Traditionally, the ISH has been the biannual forum for the European heating industry to showcase product innovations and new business strategies. The big five in Europe – Bosch Thermotechnik with its brands Buderus and Junkers, Viessmann, Vaillant, Ariston and its Elco brand, and BDR Thermea with its brands Remeha, Brötje and De Dietrich – welcomed tens of thousands of installers to the international five-day business-to-business fair in Frankfurt, Germany, at the beginning of March 2017. They chose two entirely different ways of presenting the new generation of heating solutions: Viessmann and Junkers focused on online marketing and sales, whereas Vaillant and Buderus favoured system integration. “Easy selling” reads the exhibition wall at the booth of Junkers (see photo), where the new online marketing tool was shown to attendees.
The ranking of the largest flat plate collector manufacturers is headed by the same four companies as last year: Greenonetec from Austria, Fivestar from China, Soletrol from Brazil and Bosch Thermotechnik from Germany. But aside from the continuity at the top, last year shows what different paths some markets have taken. Whereas Australian-based Solahart, one of the pioneers of global solar collector trade, as well as Soletrol, the largest Brazilian manufacturer, have lost ground, several others – such as Sunrain from China, Hewalex from Poland and Eraslan from Turkey – were able to report above-average growth for 2015 and rise through the ranks. The produced collector area of the overall 21 companies added up to 4,212,462 m². The number was 21 and not 20 because the last and second-last spot were occupied by companies with equal production output.
The solar thermal industry is facing major challenges: Costs of storage and collector components have to be reduced even further if large solar plants are to offer investors competitive prices for heating. Hence, 170 industry representatives and scientists from all around the world came together at the international industry conference SMEThermal 2012 in Berlin at the beginning of February 2012 to explore cost-cutting strategies during a round-table discussion. Photo: Solarpraxis AG / Therese Aufschlager
The global breakthrough of solar thermal will depend on how well the industry masters the challenge of cost-effective tank and collector manufacturing. This is the key issue of the 3rd SMEThermal conference on 7 February 2012 in Berlin, Germany. The international event is dedicated exclusively to process optimization, automation, and new materials in the solar thermal industry. The organizer, Berlin-based Solarpraxis, launched the complete programme at the end of October (see attached pdf).
While in most of Europe the solar heating and cooling market has been suffering from a decline in sales since 2009, Poland has experienced a slight growth in its national industry. According to data gathered by ESTIF (European Solar Thermal Industry Federation), Poland was the 8th largest market for solar collectors in 2010. It has not had significant lows in newly installed collector area since 2000, but still needs a big jump forward to reach the target of 20 million m2 in 2020 (see chart). Solarthermalworld.org talked to Janusz Starościk, head of the Polish heating organisation SPIUG, which has made the push for solar energy part of its agenda. Source: IEO EC BREC
The ISH is becoming increasingly international. At the beginning of this March, the world´s largest trade fair for bathroom, building, energy and climate technology in Frankfurt, Germany, has counted significantly more international visitors than ever before. 35 % of the 204,000 trade visitors came from abroad (2009: 29 %), whereas the total number of visitors almost stagnated (+1.5 %). The ISH is the trade fair of the European heating industry. The five largest corporations - Bosch Thermotechnik, Vaillant, Viessmann from Germany, BDR Thermea, Netherlands, and Ariston from Italy - dominated Hall 8 with huge stands. Solarthermalworld.org presents some of the trends it discovered in the solar thermal product portfolio of Europe's heating business. Photo: ISH 2011
Together, De Dietrich Remeha Group and Baxi Group have just established BDR Thermea, the third largest heating corporation in Europe. Five solar brands are part of the newly founded company: De Dietrich, Oertli, Baxi, Baymak, Brötje. Figure: BDR Thermea
Flat plate collectors are still the dominating technology on the Polish solar thermal market. The share of vacuum tube collectors, however, increased from 17 to 31 % within two years. This is one of the examples of a market survey published in May 2008. Photo: IEO