Geothermal Energy Device Wins Award

A state-funded device that makes geothermal energy production safer and more environmentally friendly has been chosen for the coveted R&D 100 Awards, which is sometimes referred to as the Nobel Prize of technology.

Sacramento, California – August 27, 2003 [] The Low Emissions Atmospheric Metering Separator (LEAMS) will be among 100 research innovations honored this year by R&D Magazine during ceremonies in Chicago on October 16. Two-Phase Engineering and Research, of Santa Clara, was the innovator of LEAMS. The project won funding from the Energy Innovations Small Grant Program (EISG). A part of the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, the small grants program gives qualifying individuals, small businesses, small non-profits and academic institutions up to US$75,000 in grant funding to test the feasibility of new and innovative concepts in energy science and technology. Grant awards are made in areas where cutting-edge research that would serve the public interest is not adequately provided by the competitive and regulated markets. LEAMS is a family of atmospheric geothermal separators that safely contain and clean the atmospheric vented steam of polluting solids, liquids, and noxious gases during geothermal energy production. This process prevents damage to crops, trees, vegetation, and aquatic life. The device also allows the steam jet to be dissipated high into the sky to protect workers from potential residual gases settling on the ground. During the cold winter months, the device shoots the plume above the tree lines to prevent condensation and ice damage in the forest. First awarded by the magazine in 1963, the R&D 100 Awards are chosen from thousands of breakthrough products entered by research companies, big and small worldwide. Over the years, many recipients of the awards have become household names. A sample of past winners include the Polacolor film (1963); the flashcube (1965); the automated teller machine (1973); the halogen lamp (1974); the fax machine (1975); the liquid crystal display (1980); the printer (1986); the Kodak Photo CD (1991); the Nicoderm antismoking patch (1992); Taxol anticancer drug (1993); lab on a chip (1996); and High Definition Television (HDTV) (1998).