Viessmann displayed both high and lowtemperature fuel cell technology in their booth which was the size of a small city during the ISH 2013 tradeshow event in Frankfurt Germany

Overwhelmed By An HVAC Tradeshow In Germany

March 16, 2013
ISH 2013: an HVAC contractor's dream. From a new technology standpoint, if you are looking to have your eyes opened, this exhibiiton, held every other year in Frankfurt, Germany is one place where that can happen.

So this was my first trip to Germany. Ever. Overcoming the language issue was nothing compared to overcoming the sheer size of the meeting I came here to attend: ISH 2013. For those of you who've attended trades shows like the AHR Expo, this is more than 10-times the size, with exhibitors I've never heard of, from countries rarely represented in American shows.

Yes, a tradeshow is a tradeshow, but this event made my head swim. Many of the products are not intended for North America but are sooooo cool. But first some background -- ISH 2013 focused on Building Services, Energy, Air Conditioning Technology and Renewable Energies. The event's promoter, Messe Frankfurt claims the event is the world’s biggest exhibition for the combination of water and energy technologies.

And I quote, "With everything from sustainable sanitation solutions, innovative bathroom design and energy efficient heating technologies combined with renewable energies to environmentally friendly air-conditioning, cooling and ventilation technology, ISH trade fair covers all aspects of future-oriented building solutions in both horizontal and vertical terms."

Energy and sustainability means everything here in Germany. On the show floor I saw solar technologies that seemed more mature than what we find in the U.S. In real applications too. In fact, driving around the Frankfurt area (I was staying about an hour away in a city called Wiesbaden (pronounced Veesbatten)), the application of solar is simply astounding. Most homes and businesses have arrays on their rooftops and there are solar farms that are simply so large they go as far as the eye can see.

Because comfort systems in Europe are so much more water-based than forced air, the water technologies on display at the show were impressive. Familiar faces like Honeywell, Viessmann, Watts Radiant, Caleffi and many more were among the more than 2300 exhibitors that filled 11 McCormick Place-sized buildings.

I plan to write more on this in a series of blogs and will include some of the photos and product information I discovered as I worked my way from building to building. Of particular note are the biofuel systems and fuel cell technology. It was simply breath taking.

Please check out some of the photos I took here by going to my ISH photo gallery.

Now I need to find a chair. My legs are so sore!

More on ISH in a few days.