A one-way water valve with no moving parts invented over 100 years ago by Nikola Tesla could be adapted to pump fluids around engines using otherwise wasted energy.
Nikola Tesla patented his "tube duct" in 1920 (here is the patent). What's this?
It is essentially a tube with an intricate internal design that forces the water to recirculate on itself at various points along its length. When the water flows into these "rings" it becomes turbulent and slows down, interrupting the flow.
If you let the water flow in the other direction, so that it does not enter the rings, it flows freely.
Ritorno al futuro
Leif Ristroph of New York University and his colleagues they built a 30-centimeter version of the valve, following Nikola Tesla's original plan, and they measured flow in both directions at a variety of pressures.
Although Tesla stated in his patent that the valve it could make the water flow 200 times slower in one direction over the other, the team found that their version makes it only twice as slow.
Nikola Tesla was a genius. It is unclear if it actually produced and tested a version with the performance it claimed. I suspect so, but there is no documentation about it.Leif Ristroph
Even so it is very useful
Although the valve duct effect is much less than Nikola Tesla claims, the artifact is still very useful, Ristroph says, especially because it has no moving parts, so it could be completely maintenance-free.
“It has been proposed for use in the past, but no one has ever done a thorough hydrodynamic work to figure out how well it works,” says Ristroph.
Ristroph believes that Nikola Tesla conceived the valve duct to apply his findings on theenergy. Alternating current sees electrons constantly reverse their direction, but when converted to direct current they effectively flow in a cycle.
Ristroph's team even created a Nikola Tesla water valve ring to mimic his electrical converter, discovering that the device successfully took water flowing back and forth from a piston and converted it into a steady stream of water. , effectively turning it into a pump.
What can Nikola Tesla's tube duct be used for?
The team believes the project could exploit vibrations in engines to pump fuel, coolants, lubricants and other gases and liquids.
Imagine having fluid pumping systems that take advantage of the existing vibration of an engine. They have no moving parts. They would never break.