The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by rising energy demand, renewable integration, and the need for grid stability and resilience, and growing importance of technologies such as artificial intelligence and Internet of Things. 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: power distribution control system. 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 a 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 turbines 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

Power distribution control system is a key innovation area in power

A power distribution control system is a set of devices and methods used to monitor and control the distribution of power in various environments, such as data centers and electronic devices. It relies on communication modules, switch units, and power control units to enable flexible power distribution and reduce engineering-related risks.

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 70+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of power distribution control system.

Key players in power distribution control system – 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 power distribution control system

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Schneider Electric SE 26 Unlock Company Profile
Dell Technologies Inc 22 Unlock Company Profile
Legrand SA 22 Unlock Company Profile
Intel Corp 21 Unlock Company Profile
Trilliant Holdings, Inc. 20 Unlock Company Profile
Huawei Investment & Holding Co Ltd 16 Unlock Company Profile
STMicroelectronics NV 12 Unlock Company Profile
Signify NV 12 Unlock Company Profile
AB Electrolux 11 Unlock Company Profile
Whirlpool Corp 10 Unlock Company Profile
Tsann Kuen (Zhangzhou) Enterprise Co., Ltd. 9 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines Corp 9 Unlock Company Profile
Ricoh Co Ltd 8 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet Inc 8 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Virtual Power Systems Inc 7 Unlock Company Profile
General Motors Co 6 Unlock Company Profile
Power Assure, Inc. 6 Unlock Company Profile
Canon Inc 6 Unlock Company Profile
Qualcomm Inc 6 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba Corp 6 Unlock Company Profile
LG Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Corporation of China 5 Unlock Company Profile
Michilin Prosperity Co Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
ABB Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
NEC Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
Nokia Corp 5 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid Co Ltd 5 Unlock Company Profile
Denso Corp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Foxconn Industrial Internet Co Ltd 4 Unlock Company Profile
Beijing Electronics Holding Co Ltd 4 Unlock Company Profile
HannStar Display Corp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Delta Electronics Inc 4 Unlock Company Profile
Trilliant Networks, Inc. 4 Unlock Company Profile
Fujifilm Holdings Corp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Microsoft Corp 4 Unlock Company Profile
Enfora, Inc. 3 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa Co Ltd 3 Unlock Company Profile
Powertech Industrial Co., Ltd. 3 Unlock Company Profile
K-tronics (Suzhou) Technology Co., Ltd. 3 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom Inc 3 Unlock Company Profile
Koninklijke Philips NV 2 Unlock Company Profile
Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co 2 Unlock Company Profile
Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation Corporation of Japan 2 Unlock Company Profile
HP Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Viavi Solutions Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Honeywell International Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Compellent Technologies, Inc. 2 Unlock Company Profile
Charter Communications Inc 2 Unlock Company Profile
Vantiva SA 2 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Schneider Electric is one of the leading patent filers in power distribution control. Schneider Electric is an energy management and automation company that develops related technologies and solutions for electricity distribution. Its major products include automation and control products, low-voltage products and systems, solar and energy storage, medium-voltage distribution and grid automation, and critical power, cooling, and racks. Some other key patent filers in the power distribution control system include Dell Technologies, Legrand, and Intel.

In terms of application diversity, Broadcom leads the pack, while Virtual Power Systems and Trilliant Networks stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Dell Technologies held the top position, followed by Trilliant and STMicroelectronics.

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.