Sunday, December 9, 2007

Geothermal Energy- Flash Steam

Flash Steam geothermal plants seem to be a future answer for our heating needs. Although the first geothermal plant was built in 1904, it still only accounts for 1% of energy provided. In a flash steam plant the water is held below ground at a temperature above boiling, though the additional pressure causes it to stay in a liquid form- when the water is pumped above ground the reduced pressure causes the water to turn or "flash" into steam and turn a turbine to generate electricity- the unused water is then flushed back for reuse later. This method does emit some gases into the atmosphere, though only 5% of the amount that fossil fuel burning does.

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