Experimentation for climate control on a building of the Guiana Space Centre

For our first on-site experimentation, we had the opportunity to test our technology on the European Spaceport.

It was a challenging experience:

  • The Guiana Space Centre is located in French Guyana, a territory submitted to tropical climate where cooling is required all the day of the years.
  • French Guiana is far from our headquarter, we had to prepare everything beforehand to limit operation on-site.
  • The site is classed SEVESO, which implies stringent procedure to operate on site.

This project has been funded with the participation of the European Union (FEDER Program), the CNES and ArianeGroup.

We especially thank Thierry RUAUD and Jean-Marc DURAND for believing in this project and for facilitating its good progression.
Weather conditions

French Guyana territory is a territory with a tropical climate.

The mean temperature is not that hot. However, the humidity is really high, making it very hard to withstand the heat.

The location, near the equator, makes the sun very hard to withstand. It's shining at its peak everyday of the year.

However, weather is quickly changing and it's mostly cloudy with sparse rain that maintain the temperature bearable but still increase the humidity of the air.

Climate conditions are as follow:


  • Min: 20°C
  • Mean: 28°C
  • Max: 35°C


  • Min: 65%
  • Mean: 85%
  • Max: 100%
Cooling requirement of the Guiana Space Centre
The Guiana Space Center has a lot of sensitive facilities that requires fine climate control. Below is a non exhaustive list of example of the cooling requirement of the Space Center.
Preparation of satellites (ECPU)

Satellite have very sensitive electronics hardware that require fine climate control. The presence of water condensate can jeopardize the mission.
Temperature and humidity is control to ensure correct assembly and avoid condensation.
Preparation of launcher (BIL)

The launcher is very big. Small temperature difference can lead to measurable dilatation.
Temperature is control to limit dilatation phenomenon which ensure the correct assembly of the launcher.
Humidity is controlled to limit presence of water condensate in cryogenic piping that can lead to freezing during cryogenic operation.


The case study

French Guyana territory is a territory with a hot climate. In this territory, air conditioning is not a luxury but required to have minimum confort.

ArianeGroup, as the main operator of the Guiana Space Centre, uses a lot of cooling system. Cooling systems are the main utility on site. One third of the electricity consumption of the European Spaceport is used to produce cooling power.

With these stakes in mind, ArianeGroup, CNES and CTG (Collectivité Territoriale de Guyane) were very interested in testing a new cooling technology with zero CO2 impact due to refrigerant and with lower energy consumption.

However, they were well aware that new technology needs work to be reliable. They wanted to test the technology on a small scale on a building with zero risk in case of failure.

The choice has been made to use our technology to control the climate of a non critical buildings that is used to store spare parts for on-land operations.

Why our Solution?
Local and sustainable refrigerant : Water!

According to UNESCO, French Guiana is the second terroritory which contains the most quantity of water per habitant.
Fluorinated refrigerant are imported while water is already present on site in large quantity!
Ideal technology for the French Guyana climate conditions

French Guiana climate is hot and humid. But the temperature remains stable all the year and mostly below 35°C.
Its the perfect conditions for what we can achieve with the current technology maturity!
Easier administration: no declaration of leakage of F-Gas required

F-gas usage and importation should be declared to EU body.
Water doesn't require this procedure!
Reduced energy consumption: -30% theoretically

Air conditioning is used everyday all year long. In this kind of usage, energy efficiency is very important to limit operation cost but also limit the demand on the electrical grid.


Experimental data for a typical day

Mean COP : 4,47 | Mean cooling power : 22,9kW | Mean outlet temperature : 7,7°C


Comparison with conventional technology

Final characteristics (Tc = 7°C, Tamb = 35°C)
Quick LCA
Cooling consumption
1,8 TWh
1,8 TWh
Electricity consumption
0,4 TWh
0,63 TWh
Gas refill
6 + 2x6 = 18
CO2 due to refrigerant
0 tCO2eq
85 tCO2eq
CO2 due to electricity
96,4 tCO2eq
151,8 tCO2eq
CO2 Total
96,4 tCO2eq
236,8 tCO2eq
CO2 avoided over the lifetime of the chiller: 140,4 t!