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Larderello is the Italian Capital of the geothermal phenomena known as “soffioni” (geysers). Situated in Tuscany at 390 m, the area is rich of phenomena as soffioni (geysers), fumarole (mofettes) and lagoni (hot springs), well known since the Etruscan-Roman age (III century B.C.).
Laredello takes its name from François-Jacques de Larderel who first utilised the heath of steam to extract borax. In Larderello is placed a Museum (Museo della Geotermia) were is shown history of the exploitation of geothermal energy in all its aspects, from research to drilling, to the various systems for using geothermal fluid for the generation of electricity, thermal power, and mechanical power. Original models and equipment cover the history of drilling from the beginning when the power of geothermal steam was utilised for the first time in the world in 1904 to produce Electric Energy.
Timetable of the Museum
15 Sept.-15 March: Monday-Friday: 8:00 - 12.00 AM and 1:30 - 4.30PM Sunday: 9.00-12.00 AM and 1.30-5.30 PM Closed on Saturday and Holydays
15 March-14 Sept: Monday-Friday: 9:00-12.00 AM and 1.30-5.30 PM Saturday, Sunday and Holydays: 10:00 – 12.00 AM and 1.30-6.30 PM Closed on Easter
The power of steam (temperature of 220-270°C) is nowadays utilised by ENEL, the Italian Utility for Electric Energy in 32 Geothermal Power Plants for a total amount of 750 MW (this allows to spare 3,8 millions of tons of CO2 emissions every year), by drilling several wells in a terrain of allochthonous complexes in bands of Flysch (Jurassic-Cretaceous) down to a depth of 500-600 metres, followed by schists, quartzites, and quartz-matrix conglomerates of the Verrucano (Upper Triassic). The earth temperature in the underground increases of 3°C every 100 mts (average), but in Larderello it increases of 6-8°C every 100 mts. The coordinates indicated above are related to a fenced «lagone» (hot spring), near the Museum, partially covered, utilised since 1827 for the extraction of borax, now abandoned. The access to the museum is free. A yellow line divide the free area from the area of ENEL administration buildings where the access is restricted, don’t cross the line. To claim the cache it is requested to upload a picture of the museum and send me an e-mail with the name of the square in which the museum is placed.
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