The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for improved reliability of networks, including fault prediction and prevention, and growing importance of technologies such as smart grids, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). 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 Artificial Intelligence in Power: AI-assisted power fault monitoring.

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, power distribution system modelling, electricity supply distribution models, and AI-assisted power fault monitoring are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Smart batteries, renewable energy integrated microgrids, and smart lighting system are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are prepaid electricity metering and home automation networks, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for artificial intelligence in the power industry

AI-assisted power fault monitoring is a key innovation area in artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is used to detect and track faults in a power distribution grid. AI may also be used to rectify the detected faults and address the faulty network or device to avoid a power grid failure cascade.

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 AI-assisted power fault monitoring.

Key players in AI-assisted power fault monitoring – 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’.

Eos Energy Enterprises (EOS ) is a leading patent filer. The company manufactures energy storage solutions, and the core of the EOS energy storage systems is the EOS Znyth (zinc hybrid cathode) battery technology that should allow for increased lifetime, safety, and lower costs than legacy lithium-ion storage technologies. The company is focused on incorporating machine learning, artificial intelligence, data science, and optimisation algorithms in an Energy Management Software system to enable use cases and create the greatest value for the end user. The company provides O&M services that include 24x7 proactive monitoring and fault detection, not only for the Znyth™ battery system, but also for the inverter and balance of plant at the project site. Recently, EOS got US$258 million orders for its zinc battery storage in Q2 2022.

Electricite de France , Siemens , and NARI Technology are amongst the other leading patent filers in AI-assisted power fault monitoring.

To further understand how artificial intelligence is disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on AI in Power.

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.