March is a month marked by ISH Frankfurt, one of the most important events for professionals working on solar thermal energy, in Europe and the world. It’s during events like this that we can get an idea on what direction the sector is going, what trends are developing, and what actors are involved.
For me, this year’s ISH also marks a milestone in my career. Thirty years ago, I attended ISH for the first time, and I have never missed this gathering since. I have seen the market going up and down and I am hopeful that the current trends is going upwards.
Visitors to ISH include installers, manufacturers, and other professionals, many of which in search of alternative solutions to traditional heating systems. Digitalisation and integration with other technologies were themes receiving some attention in this edition.
But if there is one thing that stood out for me this year, is that international interest is on the rise. The official numbers from the ISH organisation confirm that the percentage of both international exhibitors and visitors have increased, and the international profile ISH has taken was clearly noticeable in comparison with other trade fairs in Europe. Indeed, I was happy to see the participation of solar thermal companies from Greece, Turkey, Poland, France, Austria, Spain and Italy; as well as the new interest from other continents.
This international dimension is also reflected in the technologies presented at the fair. Even though ISH takes place in Frankfurt, all kinds of solar thermal solutions were showcased, not limited by what would be normally suitable for the local Central European market. For instance, thermosiphons were a clear trend, as were companies working with PVT. I felt that the stands from companies specialising on those technologies were rather popular.
This international exposure highlights the increased relevance of standardisation and certification. The work in TC312 and ISO180 as well as the promotion of the Solar Keymark and Global Certification have accrued importance in this context and deserve more attention and engagement from our industry, facilitating more dynamic exports and a general increase in product quality.
I consider this year’s ISH rather successful and was happy to talk with exhibitors and visitors alike that intend to come back for next editions. As such, I also welcome additional feedback from our members on the current calendar of international exhibitions and its interest for the solar heating and cooling sector. Hence, please don’t hesitate to contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or our Secretariat (email@example.com) with your comments and feedback.