Musee d'Orsay


The Musee d’Orsay is one of the most celebrated and desirable visitor sites in France, so the number one priority for the museum management team on this project was the comfort and safety of visitors and staff. However, they also wanted to reduce operating costs and energy consumption.


The requirements include a reduction in energy consumption allied to gains in energy saving, that is a demand Trane is very familiar with. However, the task becomes rather different when you must ensure the comfort of over 3.5 million visitors a year while preserving the integrity of the works of Monet, Manet, Degas, Renoir, Cézanne, Gauguin and Van Gogh (to mention a few). So Trane and the world-renowned Musée d’Orsay started scoping this project back in 2008. It became clear early on that this was to be the ultimate bespoke installation.

When it has to be 100% right

Trane takes pride in its ability to customize solutions to meet client needs and to perform an installation with minimal disruption. For the museum, however, we would have to guarantee no disruption to millions of visitors and provide a solution that meets the highest aesthetic standards. In this setting, the world will be watching, and if it is not 100% right the very first time, the world will know about it.


From the release of the public bid process in 2008, Trane devoted two and a half years preparing the specification that would fully satisfy the technical and aesthetic needs of the museum management. The solution went beyond the primary goal of preserving the sensitive indoor environment of the museum, taking into account long term sustainability and operational efficiency of the cooling infrastructure. Trane delivered a chilled water system with a total cooling capacity of 2.3 MW.

Technical support

The new advanced system included four Trane RTWD 160 PE high efficiency chillers, four custom-built cooling towers in stainless steel and Trane chiller plant controls with refrigerant monitoring and leak detection. The existing installation of four old R22 chillers and cooling towers were replaced with new equipment that can deliver higher energy efficiency and reliable performance. The advanced chiller plant control capabilities of the new system makes it easy to use, increases system efficiency and will reduce operating costs.

Trane ensured safety of the museum artwork right from the installation process. Lifting and material handling, by Trane, required exceptional skill and professional care. The cooling towers had to be maneuvered between two statues for installation on the roof of this historic Beaux-Arts building, once the Gare d’Orsay.

Person power

The key to success was not so much the outstanding technological solution but rather the decision to assign a dedicated Trane engineer exclusively to the project from the start. Over 48 months, the museum dealt with the same expert who could guarantee the highest reactivity and knew the application intimately. Two Trane technicians who knew the worksite were always the ones to call on the museum team.


The museum management summed up this exceptional project: “We needed a totally reliable partner with an extensive track record who could ensure that our needs were fully satisfied. Trane not only met but exceeded our expectations.”