Science & Technology

The wonderful 100-year-old invention of Nikola Tesla is just beginning to make sense

Credit: Public domain.

An eccentric scientist and inventor, Nikola Tesla is known for developing the foundations of the AC power used by most of the planet today. However, the Serbian-American inventor, who emigrated to New York City in 1884, obtained nearly 300 patents for motors, radios, remote controls, X-rays, neon signs, and many other great gadgets and gizmos. did.

Many of these inventions are still in use today or have somehow had a major impact on modern technology. However, one of Tesla’s lesser-known patents, the macrofluid valve, has only recently been recognized for its genius and value.

Scientists patented his “valve conduit”, also known as the “Tesla valve”, in 1920. It is essentially a one-way fluid valve, with no moving parts consisting of a pipe with a complex series of diversion teardrop-shaped loops. The first patent is stated because it is designed to allow water to flow in one direction, but when the direction is reversed, the flow is almost completely blocked.

In a new study, Tesla valve physics was reviewed by researchers at New York University who created a 30-centimeter-long replica according to Tesla’s original plans. Next, a series of experiments were performed to measure flow rates in both directions at different pressure values.

“It is worth noting that this 100-year-old invention is not yet fully understood and may serve modern technology in ways that have not yet been considered,” said New York University’s Coolant Mathematical Sciences. Leif Ristroph, an associate professor at the institute and an advanced dissertation, explains. Author. “Tesla is known as the Wizard of Electric Currents and Electrical Circuits, but his lesser-known work of controlling the flow of currents and fluids was truly ahead of the curve.”

Tesla claimed that his valve slowed the flow of fluid in one direction 200 times slower in the other, but the researcher’s replica cut the flow only in half.

Comparison of reverse (right-to-left) flow at three different velocities. The water flow is visualized with green and blue dyes, indicating that the flow is becoming more and more interrupted at high speeds. Credit: NYU Institute of Applied Mathematics.

However, researchers have learned that the Tesla valve is more sophisticated than originally thought. At low flow rates, there is little difference between forward and reverse flow. However, above a certain threshold, the valve suddenly turned “on” like a switch, greatly resisting backflow.

“Importantly, this turn-on involves the generation of turbulence in the opposite direction, which” blocks “the pipe with vortices and breaking currents,” explains Ristolov. “In addition, turbulence appears at a much lower flow rate than previously observed in more standard shaped pipes. Up to 20 times faster than conventional turbulence in cylindrical pipes or tubes. It shows the power needed to control the flow and can be used in many applications. “

In addition, if the flow is not stable, the valve will better control the backflow. When the flow is generated by pulses or vibrations, the device smoothes the flow of fluid, making it ideal for use in high vibration environments. This is very similar to how an AC-DC converter converts alternating current to direct current.

“I think this is what Tesla was thinking about for the device, as Tesla was thinking of a similar operation using electric current,” said Ristorov. “He is actually the most famous. Invention of AC motor The same applies to the AC-DC converter. “

The valve’s contraction effect is much lower than Tesla claimed over a century ago, but the design is still useful. Unlike other valves that require springs and other parts that require regular maintenance and replacement, there are no moving parts. Ristroph and colleagues envision many applications where Tesla valves can be useful, such as pumping fuel, lubricants, and other fluids using engine vibrations.

The wonderful 100-year-old invention of Nikola Tesla is just beginning to make sense The wonderful 100-year-old invention of Nikola Tesla is just beginning to make sense

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