The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by the need for real-time monitoring and control of power grids, the increasing integration of renewable energy sources, and the demand for optimised energy management, as well as growing importance of technologies such as smart sensors, actuators, communication protocols, cloud computing, and data analytics. These technologies enable seamless data collection, remote monitoring, predictive maintenance, and intelligent decision-making, leading to improved power distribution grid management and enhanced energy efficiency. In the last three years alone, there have been over 3.6 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Internet of Things: SCADA for power distribution. 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.

300+ innovations will shape the technology industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the technology industry using innovation intensity models built on over 2.5 million patents, there are 300+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, environmental sensors, digital twins, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Intelligent embedded systems, smart factory systems, and smart grids are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are contactless verification, wearable physiological monitors, and software defined wide area network, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for IoT in the technology industry

SCADA for power distribution is a key innovation area in IoT

Supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) is an advanced control system that automates the monitoring and management of electrical power distribution networks. It enables the collection of data from sensors and actuators, performs data processing, and initiates appropriate responses by issuing commands to network control devices. Additionally, SCADA systems can generate alarms or notifications to alert operators when specific conditions are met.

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 70 companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of SCADA for power distribution.

Key players in SCADA for power distribution – a disruptive innovation in the technology 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 SCADA for power distribution

Company Total patents (2010 - 2022) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Siemens 105 Unlock Company Profile
Panasonic 91 Unlock Company Profile
Hitachi 86 Unlock Company Profile
Toshiba 73 Unlock Company Profile
Schneider Electric 64 Unlock Company Profile
General Electric 64 Unlock Company Profile
NEC 63 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi Electric 53 Unlock Company Profile
ABB 50 Unlock Company Profile
Accenture 50 Unlock Company Profile
State Grid 44 Unlock Company Profile
Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories 43 Unlock Company Profile
Kyocera 42 Unlock Company Profile
Sony Group 37 Unlock Company Profile
Vertiv 24 Unlock Company Profile
Zonit Structured Solutions 24 Unlock Company Profile
EnerSys 23 Unlock Company Profile
LS Electric 22 Unlock Company Profile
Johnson Controls International 19 Unlock Company Profile
International Business Machines (IBM) 17 Unlock Company Profile
Carbontrack 17 Unlock Company Profile
Spirae 15 Unlock Company Profile
Furukawa 15 Unlock Company Profile
Electricite de France 14 Unlock Company Profile
natcon7 14 Unlock Company Profile
Broadcom 14 Unlock Company Profile
3M 12 Unlock Company Profile
Itron 12 Unlock Company Profile
MelRok 12 Unlock Company Profile
GS Yuasa 11 Unlock Company Profile
China Southern Power Grid 10 Unlock Company Profile
Rockwell Automation 10 Unlock Company Profile
Sharp 10 Unlock Company Profile
Intel 10 Unlock Company Profile
Hydro-Quebec 9 Unlock Company Profile
East West Manufacturing 9 Unlock Company Profile
Eaton 9 Unlock Company Profile
Stem 9 Unlock Company Profile
Mitsubishi 9 Unlock Company Profile
S&C Electric 8 Unlock Company Profile
Tesla 8 Unlock Company Profile
Smappee 8 Unlock Company Profile
Samsung Group 8 Unlock Company Profile
Belcan 8 Unlock Company Profile
Gree Electric Appliances 7 Unlock Company Profile
Nuclear Damage Compensation and Decommissioning Facilitation of Japan 7 Unlock Company Profile
Omron Tateisi Electronics 7 Unlock Company Profile
EDSA Micro 7 Unlock Company Profile
LG 7 Unlock Company Profile
Tinicum 7 Unlock Company Profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Siemens is a leading patent filer in SCADA for power distribution. The company’s patents are aimed at a method for controlling and/or closed-loop controlling an electric energy system.

Empirical data are provided in a first data storage device for stabilising the energy system, and a multi-dimensional decision matrix is created with a data processing system in a second data storage device. Phasor measurement data for current and voltage with a high temporal resolution and a time stamp are obtained with phasor measuring devices distributed in the energy system and used to control the electric energy system. A system state and a result determined by the data processing system using the phasor measurement data and at least one step is selected and automatically carried out for securing the stability of the energy system.  

Other prominent patent filers in the space include Panasonic and Hitachi

By geographic reach, Expanergy leads the pack, followed by Tinicum and Spirae. In terms of application diversity, EnerSys holds the top position, followed by Emerson Electric and S&C Electric. 

IoT innovation in SCADA for power distribution has transformed the way power grids are managed, monitored, and controlled. This innovation leverages IoT devices and connectivity to enhance the efficiency, reliability, and safety of power distribution systems.

To further understand how IoT is disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Internet of Things – Thematic Research.

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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.