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OS:Using Tesla's Valvular Conduit to Harness Water Waves

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US Patent 1,329,559 -- One of Tesla's last."Patent drawing of Tesla's valvular conduit.  The interior contains baffles that offer no resistance to fluid in one direction, but prevent it from flowing back.  This one-way fluidic valve became a critical element in Tesla's design for an open-ended vacuum tube." (Cheney & Uth; Tesla: Master of Lightning; Barnes & Noble; NY; 1999, p. 136)
US Patent 1,329,559 -- One of Tesla's last.
"Patent drawing of Tesla's valvular conduit. The interior contains baffles that offer no resistance to fluid in one direction, but prevent it from flowing back. This one-way fluidic valve became a critical element in Tesla's design for an open-ended vacuum tube." (Cheney & Uth; Tesla: Master of Lightning; Barnes & Noble; NY; 1999, p. 136)
Proposal to combine (1) Nicola Tesla's "Valvular Conduit", patented in 1920, which is essentially a one-way fluidic valve, and (2) the Anaconda Bulge Wave concept of having rubber tubing move up and down with ocean waves, in order to provide a simple and cost-effective mechanism for harnessing sea wave energy.

Combining Two Great Ideas

by Sterling D. Allan
July 18, 2008

In reading a biographical book, Tesla: Master of Lightning today, I came across his "Valvular Conduit" diagram, patented in Feb. 3, 1920 -- one of his last.

Then this evening I received an email suggesting that I interview someone from the Anaconda Bulge Wave project, in which a rubber tube in the sea propagates bulges through the tube with the movement of the waves.

Image:Telsa Bulge wide 350.gif

As I looked at their diagram, I immediately thought of Tesla's patent that I had seen earlier. "What would happen if you implemented Tesla's Valvular Conduit into flexible material so it could undulate with the waves?" I wondered. I would think that it would create a strong pumping action in one direction. One end of the tube could be attached to the input of a turbine, with the other end attached to the output of the turbine, in a closed loop. The turbine would be on land or on a platform at sea, while the tube extended out into the waves of the sea.

The fluid in the tubes could have high lubricity (while also being environmentally benign) so as to promote longevity of the turbine.

Alternatively, a Tesla turbine could be used, and what flows through the valvular conduit tubing could be an inert gas.

This would be particularly feasible if there could be some way to easily mold the Tesla Valvular Conduit pattern into flexible material such as rubber.

The tubing could even be arranged somewhat like the artery-vein system of a warm-blooded organism, going from large to smaller and smaller tubes, then coming back to larger and larger tubes where it meets the turbine. The tubes could be made to look like Kelp, so they blend in with the sea.

Open Source

In publishing this here at PESWiki, I am hereby open sourcing this renewable energy idea, opening it up to the world community to ponder, test, improve, and implement.

As good models are developed, we can list them here, along with the component parts, so they can be replicated and commissioned.

The objective will be to come up with as simple and powerful a system as possible that makes the system easy and inexpensive to build, install, and operate.

Third Idea for Low-Head Stream Aps

On July 22, 2008, Jones Beene <jonesb9 {at}> wrote:

Dear Sterling,

I recently stumbled across your interesting proposal to combine Nicola Tesla's "Valvular Conduit", which is a one-way fluidic valve (has it ever been prototyped?) with the Anaconda Bulge Wave concept of flexible tubing which moves with ocean waves - for harnessing sea wave energy. That does make a lot of sense, if one is near an ocean.

If there has never been a prototype of Tesla's valve, however, it is unclear what net pumping pressure is added by the wave action; but on first blush, it could be substantial.

However, it occurred to me in looking at the proposal, and beyond that to mental images of land-based alternatives - that your basic system may not be limited to sea wave energy.

Think of the concept as being transposed to a low head creek or stream. Obviously low-head streams do not have waves; and yes- there are available some low-head turbines which are increasing in efficiency. In the end, it will be how much bang-for-the-buck is available, as always.

In the spirit of open-sourcing, let me try to verbalize what could be a "third idea" for combining the previous two with the addition of "virtual waves" which are supplied by a slight elevation drop on land, and some simple earth-work.

First to backtrack: On you site, of course, is the "Zotloterer Gravitational Vortex Power Plant" which is one solution for low head streams. But that one is not low cost and involves a fairly substantial investment in precision concrete casting and probably requires non mass-produced generator equipment (due to the odd intermediate sizing).

As an alternative to this kind of low-head dam, which is still a dam (and which are government regulated since there is always risks with any dam) there is the modified spillway. By this I mean simply a man-made channel or passage which does not even need to be of concrete. This would alter a short stretch of an existing stream or creek in a risk-free way, which avoids the definition of "dam".

The "virtual wave" part is simply a result of the contouring of the underlying ground - with packed-earth or covered with "shotcrete" form permanence, in the form of permanent low-crest standing waves.

As long as there is some drop (head) along the way, then these stationary waves operate as "virtual", and could provide a pumping action when combined with the Tesla valve (T-valve). The underlying wave contours need simply to support a number of flexible tubes (such as an array of converted fire hoses) which are spaced periodically with the one-way T-valves. Perhaps one short section of T-valve is located in every through for every tube along the way.

The hope, and it is only that as of now - is that the net effect of the combination would be a cheaper version of a low-head dam, and one which is unregulated, yet possibly having higher effective pressure at the venturi than would be suggested by the elevation alone, due to the one-way pumping action of wave acceleration.

Plus this design could implement the mass-produced molded pelton-type tubines which are now available at a fraction of the cost per unit of power of expensive one-off turbines. The T-valve also should be mass produced, as well.

I could imagine a situation where most of the flow of a small creek is being fed into an array of perhaps a dozen sections of flexible fire hose, which are placed over artificial "waves" with a low head, and each hose having a small generator at the end, T-vales upstream and dumping the water back into the same creek bed in the end - but at a downstream location- possibly short-circuiting a natural bend.

Anyway - just more food for thought until the T-valve is actually prototyped and tested. Every kW-hr of non-fossil, non CO2 energy helps in so many ways; and the open-sourcing of many of these hydro and wind concepts may expedite that goal.

Official Websites

Right here. This idea of implementing the Tesla Valvular Conduit into a wave-riding tubular system originated here at PESWiki.

See also: - Anaconda Bulge Wave website, which provided inspiration for this idea.


See Discussion page

Anaconda Will Look Into It

On July 20, 2008, Francis Farley, Experimental physicist from the BulgeWave team wrote:

"Sterling suggestion. Many thanks for your interest .... we will look into it."


Sterling D. Allan

See also

- Other Open Source Projects
- Open Source News
- PESWiki main index
- PES Network Inc.

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