Computational investigation of the flow inside a Tesla turbine rotor

L. Ciappi, D. Fiaschi*, P. H. Niknam, L. Talluri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Tesla expander is a bladeless turbine suited to low power range applications. In this article, a comparison between the performance prediction, as well as the assessment of the main flow characteristics, of a Tesla turbine working with organic fluids obtained through an in-house 2D code developed in EES environment and a simulation run with a computational fluid dynamics commercial software was done. Three working fluids (R404a, R134a and R245fa) were analysed in order to determine the related performance parameters. Various computations were carried out at several speeds of revolution, both with the laminar model and the Langtry-Menter transitional shear stress transport model for turbulence processing. High rotor efficiency was predicted for a small-scale prototype working with all analysed fluids (69% at 3000 rpm). The results obtained by the CFD simulations and by the in-house code showed an excellent matching. Finally, absolute and relative flow path lines were computed in order to determine fluid dynamics inside the channel and to analyse the fundamental flow phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-217
Number of pages11
Early online date7 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • CFD
  • Fluid dynamics
  • ORC
  • Path lines
  • Tesla turbine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Pollution
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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