The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by rising demand for solar power and need to increase the efficiency and portability of solar panels and the growing importance of technologies such as monocrystalline, polycrystalline, and thin film. In the last three years alone, there have been over 439,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environment Sustainability in Power: Collapsible PV solar cells. Buy the report here.

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However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

90+ innovations will shape the power industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the power industry using innovation intensity models built on over 83,000 patents, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, smart lighting system, PCM thermal energy storage, and solid electrolyte fuel cell membrane are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Ceramic oxide nuclear fuel, geothermal heat pumps, and hybrid PV plants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are combined-cycle gas turbines and ethylene co-polymer PV modules, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry

Collapsible PV solar cells is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Collapsible solar panels are a portable solution that may be used for a variety of outdoor activities. They fold up for simple travel, as the name implies. Foldable solar panels serve as a portable power source for electronics, charging their battery packs with sunlight.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies.  According to GlobalData, there are 10+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of collapsible PV solar cells.

Key players in collapsible PV solar cells – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to collapsible PV solar cells

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Beijing Apollo Ding Rong Solar Technology 23 Unlock Company Profile
LG 16 Unlock Company Profile
Hanergy Holding Group 16 Unlock Company Profile
Shadecraft 16 Unlock Company Profile
Renovagen 15 Unlock Company Profile
Solivus 14 Unlock Company Profile
Sumitomo Electric Industries 14 Unlock Company Profile
Moixa Energy Holdings 11 Unlock Company Profile
WiTricity 10 Unlock Company Profile
HADAL 6 Unlock Company Profile
Iworks 6 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Chemical Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Flex 5 Unlock Company Profile
Compagnie de Saint-Gobain 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Renovagen is one of the leading patent filers in collapsible PV solar cells. Renovagen was founded at the end of 2012 in order to commercialise the transportable, rollable solar array generator invention. The company seeks to offer innovative renewable energy solutions and products which are disruptive technologically and commercially – in particular, applying innovative engineering to new and emerging technologies in order to offer novel solutions which maximise the value of those technologies.

In terms of application diversity, WiTricity, LG, and Compagnie de Saint-Gobain are some of the leading patent filers in collapsible PV solar cells. By means of geographic reach, Sumitomo Electric Industries, Hanergy Holding Group, and Mitsubishi Chemical are some of the leading patent filers in collapsible PV solar cells.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Power.

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GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.