The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing global demand for power, increased preference for large-scale installations, huge potential for offshore wind power, and increased renewable energy auctions, as well as growing importance of technologies such as SCADA data and operating modes and artificial neural network prediction models. In the last three years alone, there have been over 656,000 patents filed and granted in the power industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Environmental sustainability in power: wind turbine performance monitoring. Buy the report here.
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 stabilizing 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.
40+ 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 70,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, solar-powered charging stations, wind turbine performance monitoring, and renewable energy storage are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Foldable solar panels, solar thermal collectors, and geothermal collectors are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are wave energy converters and solar cell protective films, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry
Wind turbine performance monitoring is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability
Wind turbine performance monitoring systems are known as health monitoring systems, which are widely used for diagnosing faults, defects or anomalies, and monitoring the condition of wind turbines. The wind turbine performance monitoring systems monitor the performance of wind turbines using various tools and techniques to collect data. One of the crucial components in performance monitoring includes exploiting artificial neural networks composed of different network designs and training algorithms, using simulated supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) data. The monitoring systems include sensors, data acquisition, data processing, cabling, and other installations that provide continuous and real-time information on the monitored component condition.
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 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of wind turbine performance monitoring.
Key players in wind turbine performance monitoring – a disruptive innovation in the power industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to wind turbine performance monitoring
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|General Electric Co||84||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens AG||44||Unlock Company Profile|
|Vestas Wind Systems AS||25||Unlock Company Profile|
|International Business Machines Corp||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co Ltd||13||Unlock Company Profile|
|IdentiFlight International LLC||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zeppelin-Stiftung Co||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sentient Science Corp||10||Unlock Company Profile|
|Acciona SA||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|ABB Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Acciona SA||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Verdane Capital||7||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sinovel Wind Group Co Ltd||6||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy SA||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Scottish Mortgage Investment Trust PLC||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Envision Energy (Jiangsu) Co Ltd||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Inventus Holdings, LLC||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Envision Digital International Pte Ltd||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hexagon AB||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Equinor ASA||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Huaneng Group Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|IGUS Innovative Technische Systeme GmbH||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Xerox Holdings Corp||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ming Yang Smart Energy Group Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|BP Plc||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boulder Imaging, Inc||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Guodian Corporation||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Guangdong Electronic Industry||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Lufa Investment Group Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Jinfeng Kechuang Wind Power Equipment Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honeywell International Inc||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Equinor ASA||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanghai Electric Group Corp||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Frontier Wind||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dongfang Electric Corporation Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Uni-President China Holdings Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|China Longyuan Power Group Corp Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Power Construction Corporation of China||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|AB SKF||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ducheng Weiye Group Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
General Electric is one of the leading patent filers in wind turbine performance monitoring. As a leading wind turbine repair company, GE combines technical expertise and rigor to keep wind turbines online by servicing and repairing major systems within the turbine to avoid potential downtime and underperformance. In addition to wind turbine repair services, GE applies robust methods to monitor, troubleshoot and inspect turbines, boosting uptime and lifecycle production. Some other key patent filers in the automotive industry include Siemens, Vestas Wind Systems and IBM.
In terms of application diversity, Sentient Science leads the pack, while Acciona and Envision Digital International stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Zeppelin-Stiftung held the top position, followed by Sentient Science and IdentiFlight International.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) in Power.