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Saving CO2 emissions at Energy Efficient Archive

For over 200 years the Lille Archives du Nord have been internationally recognized for their cartographic and photographic records. Their collection of heritage documents play a key role in memory retention of these important historical documents.

Thanks to the Munters air treatment system, good record preservation conditions are created whilst providing energy savings. The system meets the commitment to reduce CO2 emissions, energy use and running costs at the archive. The cooling effect is achieved by using “indirect evaporative cooling” via Munters system. The Munters systems on the located in the basement.

This process absorbs building heat by evaporating water. Heat from the photovoltaic panels is used to regenerate the Munters air treatment system and de-humidify the supply air. Electrical energy is saved since conventional chillers will only be required on the very hottest of summer days. The greatest heat demand in the archive will be during peak summer months, when the Munters systems provide cooling using desiccant dehumidification and evaporative cooling. This will capitalise on the waste heat from the photovoltaic panels , that would otherwise be surplus to needs, since there is low heating demand in the archive.

Munters air treatment systems can be powered at a temp of 55-60oC and use nature’s own method for humidifying and cooling air in the form of desiccant cooling - a solution all the more effective as it converts surplus heat. Waste heat is converted into cooled and dehumidified air which is then distributed into the archive building. Munters evaporative cooling system uses this principle to convert surplus heat at the Archive Du Nord within one unit, which contains neither compressor, cooling surfaces or condensers.

In winter the system provides a bonus as a heat recovery unit gives a reduction in electricity consumption of 60% compared with cooling using compressors, and a heat recovery efficiency of 90% in winter. Munters air treatment systems produce the best indoor climate year-round for archives because it has no mixing of air between fresh air and exhaust air. It is always 100% fresh air from the Munters system. Munters air treatment systems dehumidify the air, then cool the air in a thermal wheel (rotating heat exchanger) and then cool further using an evaporative cooler.

The system uses waste heat from the photovoltaic panels (300 m2) as the primary energy source for the cooling process – not electricity. The desiccant sector contains a rotating Munters desiccant wheel and reactivation coil. The Munters indirect evaporative cooling component cools the exhaust air from the archive so that one can indirectly, via the rotating heat exchanger, cool the warm yet dry air generated after drying. The evaporative cooler in the intake air lowers the temperature of the cool yet dry air from the rotating heat exchanger before it is fed into the Archives du Nord building. At an average to 0.15 Euro per Kwh the Archives du Nord will save on average 60 000 Kwhr energy per year, which is the equivalent to about 9 000 Euro a year.

This Archives du Nord building with its dry climate and latest generation air treatment system is the first in Europe monitored by computer to study the points of heat loss whilst creating the ideal conditions for retaining these valuable historic records in this iconic building. Munters has over 300,000 air treatment system installed worldwide. For more information why not look on


  • Environmentally friendly cooling
  • High quality air
  • Use of surplus heat as an energy source
  • Running costs 30% lower than conventional solutions
  • Single system to operate
  • Easy and fast installation
  • Complete unit supply


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