Design and Fabrication of Portable Water Turbine – Mechanical Project

Design and Fabrication of Portable Water Turbine – Mechanical Project


In this paper a water turbine is designed and fabricated based on the ideals of Tesla’s turbine. In remote places due to frequent power cuts the alternate source of energy for house hold power requirements is very essential. Also, it is necessary that this source should be portable and easily operated by common man. The purpose of this work is to design and fabricate a portable water turbine using the principle of Tesla turbine. The main aim of this turbine is to utilize the potential and kinetic energy of a conventional water supply. Appropriate changes are made in the existing plate, shaft and nozzle design with respect to the literature survey. This paper includes design and fabrication of portable water turbine along with necessary results and calculations

See also :Introduction To Hydraulic Turbine and Classification Of hydraulic turbine


Tesla’s turbine is a bladeless turbine which uses series of rotating discs to covert fluid flow energy into mechanical energy .This turbine is popularly known has Tesla’s turbine patented in the year 1913 by Serbian mechanical and electrical engineer Nikola Tesla. A Tesla turbine consists of a set of smooth disks, with nozzles applying a moving fluid to the edge of the disk. The fluid drags on the disk by means of viscosity and the adhesion of the surface layer of the fluid. As the fluid slows and adds energy to the disks, it spirals into the center exhaust. Since the rotor has no projections, it is very sturdy. The Tesla turbine has the trait of being in an installation normally working with a mixture of steam and products of combustion and in which the exhaust heat is used to provide steam which is supplied to the turbine, providing a valve governing the supply of the steam so that the pressures and temperatures can be adjusted to the optimum working conditions.

The reason for selecting this turbine is its simplicity in the design and concept. The impact of water on the plates exerts a centripetal boundary layer effect causing its rotation .The water creates vortex inside the casing escaping through the centre of the plate and out of the turbine. This turbine is so versatile that it can be used for multiple applications. Since the design by Tesla is highly efficient. This turbine is very much stable at high rotating speeds.

See also : FRANCIS TURBINE- Diagram, Working Principle


There are large variety of turbines currently in the market that are very expensive and efficient but very seldom are economic and effective for low heads. If a turbine can generate a medium amount of power on a regular basis produced by a low head it would provide significant help to people living in remote places. The purpose of this project is to design and fabricate low head water turbine based on Tesla’s turbine design.

Based on Tesla’s model modifications are planned to the design to improve the efficiency. The modifications planned so that the turbine is made suitable for low head applications. The changes are made in the blade design to help reduce the losses during the exit of the water from the plates and also the exhaust outside the housing.

Tesla turbine
Tesla turbine

Design of Water Turbine

The design constraints were all analysed by studying the literature survey carefully and choosing the best possible design for the most efficient outcomes for the required low head applications.

Parts Of The Turbine

• Plates

• Shaft

• Bearings

• Housing

• Nozzle

The design constraints are obtained from the research papers studied. All the necessary design constraints are as shown in the above table, as per the constraints required calculations are made. Each of the major parts are designed using SOLIDEDGE V18 with all the calculations made . The calculations made for the parts and 2D & 3D view of the components are shown in the next section.

Basic Design Parameters

Based on the available thickness (t) of the sheet metal which was 0.4×10-3m the specifications were calculated. Therefore, t=0.4×10-3m.

The inter-disk spacing(b) based on the thickness is calculated using the relation, t< b/2. Therefore, b is found to be 0.8×10-3m.

Fabrication of Water Turbine

The design of water turbine is studied and fabrication process is planned based on design constraints and the available materials, machining processes and equipment’s. The water turbine parts are fabricated and all the parts are assembled.


  1. Material used :- stainless steel 304 sheet metal of 0.4 mm thickness
  2. The plates are cut as per the cone calculations using the relation θ = r/s*360
  3. Tungsten inert gas (TIG) welding is used for joining the sheet metal so as to obtain desired plate design .
  4. Araldite is applied for the plates to obtain strength

Shaft :

  • Material used :- Aluminium 6061
  • The material procured is turned as per the required dimension using Lathe


Material used ,

  • Aluminium of thickness 10mm for cylinder
  • Aluminium of thickness 16mm for cover plates
  • 10mm thickness Al is rolled to obtain a cylindrical shape and is joined by arc welding process.
  • The bottom cover plate is bored to place bearing and the holes are drilled as per the design is joined by means of arc welding.
  • The top cover plate also is bored as per bearing dimension to fit the bearing.

By understanding the working principle of the Tesla turbine, the available design is modified with respect to various parameters and fabrication is done. As the water flows into the gap within the plates, the velocity keeps dropping throughout the flow till the exit. As the maximum loss in the blades is due to the axial exit of the water this loss is overcome by changing the design of the plates. Introducing a bend of 26.5° which is related to the angle made by the nozzle, this bend provides a more uniform exit of the water
without hampering the rotation of the plates.
The turbine can be used in remote locations where there is shortage or no supply of electricity. It can also be used to regenerate the lost power in pumps. It is also a major advantage for various domestic applications. Since it is portable it can be carried easily and used where a source of water is available to generate power

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Design and Fabrication of Portable Water Turbine – Mechanical Project

Sachin Thorat

Sachin is a B-TECH graduate in Mechanical Engineering from a reputed Engineering college. Currently, he is working in the sheet metal industry as a designer. Additionally, he has interested in Product Design, Animation, and Project design. He also likes to write articles related to the mechanical engineering field and tries to motivate other mechanical engineering students by his innovative project ideas, design, models and videos.

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