Insights

July 2019

Evolution & Advancements of Patent filing in Energy Storage Technology

Technology is all around us and moving at a rapid pace. Over the past few decades, the energy storage devices industry has also seen a continuous evolution and adaptation to the changing requirements and advancements in technology.

The boom in portable consumer devices,  electronics,  electric vehicles, and smart grids has increased the demand for suitable energy storage devices. They plays  an important role in balancing power supply and demand, and is key in tackling the intermittency issues of renewable energy. Batteries are the most common storage devices used in renewable energy systems and their use is increasing on both the residential and grid-wide scale.

The last 10 years have witnessed an intensive patenting activity from all the major players in this industry. In 2017, more than 30400 new patent families were published, 30900+ patents were granted and 6400+ patents expired.

In a worldwide patent search and analysis, it was found that Panasonic was the leading player in the patent filing in the battery sector.  But this was before 2009 and the company has comparatively reduced its filing in the last 10 years.

The future of transportation is a subject that is close to heart for car companies. They are investing heavily in energy storage technologies and are finding ways to link car and energy storage. After 2009, Toyota witnessed rise to the top in their patent filing activities in the battery field.

In the energy storage industry developments are not being led solely by the suppliers, inventors and VC investors but by the buyers and users. Large utilities and retailers are supporting the roll-out of energy storage devices and governments are looking to kick start the industry. Consumers are demanding more options. As a result the analysis revealed companies like LG Chem and Samsung SDI have been heavily filing patents in the batteries segment over the last 10 years. These companies are constantly innovating and applying their technologies in diversified fields through rigorous R&D.

Energy storage technologies are expected to continue to improve, making their use more viable and affordable. It is projected that storage will represent a core component of all new energy technologies moving into the future, as both utility-scale and domestic energy storage solutions become more price competitive. With the number of battery applications expanding,  it is essential for companies and industry experts to keep a track on patents in order to anticipate changes,  detect business opportunities, identify emerging areas of research and latest developments in cutting edge technology.

Future of Energy Storage: Innovation and R&D

The energy storage industry isn’t a completely new one and there have been intermittent booms in the past.  Hence companies are developing their R&D taking into consideration consumer demands with the backing of large utilities and retailers.  Currently the market is highly concentrated in countries like the United States of America, Germany, Japan and Australia.The energy storage sector has witnessed companies like LG chem and Samsung SDI filing increasing number of patents in the last 10 years.

 

LG Chem has developed core technologies through continuous R&D activities.  The RESU 6.4EX is an energy storage system for household use that can be used immediately by connecting to a solar panel.  Their constant upgradation has seen a decrease in its volume and weight by 25% and 50% respectively. Another achievement is  the development of Ternary (+) electrode material for lithium-ion rechargeable batteries with high capacity and safety. This development has also increased the lifespan of the battery and enhanced it’s safety feature by forming a stable structure at high temperatures.

 

Another key player,  Samsung SDI is driving their R&D towards power solutions to realize e-mobility and innovating in materials to boost the electromobility market.  SAIT- Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology is actively conducting research on next generation LIB electrode materials and post Li-ion battery systems such as all-solid-state battery and Li-air battery technology that will enable the driving range of EV to be equivalent to that of conventional vehicles.  Batteries with built-in extinguishers and graphene balls that are capable of boosting the capacity of batteries are the latest in R&D for Samsung.

 

While smartphones,  smart homes and smart wearables are growing ever more advanced, they are still limited by power. The energy storage companies are constantly innovating and filing patents to deliver the next best thing. While LG Chem and Samsung SDI are regarded as the market leaders in ESS/ li-ion battery manufacturing, BYD is not far behind.  Tesla has also announced big plans for energy storage and companies like Samsung SDI and Le clanché are doing JVs to further strengthen their market share.  The future of energy storage is not far behind for concepts like capturing energy from Wi-Fi, harvesting energy from the device owner and solid state lithium-ion will be brought into application.With companies becoming more ethically conscious and considering renewable energy, storage technologies are expected to become more efficient and economically viable.

TIP NEWS

TIP ROADSHOW – SINGAPORE CHAPTER

 

TIP participated in one of the key panels about BUILDING AN ECOSYSTEM FOR INNOVATION. The panel discussed the connected ecosystem of tomorrow, which is all about partnerships, collaboration, and open innovation. TIP organized a Pitch competition to unlock technology for good. Five of the most promising EnergyTech, EnviroTech and Healthcare startups from around the world gathered in Singapore for the Tech for Good Startup Battle. The best startups were invited to join the main TIP competition in Abu Dhabi.

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