coanda would be a huge hit on Halloween.  Or really, any time of year!

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