This Instructable will show you how to construct a turbine from reused parts and a couple of new materials. This turbine can achieve speeds of up to and possibly accede 15,000-20,000 running speed rpm’s and top rpm’s reaching around 30,000 to 35,000. This project can be run on about 40 psi but I have run mine on up to 100 psi and it will really started to scream (I would not sugest running it with that much pressure for more than a few seconds, I was just testing it to see what it could do, it was very dangerous and it could have or was close to flying apart). But to make this project even greener you could run it on steam. Or put it downstream and direct water flow to it and run it just as a hydroelectric plant, this turbine is very strong and versitile. Also please rate this instructable.
The reason for making this instructable is because I have been scanning the internet and to make one of these and the outcome of it will either not look very nice or they are very hard to find materials to make them or the materials are too expensive and usually the directions are very complicated and leave parts out. If any of you feel that I have left any parts out please leave a comment and I will try to put them into my instructable and if you have any trouble with any of this please make me aware of it and I will help you out.***PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE INSTRUCTABLE BEFORE STARTING YOUR BUILD.
Also something that I would love to see done is to have someone build a boiler, this turbine and a small r/c vehicle that could be powered by this. You could even put a generator on the turbine to power the electronic parts of the car. Although you would need to gear it down a bit so it has more torque and less rpm’s but if anyone does this or has seen it done please let me know so I can see it.
I am not liable for your versions of this and for this failing horribly and hurting someone so please do not run this on any more than about 70 psi and don’t run it too long with that much pressure it will spin at around 15,000 rpm’s at about 40 psi which should be good enough unless you are showing it off to friends or family, then crank it up but don’t blow it up.
Step 1: Parts
Here is a picture of all of the parts and tools needed for the construction of your turbine. 10 hard drives, which if you go to your local high school they will willingly give you however many hard drives that you want just be polite and let them know what you are doing with them (you only need nine but just in case you mess up). You will then need two pieces of 1/4 inch plexi-glass that are 7×7 inches. Then about a 2.2 ” piece of 4 inch diameter schedule 40 pvc pipe and if you want you may be able to find clear pipe for a better look. An exacto-knife or sharp knife. Safety glasses. A small bench-top lathe or mini-lathe. Then eight bolts that are 31/2 inches long and anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4(which is unnecessary but if that is what you have go ahead) inches in diameter. Then you will need 8 bolts and 16 washers to go along with them. Also, you will need some tubing; I am using 3/8 inch id 3/4 inch od plastic tubing. Then you should have two bearing and part of you project will be based on these so I chose two 1/4 inch id bearings with 5/8 inch od. These are Fafnir S1KDD7 bearings. You will then need some precision measuring equipment such as a micrometer and a good ruler. And on your lathe you should have a tailstock with a dead center or live center. And a 6-7 inch piece of 1-1/2 inch diameter Aluminum. The only parts out of the hard drive that you will be using are the platters and the spacer rings so save them and you can throw the rest out or save the very strong magnets in them for another project. I forgot to mention you do not need to have the same size bearings as I do just whatever you have lying around. But I have found that the smaller they are the higher speeds they can handle and if I were you I would not go under a 1/4 inch inner diameter. You should also have a set of drills and a drill. Just to be clear here is a list of materials. See pictures if you have trouble understanding what anything is.
-10 hard drives (local high school [tech department])
-8 bolts (I will be using 5/16) (hardware store or look around your house for some laying around)
-8 nuts (I will be using 5/16) (hardware store or look around your house)
-16 washers with a 5/16 hole in them (hardware store or look around your house)
-Some 4″ pvc pipe (The finish length will have to be 2.2″) (hardware store or ask a local plumber ,it is a small amount so they may give it to you for free just remember to be polite)
-2 pieces of plexi-glass that are 7×7″ (hardware store)
-1 pieces of 1-1/2″ diameter aluminum 6-7″ long (probably will have to order off the internet like I did)
-2 ball bearing I am using some with an inner diameter of 1/4″ and outer diameter of 5/8″ (hardware store, you do not have to use the exact ones I am)
-About a foot of plastic tubing (hardware store)
-JB Weld (hard ware store but you can use almost any strong glue you have around such as super glue)
-Silicon sealant (automotive store, ex. Advance Auto Parts or maybe Lowes or a hardware store will have it) if you don’t know what this is there is a picture of it in here
-Exacto-knife (almost any store)
-Safety glasses (almost any store)
-Some kind of lathe (I am using a South Bend) with a tailstock and dead center or live center (if you do not have a lathe try to get a machine shop to do it for you but you will have to pay them depending on the owner anywhere from $10 to $60 where I work you might get it done for $20)
-A micrometer and precision ruler (order off the internet buy a good brand don’t cheap out so it will last a while if you do not have one but if you are giving it to a machine shop to do don’t worry about these)
-A set of drills (hardware store)
-A drill press or milling machine would be nice but a hand drill will be fine (you probably know someone that has one that would let you use it if you do not have one)
-Krylon spray paint (hardware store)
-Lock nuts instead of regular nuts listed above in the materials section (hardware store)