The power industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by stringent regulations on emissions and rising consumer awareness of eco-friendly techniques, and the need to integrate more distributed energy resources, and growing importance of technologies such as machine learning and predictive controls. 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 onInnovation in power: multi-port power converters. 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, 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
Multi-port power converters is a key innovation area in power
The main goal of a multi-port power converter is to connect various power sources with inputs and outputs through a single power converter to allow power flow between each port. Multi-port power converters are intended to eliminate redundant and superfluous power conversion stages as well as excess semiconductor switching devices that are commonly seen in traditional topologies. These devices are designed to provide high efficiency power conversion, while maximizing heat dissipation performance.
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 multi-port power converters.
Key players in multi-port power converters – 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 multi-port power converters
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Hitachi Ltd||99||Unlock Company Profile|
|Eaton Corporation Plc||48||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Electric Corp||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba Corp||30||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyundai Motor Co||27||Unlock Company Profile|
|Chongqing Jinkang New Energy Vehicle Co Ltd||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|NOV Inc||24||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kia Corp||23||Unlock Company Profile|
|Ford Motor Co||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Denso Corp||21||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toyota Motor Corp||20||Unlock Company Profile|
|Delta Electronics Inc||19||Unlock Company Profile|
|ROHM Co Ltd||17||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zeppelin-Stiftung Co||15||Unlock Company Profile|
|Valeo SA||14||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nissan Motor Co Ltd||11||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd||9||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fuji Electric Co Ltd||8||Unlock Company Profile|
|Marelli Holdings Co Ltd||5||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic Holdings Corp||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|HL Mando Corp||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Nidec Corp||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Bayerische Motoren Werke AG||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|AC Propulsion, Inc.||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Lear Corp||4||Unlock Company Profile|
|Komatsu Ltd||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyundai Mobis Co Ltd||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shenzhen Deren Electronic Co Ltd||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co Ltd||3||Unlock Company Profile|
|LG Corp||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|China FAW Group Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Penny & Giles Controls Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|XL Hybrids Inc.||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Porsche Automobil Holding SE||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fermata LLC||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Delta Electronic Enterprise Management Shanghai Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Caterpillar Inc||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Honda Motor Co Ltd||2||Unlock Company Profile|
|Shanxi Tiandi Coal Mining Machinery Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dawonsys Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|AB Volvo||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Seres Group Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Continental AG||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Renault SA||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tian Di Science & Technology Co Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|Seoul Metropolitan Rapid Transit Corporation||1||Unlock Company Profile|
|CRRC Corp Ltd||1||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
Hitachi is one of the leading patent filers in multi-port power converters. Hitachi is a multi-national conglomerate with presence in information technology, electronics, power systems, social infrastructure, industrial systems, and construction machinery. The company manufactures and sells information and telecom systems, power systems, social infrastructure and industrial systems, construction machinery, electronic systems and equipment, automotive systems, and smart life and eco-friendly systems. Some other key patent filers in the multi-port power converter space include Eaton, Mitsubishi Electric, and Toshiba.
In terms of application diversity, Fermata leads the pack, while Eaton and Toyota Motor stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Eaton held the top position, followed by Toshiba and Sumitomo Electric Industries.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Power.