The largest earth-air heat exchanger in France

PAM Building has manufactured an 1,800-meter-long earth-air heat exchanger for the French Army. A cost-effective geothermal solution that ensures temperate, high-quality air in buildings. 

Dans le plus grand puits climatique de France

During the construction of an army training center in Orange (France), the Service d’Infrastructure de la Défense (Defense Infrastructure Service) was faced with a number of constraints: the firing zones built-in the facility had to enjoy thermal stability, without any disturbance from ventilation flows, while ensuring optimal ventilation to recycle the air polluted by gunpowder fumes during exercises. One solution stood out: the earth-air heat exchanger. PAM Building was therefore selected by the French Army to install its Elixair solution and to diffuse temperate, filtered and comfortable air. 

Also known as a Canadian well, Elixair is an underground network of cast iron pipes that uses the differential between the temperature of the air captured outside the building and that of the ground, which tends to be constant. A passive and cost-effective geothermal solution, increasingly prescribed since its addition to the 2020 Environmental Regulations (RE2020). 

But the earth-air heat exchanger installed in Orange is also remarkable for its size: 1,800 meters of pipes installed in a double layer, allowing the PAM Building solution to guarantee an air flow rate of 110,000 m3/h.  

Puits climatique installé à Orange

Coupled with an innovative blower wall, supply and return ventilations, the Elixair well guarantees good indoor air quality for occupants, the system’s energy independence and energy savings. Dynamic compensation for the same results would have required an energy-intensive 350,000 watts cooling unit. 

The PAM Building teams are proud to have been able to provide a solution and to meet the needs of the French Army through a system that is both efficient and durable.