GICB building in Banyuls sur Mer, France

Description of the application

The targeted building welcoming the solar cooling application is the GICB building. This wine cellar is dedicated to wine conservation in the city of Banyuls sur Mer, in the seaside close to the Spanish border (Mediterranean sea). The ground floor is used for dispatching and the bottle storage is done in Level -1 and Level -2. Started in summer 1989 without cooling system, the wine cellar behaviour has been tested for two years. An ambient temperature continuous measurement in the three levels permitted to analyse their behaviour and to determine the best working conditions for cooling.
The important thermal inertia of Level -1 and Level -2 in comparison with the Ground Floor, which in addition the level where new bottles are transiting before being stored, has led to limit the Level-2 temperature to 17 C, the Level -1 temperature to 19 C, and, with the potential cooling energy excess the Ground Floor temperature to 22 C.
Thermal gains are quite weak. They are mainly sensible gains by conduction through the walls or by infiltration. Latent gains are considered as negligible in comparison.
The cooling demand is fitting the solar resource evolution during the year.
Solar energy is able to be used for an heating system for occupant comfort in winter at the Ground Floor (≈18 C) and potentially the pre-heating of water used on a new bottling process.
All of these points are favourable criteria for using solar energy on this site. 

General description of the system

The cooling system is made of 130 m of evacuated tube collectors (useful area) Cortec Giordano on the roof, oriented in South/South-West and directly fixed on the roof at nearly 15, a technical premises situated in Level -2 and owning a buffer storage tank of 1 000 litres, a single effect indirect absorption chiller YAZAKI type WFC 15, with a nominal cooling power of 52 kW, several circulating pumps for the different loops, a general electrical managing chest, a open loop cooling tower with a nominal power of 180 kW, installed in the Northern front, three air conditioning units (one per level) having a filter, a cold exchanger for chilled water (+ an heat exchanger for the Ground Floor one) and a centrifugal fan with a 25,000 m/h flow. The distributed cooling power is between 25 and 35 kW, depending on the levels. The air conditioning units are working in full recycling (with exhausting through a ventilation shaft) the maximum difference between exhausting and re-using is nearly of 4 C, avoiding thus any thermal shock risk. The primary loop (collector loop) is filled in with water, for a working temperature between 60 and 95 C. All the other loops work as well with pure water. Balance valves 'TA Control' permit a precise flow adjustment in each loop and under-loop, which is essential for the good system management.

Central air-conditioning unit


closed cycle

Nominal capacity

52 kWcold

Type of closed system


Brand of chiller unit


Chilled water application




Heat rejection system

wet cooling tower

Solar thermal

Collector type

evacuated tube

Brand of collector

Giordano Cortec 2

Collector area

130 m2 absorber area

Tilt angle, orientation

15, 15 west

Collector fluid


Typical operation temperature

85 C driving temperature for chiller operation


Heat storage

1 m3 water

Cold storage


Auxiliary heating support


Use of auxiliary heating system


Auxiliary chiller


System performance

Energy production (2007)
Cooling only: 17,000 kWh/year (from May to end of September)

Energy savings
Cooling: 0.05 /kWh (EER = 2)
Electricity consumption: 2,800 kWh = 280 /year

TOTAL = 950 /year
(on the basis of an average increase of energy price of 5 %/year)

System reliability and overall success of the installation

This installation is a very good success for the end user. The solar cold production is in adequation with the load of the building: decrease the temperature increase in the wine cellar. Adequation between solar production and cooling load of the 3 storage levels in the building. A lot of different articles, reports on TV, publications. The user is as well using the system as a marketing attraction for potential clients and visitors. The user is satisfied of the performances and do not need any back up. No major issues in the system since 1995. Change of the primary loop pump and of the crepuscular sensor by a irradiation sensor to decrease the electric COP of the system.

General information

Type of building  Wine cellar
Location  Banyuls sur Mer
In operation since  1991
System operated by  Dalkia
Air-conditioned area  4,500 m2
Capacity  52 kW


Cooling tower
Caption 1
Chiller unit
Cooling tower
Collector area
Chiller unit
Scheme of the system
Collector area
Location of the wine cellar
Scheme of the system

Clicking an image opens the gallery view.

Specific information

Further specific information about the system are included in the filled in technical questionnaire.


288 K


For more information on the project please feel free to contact:

Daniel Mugnier