Final report from the 23rd annual INFOTHERMA Exhibition in 2016.

Černá louka Exhibition Grounds, Ostrava, January 18th- 21st, 2016

The exhibition grounds were at full capacity with 363 domestic and foreign exhibitors and 29,100 visitors.

Although the basic focus of the exhibition has not changed for 23 years, Infotherma 2016 was unique for many reasons. In particular, it tried to specifically address the fact that the North-Moravian Region is one of the most polluted regions in Europe, the unemployment rate in the region is among the highest in the Czech Republic, and per capita income is lagging. The exhibition attempted to present ways out of this dismal situation. One available option is to obtain financing from EU funds. Applications for these subsidies were handed out to visitors by many companies interested in selling products that qualified for subsidies, and were also available at the booth of the State Environmental Fund and the regional government of North Moravia, which assisted visitors in filling out the applications.

The main focus of the exhibition is to introduce technical innovations in heating systems that visitors are most interested in. Infotherma 2016 again served as a comprehensive showcase of domestic and foreign heating system manufacturers and retailers.

Of the 70 different categories of systems on display, 52 companies exhibited boilers, 49 presented solar collectors, 47 companies specialized in low-energy and passive construction, while 41 exhibitors featured construction insulation. Heat pumps, which were presented by 66 domestic and international companies, again represented the largest display of these systems in the Republic.

After the previous year’s exceptional interest in the panel presentation “Where our Energy Awaits”, the organizers of the 23rd annual Infotherma Exhibition continued with this topic. There were presentations on the use of microalgae for energy and ecology, the official government position on the extraction of shale gas, news from a Brno test facility for capturing lighting, coal heap remediation and possible use of energy from existing burning coal heaps, use of geothermal energy, or new wind turbine constructions.

Further development in the use of renewable resources both here and throughout the world is increasingly dependent on the ability to store energy from times when there is a surplus, so that it may be used when needed. In addition to a number of amusing designs, the state-of-the-art pumped-storage hydroelectric plant in Dlouhé stráně was presented, and last year a Czech patent was put into operation: a unique mining pumped-storage power plant located in the former Jeremenko Mine in Vítkovice and adapted to specific mining conditions. It serves to both store electrical energy and pump mine water.

In terms of the sensible use of renewable resources, Infotherma 2016 debuted the idea of the energy self-sufficient home and household. In addition to national professional conferences on this topic, exhibition visitors could see residential photovoltaic panels with batteries to store excess energy until needed later by users. VSB – Technical University of Ostrava supplemented the idea with other possible uses of PV panels such as charging electric cars or providing energy to households.

Tile stoves are one of the most natural sources of heat for people, because they give off radiant heat similar to sunshine. This creates a pleasant atmosphere that relieves stress and is capable of using energy much better than other heat sources using solid or liquid fuel. A large section of the entrance pavilion of this year’s Infotherma was devoted to the largest comprehensive exhibit of its kind in the Czech Republic, The World of Tile and Tiled Stoves. More than 30 Czech and foreign companies took part. The exhibit presented tile and tile stoves from the Renaissance to the present and examined ways this type of heating can be used in the design of modern interiors.

Like every year, there was also an extensive program of events for visitors. In the Congress Center were national professional conferences on heat pumps, energy saving subsidies, new legislation and energy self-sufficient homes and other small and medium-sized buildings. Numerous lectures, forums and discussions were also held in the lecture hall of the entrance pavilion.

Agentura Inforpres, the organizer of the exhibition, surveyed visitors to find out what they were most interested in and what questions they wanted answered. For example, before this year’s exhibition there were two internet voting contests and more than 350,000 households were contacted. At the exhibition itself, visitors voted on which products and services on display they found most interesting. The winning exhibits from the internet voting contest were displayed in the entrance pavilion, and in addition to the latest high-performance boilers there was a ventilation unit with heat recuperation, a decorative heating panel, ventilation and unit and many other products.

Infotherma facts and numbers

  • The exhibition is organized by Agentura Inforpres.
  • The first annual Infotherma Exhibition took place in 1994 in Frýdlant nad Ostravicí.
  • Because of the need for more space, the exhibition moved in 2007 to the Černá louka Exhibition Grounds in Ostrava.
  • Over the past twenty two years, 5,938 domestic and foreign companies and organizations have presented at the exhibition.
  • In addition to domestic exhibitors, there are international companies and organizations from Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Austria, Italy and other European countries.
  • Over half a million visitors have seen Infotherma over the past twenty two years.
  • Infotherma 2016 was held under the auspices of the Czech Ministry of Industry and Trade, Ministry of the Environment, and Ministry of Agriculture
  • Over 50 media partners work with the Infotherma Exhibition.