The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for growth in solar generation and advancements in solar cell efficiency and growing importance of technologies such as solar heat collector mounting systems, floating solar and uneven terrain mounting structures. 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 Environment Sustainability in Power: Solar heat collector mounting.

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, smart lighting system, PCM thermal energy storage, and solid electrolyte fuel cell membrane are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Ceramic oxide nuclear fuel, geothermal heat pumps, and hybrid PV plants are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are combined-cycle gas turbines and ethylene co-polymer PV modules, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for environmental sustainability in the power industry

Solar heat collector mounting is a key innovation area in environmental sustainability

A solar heat collector mounting system is a supporting equipment to mount photovoltaic modules or solar heat collectors on surfaces such as building roofs, carports, ground and water.

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 solar heat collector mounting.

Key players in solar heat collector mounting – 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’.

Schletter Solar is one of the world’s largest producers of mounting systems for solar panels. It has an operational presence in many countries coupled with an organised and extensive network of service and distribution partners. It offers wide range of products such as open-air systems for any terrain, pitched roof systems, flat roof systems, façade systems and tracking systems. 

IdeemaTec Deutschland is a leader in the design and engineering of solar mounting systems and tracking systems with over 50 approved patents. It first entered the German market in 2003 with a roof mounting system and is now one of the leading tracker suppliers. Its latest innovative product, Horizon L:Tec, with decoupled driver technology offers solar tracking with the structure stability of a fixed-tilt system.

Flex 's affiliate NEXTracker is one of the leading patent filers in solar tracking solutions for PV projects of all sizes, with products including its TrueCapture and NX Navigator smart monitoring and control software platforms.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the power industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on 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.