Seawater-Powered Sustainable Air Conditioning from Carrier

Carrier Leverages Seawater for Sustainable Air Conditioning

Carrier Air Conditioning provide UK Chillers, Bms System, heating controllers and aircon units

Carrier’s expertise in energy-efficient systems helps Marseille’s flagship museum meet its environmental goals for an energy-efficient and sustainable solution.

Customer: MuCEM
Location: Marseille, France
Project running since: June 2013


The Museum of Europe and Mediterranean Civilisations (MuCEM) located in Marseille, France and the neighboring Mediterranean Villa dedicated to contemporary Mediterranean art exhibitions host a number of events including conferences, debates and film showcases. The building was designed to meet High Quality Environmental standard* and therefore energy savings were at the heart of the project. Carrier implemented an innovative air conditioning system leveraging the use of seawater to simultaneously produce cold water (6/12°C) and hot water (40/45°C).

* HQETM (High Quality Environmental standard) is a standard for green building in France, based on the principles of sustainable development first set out at the 1992 Earth Summit. The standard is controlled by the Paris based Association pour la Haute Qualité Environnementale (ASSOHQE).


When the museum team asked for an energy efficent and environmentally sustainable heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) solution during the project phase, the building consultant, BET Garcia Engineering, advocated the Carrier seawater heat pump solution, having received positive reports from its Monegasque subsidiary on the efficiency of a Carrier seawater system installed in a residential building in Monaco.

Key Advantages

  • Low environmental impact system: Global EER*: 7 to 9 ESEER**: 6 to 8
  • Optimal security: no fossil fuel usage
  • Innovative energy saving application: 4-pipe system units
  • High efficiency: 2 000 kW cooling 2 400 kW heating
  • Respect of the unique site architecture: compact footprint installation, low sound emission, limited ducted work


Carrier’s solution, which provides heating, cooling and humidity control of the museum and villa’s respective 15 500 m2 and 10 000 m2 spaces, is comprised of two AquaForce® 30XWHP highefficiency water-to-water heat pumps with a capacity of 1 000 kW cooling and 1 200 kw heating. Two heat exchangers are dedicated to capturing the seawater energy necessary to create a significant difference in temperature at the machine evaporator, which in turn increases the operating power of the machine, creating an increase in hot water temperature. Two additional exchangers maintain the temperature of the chilled water, evacuating the surplus energy from the condenser circuit into the ocean. Carrier’s advanced web system controller optimizes the production of cooling and heating of the system architecture including chillers, pumps and exchangers.

  •  2x 30XWHP AquaForce® water-to-water heat pumps
  • Carrier advanced web system controller

Challenges and Solutions

The project presented a number of specific challenges and the solution delivers:

  • A high efficiency system: capacity of 1 000 kW cooling and 1 200 kW heating per AquaForce® water-to-water heat pumps;
  • An innovative energy-saving process application: the machines use the free energy from seawater to remove the energy from the machine condensers and refrigeration units. Whether for air conditioning or heating purposes, the installation principle is the same as for reversible geothermal installations using ground water with water-to-water heat pumps;
  • Optimal security: no fossil fuel usage. Electricity is at the heart of the energy system’s production which means no inflammablegas running through the ducted installation inside a building visited by thousands of visitors each year;
  • Compact size: limited space required for installation. The technical room is only 100 m2.


In June 2014, the new Yacht Club in the Principality of Monaco, designed by Lord Norman Foster and Alexandre Giraldi, chose Carrier to supply HVAC solutions thanks to its expertise in high-rise building solutions and strategy for improved energy efficiency, leveraging the use of seawater as a cooling fluid. The building was fitted with two 30HXC Global Chiller™ water-cooled screw chillers, with seawater exchangers, resulting in a 30% energy efficiency improvement compared to the highest-performing traditional systems.


Case Study – Culture Centre Solutions

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