The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by highly efficient renewable energy technology, environmentally clean and cost-effective systems for heating and cooling and growing importance of technologies such as closed-loop systems, open-loop systems and hybrid systems. 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 Innovation in power: geothermal heat pumps. 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 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, variable speed gas turbines is disruptive technology that is in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Perovskite photoactive layering, power distribution control system, and CAES gas turbine are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are geothermal heat pumps and prepaid electricity metering, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the power industry

Geothermal heat pumps is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

Geothermal heat pumps are devices that use the earth’s natural heat to provide heating and cooling for buildings.

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 geothermal heat pumps.

Key players in geothermal heat pumps – 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 geothermal heat pumps

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Mitsubishi Electric 32 Unlock Company Profile
Paloma Industries 20 Unlock Company Profile
Basic 20 Unlock Company Profile
Lennox International 19 Unlock Company Profile
Teijin 15 Unlock Company Profile
Robert Bosch Stiftung 14 Unlock Company Profile
E.ON 13 Unlock Company Profile
Efficient Energy 13 Unlock Company Profile
Quantitative Heat 13 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries 13 Unlock Company Profile
Denso 11 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 7 Unlock Company Profile
The Kansai Electric Power 6 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 6 Unlock Company Profile
Tracto-Technik 6 Unlock Company Profile
JG 6 Unlock Company Profile
Uni-President 5 Unlock Company Profile
Tosoh 5 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Scandinavian Energy Efficiency 4 Unlock Company Profile
Giacomini 4 Unlock Company Profile
The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission 4 Unlock Company Profile
Nexus eWater 4 Unlock Company Profile
Ortner 3 Unlock Company Profile
Amhold 3 Unlock Company Profile
Green Matters 2 Unlock Company Profile
Star Refrigeration 2 Unlock Company Profile
SAMYANG ECO-ENERGY 2 Unlock Company Profile
STIEBEL ELTRON 2 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 2 Unlock Company Profile
Vaillant 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hon Hai Precision Industry 2 Unlock Company Profile
Yanmar (Tokyo Office) 1 Unlock Company Profile
Prosperity Real Estate Investment Trust 1 Unlock Company Profile
Uni-President China 1 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Lead Electric Equipment 1 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Huashang Sanyou New Energy Technology 1 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 1 Unlock Company Profile
Bw-Energiesysteme 1 Unlock Company Profile
drexel und weiss energieeffiziente haustechniksysteme 1 Unlock Company Profile
Compuware 1 Unlock Company Profile
Janghan Engineers 1 Unlock Company Profile
State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council 1 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan 1 Unlock Company Profile
Taewon Co.,Ltd 1 Unlock Company Profile
Dynatrace 1 Unlock Company Profile
Kolon Global 1 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Leaders in geothermal heat pump patent filing include Mitsubishi Electric, Paloma Industries, Basic Holdings, Lennox International, and Teijin. Mitsubishi Electric’s Ecodan CRHV ground / water source heat pump monobloc system provides a renewable heating solution capable of delivering the highest levels of COP efficiency throughout the year, while Quantitative Heat has developed a unique solution for medium-deep heat wells. 

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.