The technology industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by the increasing adoption of renewable energy sources, government incentives, the need for reliable and high-quality solar panels, and growing importance of technologies such as solar simulators for replicating sunlight conditions, electrical testing equipment for measuring parameters like current and voltage, and thermal imaging for detecting hotspots and potential failures in the cells. In the last three years alone, there have been over 4.1 million patents filed and granted in the technology industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in technology: photovoltaic cell testing. 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.
190+ 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 1.5 million patents, there are 190+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, aural exciters, in-memory computing, and network-on-a-chip are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. RAID transmission error detection, projector-camera system, and hyperspectral imaging, and surround sound systems are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are digital image interpolation and distributed RAID drives, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the technology industry
Photovoltaic cell testing is a key innovation area in technology
Photovoltaic (PV) cell testing involves assessing the electrical properties of PV cells, including current, voltage, power, efficiency, and temperature. This evaluation is conducted to gauge the performance of individual cells, modules, or entire arrays. PV testing is essential to verify the effective and reliable operation of the cells after installation.
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 580+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established technology companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of photovoltaic cell testing.
Key players in photovoltaic cell testing – a disruptive innovation in the technology 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 photovoltaic cell testing
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2022)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Nisshinbo||91||Unlock Company Profile|
|ABB||46||Unlock Company Profile|
|Phoenix Contact||70||Unlock Company Profile|
|JinkoSolar Holding||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Canadian Solar||34||Unlock Company Profile|
|Siemens||105||Unlock Company Profile|
|Enphase Energy||61||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fronius International||48||Unlock Company Profile|
|Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft zur Forderung der Angewandten Forschung||82||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hyundai Motor||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|State Grid Corporation of China||216||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sungrow Power Supply||130||Unlock Company Profile|
|Hitachi||87||Unlock Company Profile|
|CEA||72||Unlock Company Profile|
|General Electric||41||Unlock Company Profile|
|Korea Electric Power||71||Unlock Company Profile|
|Mitsubishi Electric||64||Unlock Company Profile|
|Panasonic||110||Unlock Company Profile|
|Applied Materials||97||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kyocera||40||Unlock Company Profile|
|Tigo Energy||43||Unlock Company Profile|
|LS Electric||105||Unlock Company Profile|
|SolarEdge Technologies||82||Unlock Company Profile|
|Omron||49||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sharp||82||Unlock Company Profile|
|Boeing||73||Unlock Company Profile|
|IBM||38||Unlock Company Profile|
|ULVAC||36||Unlock Company Profile|
|Huawei Investment & Holding||56||Unlock Company Profile|
|Toshiba||45||Unlock Company Profile|
|Kia||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|SMA Solar Technology||203||Unlock Company Profile|
|Sumitomo Electric Industries||46||Unlock Company Profile|
|Electricite de France||50||Unlock Company Profile|
|Dexerials||33||Unlock Company Profile|
|Omron Tateisi Electronics||88||Unlock Company Profile|
|Beijing Hanergy Photovoltaic Investment||35||Unlock Company Profile|
|Miasole Equipment Integration Fujian||32||Unlock Company Profile|
|Envision Digital International||39||Unlock Company Profile|
|The French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission||208||Unlock Company Profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
State Grid Corporation of China is the top patent filer in the field of photovoltaic cell testing, followed by French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and SMA Solar Technology.
Other prominent patent filers in the space include Sungrow Power Supply and Panasonic.
By geographic reach, Tigo Energy leads the pack, followed by Dexerials and Envision Digital International. In terms of application diversity, Kia holds the top position, followed by Hyundai Motor and Boeing.
PV cell testing involves evaluating the performance and efficiency of solar cells. PV cell testing plays a vital role in quality control, performance optimization, and overall system efficiency, contributing to the advancement and widespread adoption of solar energy technology.
To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the technology industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Technology.