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From California: A Member's Tesla Turbine Generator Project

September 10, 2001

Don Thrasher, a bona fide experimenter from California, contacted us last April with plans to build a turbine generator. He is using a 36-inch rod from a hydraulic cylinder (2.5 inch diameter) for the shaft and eventually selected a VW engine block for his project. After recommending the type of materials to use for both the shaft & the disks, we sent along some DXF files so he could laser cut the disks. (See photos below)

Don gave us permission to publish details of his project and we have included some of his comments and photos. For more information contact him through his email:

Don Thrasher 

Fri Aug 31 16:07:55 2001

Here are some pictures of my disks and washers. I plan on using the arc washer unless the regular star washer works better. Once I find a good setup I'll cut everything out of stainless and polish to increase the efficiency. -- Don

Wed Sep 5 20:27:07 2001

Since your last update I have been in contact with Pat Nealon thanks to your "members page." He is going to help me with the design of the combustion chamber as soon as I am able to provide him with a little more info.

For now I plan to build a 40-50 horse turbo shaft. I have cut two disks out of 7 ga., eleven disks out of 16ga. and enough arced star washers out of 20 ga. to space all of the disks. I have only cut one of the regular star washers that you see in the pictures. 

... I plan to use your cooling disk fans to duct out the heat from around the hot rotor assemblies and pump in fresh air. I will also use that high temp exhaust wrap on the input and output tubes -- they use it on headers to reduce the engine compartment temperature and it also increases the horse power by keeping the exhaust gasses hotter and moving faster.

I will gladly accept any advice or ideas that people may have to offer on my design so far.

Thanks for all of the help so far! -- Don

Sat Sep 8 16:41:52 2001

Here are some pic's of the compressor blade off of a turbocharger I plan to use to feed the turbo shaft... I will be using a T04 turbocharger from Garrett to run a combustion chamber and the exhaust from that will feed my turbo shaft.






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Last updated: 04/17/02 02:21 PM