The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation. Activity is driven by automation, digitalisation of power infrastructure, optimising the performance of the power distribution network and improving the quality of the distributed power, and growing importance of technologies such as Smart Power Distribution Systems, Smart Grids, and Smart Metering. 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 Internet of Things in Power: Power distribution management applications. Buy the report here.

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According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which uses over 83,000 patents to analyse innovation intensity for the power industry, there are 90+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Power distribution management applications is a key innovation area in Internet of Things

Power distribution management is the process and collaboration of multiple departments to complete the operation and management of power distribution networks.

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 20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of power distribution management applications.

Key players in power distribution management applications – a disruptive innovation in the power industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to power distribution management applications

Company Total patents (2021 - 2023) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
State Grid Corporation of China 92 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 61 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 41 Unlock Company Profile
Shell 36 Unlock Company Profile
Alphabet 26 Unlock Company Profile
Emerging Automotive 25 Unlock Company Profile
EnerSys 23 Unlock Company Profile
NARI Technology 19 Unlock Company Profile
Itron 17 Unlock Company Profile
Causam Energy 16 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 14 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines 10 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 10 Unlock Company Profile
NARI Group 9 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid NARI Nanjing Control System 8 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 8 Unlock Company Profile
Kymco Motors 8 Unlock Company Profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 7 Unlock Company Profile
Honda Motor 7 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nouvenn 5 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid Information and Telecommunication 5 Unlock Company Profile
Xuji Group 5 Unlock Company Profile
OK amba 5 Unlock Company Profile
Hubbell 5 Unlock Company Profile
Doosan 5 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Itron is a technology and services company and is one of the key patent filers for power distribution management applications. Itron's solutions include Distributed Energy Management, Distributed Intelligence and Distribution Automation.

Hitachi is another key patent filer for power distribution management applications. Hitachi’s Power Distribution Systems offers solutions from basic to advanced distribution automation networks. This end-to-end offering includes Secondary distribution automation, Primary distribution automation, Network Manager, Asset and Work Management, and Communication Networks, and has applications such as Monitoring, control, measurement and protection, Fault and Outage Management, and Volt-var Management.

Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung Group, Alphabet, NARI Technology, and State Grid Corporation of China are among other key patent filers in power distribution management.

To further understand how Internet of Things is disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things in Power (2021).

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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.