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Q & A: vacuum-powered turbines

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Most recent answer: 01/09/2017
Q:
Good afternoon, I have had a question for a while but have not found any relevant information on it so hoping you guys can help. My question is: On the moon, would liquid water or any liquid for that matter be a source of stored energy? I'm not sure if I'm wrong here but by using the vacuum of space to change the liquid into a gas lets say water, and while the expanding gas is being sucked into space out of a container, would it be possible for it to power a turbine using the force generated by the vacuum of space?Any input you may have would also be helpful even if it doesn't directly answer the question.
- Daniel Garcia (age 23)
Burbank, Il United states
A:

Yes, it would work just as you say. The liquid would boil in that low-pressure environment, and the gas coming off could drive a turbine or other types of steam engine. If you've ever seen little room temperature steam engines powered by boiling liquid nitrogen, it's the same idea. I think you could use the same engines. The total amount of free-energy released per liter is not very large compared to what you'd get from burning a similar volume of gasoline in our atmosphere, however.

Mike W.


(published on 01/09/2017)

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