March 23, 2015 ISH 2015 – Comfort Meets Technology

ISH 2015

Many of you may know that TJ’s attends the ISH Trade Fair in Frankfurt, Germany every two years. The event has all of the latest technology on display for the plumbing and HVAC market. Energy and saving the planet are our passions, at TJ’s, and we love being able to learn about the newest technology so that we can always be on the cutting edge and offer our customers the latest and greatest ways to save energy and money and to offer them new ways to manage the climate in their homes efficiently and easily.

This year’s Trade Fair offered some exciting new technology and impressive bathroom designs. TJ’s spent two very full days at the ISH Fair and we hope you enjoy our pictures and insight into what is new in the plumbing and HVAC market.  We also hope you enjoy the excellent video, direct from ISH, with a synopsis of the event.


Viessmann Fuel Cell Technology

TJ’s spent quite a bit of time at the Viessmann booth with our representative, Pat Lilly. It was here that we saw the most impressive technological advances. We took a lot of time to speak to the folks there and asked a lot of questions.

One of the things that really had us excited was Viessmann’s new Hydrogen Fuel Cell that uses natural gas fired with a Vitodens boiler that creates enough electricity to run an average German home for a year, the by-product of which is water.  This unit will produce hot water at approximately 180 degrees F. Based on our winter months, with long heating demand, we would end up creating a fair amount of electricity. Adding PV solar panels to the roof would allow us to feed more energy to the grid.

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Package Systems

Another trend by manufacturers is the package system approach. More and more manufacturers are delivering a systems approach, using their own control platform. Their controls allow them to maximize the efficiency of the entire system. Even Grundfos had all of their circulators connected to an app on the iPhone. It has a quick email feature to send the fault code to your contractor for service.

Heat Pumps

One difference between Germany and the US is in the use of heat pumps. In Germany, we don’t see many ground source heat pumps. They typically use air source heat pumps with high efficient compressors that pull the heat out of the air and convert if to heated or chilled water. The Germans use water as a medium to transfer energy. Water becomes a low-temperature heat emitter, making for a more comfortable home. This allows the water temperature to change based on weather conditions, creating the highest efficiency, at the lowest operating cost. We saw air source heat pumps that operate in the range of 5 COP at outdoor air temperatures of 32 degrees F. The lower the temperature, the lower the COP. At these low temperatures, we see the units producing hot water at temperatures in the range of 167 degree F.

Air Conditioning

In the air conditioning and ventilation market, the trend is constant air movement at low CFMs, keeping the home air quality as high as possible. The system we saw are similar to the Zehnder air exchange systems we install regularly.

Flex Duct

One of the booths we visited offer a flex duct with a high quality liner that promotes hygiene in the ductwork. The insulation is available as R4, R6, or R8. The liner is the best quality I have ever seen. The insulation on the outside is also user friendly. It does not create an itchiness when touched.

In a nutshell, there are so many different pieces of equipment available that are far more efficient and innovative than what is currently available in the US market. It would be in our country’s best interest to let this technology come here so that we can benefit with higher efficient equipment and lower operating costs.

Bathroom Design

The latest bathroom design buzz is definitely the open floor concept, combined with green living and relaxing, spa-like experiences. Gone are the days of the bathroom being just a utilitarian, functional room. Now, the bathroom can be a whole new experience.

TJ’s Custom Bathrooms

TJ’s latest custom bathroom is a good example of how the right design can transform your bathroom space.

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Special Fixtures

Some of the most impressive fixtures were the rain shower heads. hansgrohe had our favorite featured in several bathrooms.  And, the shower heads that also functioned as lights were pretty special as well.


Bathroom Design

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More Photos

More photos are available on our Facebook Page.

If you want to transform your bathroom experience, please contact us. We would love to help you.