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 testingBuy 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.

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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.