The power industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by rising demand for power and a shift to renewable energy, and the growing importance of technologies such as heat exchangers and cooling systems. 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 Innovation in Power: Steam turbine cooling system. 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 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.

150+ 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, synchronous multi-phase motors, sea water solar treatment, and synchronous motor cooling systems are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Hermetic pumps, brushless synchronous motor, and HVAC pumps are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are perovskite photoactive layering and linear motor actuators, which are now well established in the industry. 

Innovation S-curve for the power industry

Steam turbine cooling system is a key innovation area in power

The cooling system of a steam turbine ensures the transfer of thermal energy from one medium to another while avoiding the overheating of equipment. Cooling systems can be divided into once-through cooling system, closed recirculating/dry cooling tower, and open recirculation/wet cooling.

GlobalData’s analysis 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 are20+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established power companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of steam turbine cooling system.

Key players in steam turbine cooling system – 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’.

Patent volumes related to steam turbine cooling system

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Xyleco 130 Unlock company profile
Kobe Steel 59 Unlock company profile
Panasonic 40 Unlock company profile
Xyleco 38 Unlock company profile
Siemens 28 Unlock company profile
Porsche Automobil Holding 24 Unlock company profile
Orcan Energy 21 Unlock company profile
Alstom 19 Unlock company profile
Emerson Electric 15 Unlock company profile
Energy Dome 11 Unlock company profile
Tenneco 11 Unlock company profile
Doosan 11 Unlock company profile
Siemens Energy 8 Unlock company profile
Echogen Power Systems 7 Unlock company profile
IHI 7 Unlock company profile
Hitachi 7 Unlock company profile
Anest Iwata 7 Unlock company profile
Kawasaki Heavy Industries 6 Unlock company profile
Mercedes-Benz Group 6 Unlock company profile
Isuzu Motors 5 Unlock company profile
General Electric 5 Unlock company profile
Climeon 5 Unlock company profile
IFP Energies nouvelles 5 Unlock company profile
Bitzer Us 5 Unlock company profile
Enogia 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Siemens is one of the leading patent filers in the cooling system industry. The smart cooling system offered by the company is efficient and reduces the cooling down time by up to 50% which results in reduced production losses and enhanced turbine life. Some other key patent filers include General Electric, Xyleco, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Energy Dome, Emerson Electric, IHI.

In terms of application diversity, Xyleco leads the pack. Tenneco and Hitachi stood in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Xyleco held the top position, followed by Energy Dome and Hitachi.

To remove excess heat from the turbine, the engine operating temperature should be maintained for efficient functioning, and to bring the engine to the right operating temperature as quickly as possible, cooling system becomes the essential part of the power generation process and power plants.

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

Premium Insights


The gold standard of business intelligence.

Blending expert knowledge with cutting-edge technology, GlobalData’s unrivalled proprietary data will enable you to decode what’s happening in your market. You can make better informed decisions and gain a future-proof advantage over your competitors.


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.