The key problem holding back the development of renewable energy is the variability operation of solar and wind power plants, due to the natural characteristics of these resources. The development and improvement of high-capacity energy storage technology largely determines the further development and competitiveness of these technologies. Hydraulic Pumped Storage stations are the only current option for large-scale renewable energy storage. However, these are very expensive structures that require specific landscapes and sufficient water resources.
Concentrated Solar Power stations combined with thermal energy storage technologies are one of the most realistic options for overcoming this barrier. An efficient energy storage system enables the extension of the operation hours of solar energy power plants, reducing the dependence between the output performance and unfavourable weather conditions, such as low solar activity or cloud cover.
A selection of patent and patent applications related to concentrated solar power energy storage systems and published by patent offices around the globe in 2002-2021 is provided in the present database. The database also includes some related patent documents that are associated with other sectors of solar energy, but propose technical solutions that can actually be used in Concentrated Solar Power, for instance, design and composition of heat-insulation, CPV technologies, various auxiliary devices and methods, measuring systems, configurations of entire solar power station, hybrid stations, etc.
The database contains 2633 patent documents registered in patent offices around the world since 1998 that were published in publicly-available patent databases, found in the result of a deliberate patent search, and processed in accordance with the methodology by the date of compilation of this database (May, 2022).
A free demo version of this database can be downloaded here:
The demo version presents the first hundred patent documents, as well as some of the statistical information. In most cases, statistical diagrams and tables are limited to the first positions, the rest are hidden by symbols ###. In the full version the statistical information is presented in full and the diagrams are calculated automatically.
Each patent document in this database contains a list of conventional bibliographical indicators, including original title, English version of title, family size, application date, publication date, patenting office, names of inventors and applicants, document kind (patent or application), number of claims, number of citing, IPC indices, and core document number.
Also, all documents are provided with additional markers – unified indicators that include: technology categories (indicate the applicability of technical solutions to one of the energy industry sectors, as stated by the authors of the inventions); technology elements (indicators with a specific level of detailing for the production process in a particular energy industry sector); problems (technical, economical, ecological and other problems declared by the authors in a patent document); type of technical solution (device, method, composition).
The database also includes statistical analysis for major parameters of patent documents published during the 20-year period between 2002-2021. In particular, the statistical analysis includes a breakdown of documents by publication dates, by patent families, by patent offices, by residents and non-residents, and by applicant countries.
Statistical analysis includes:
Individual IPC subgroups: 961
Total IPC subgroups assigned: 8632
The main body of the patent documents were registered between 2013 and 2020 with a peak of patenting activity in 2017. With rare exceptions, USPTO (US) and CNIPA (CN) patent offices annually were the leader by the number of granted patents. However, in the last years maximum number of patent applications were registered mostly in CNIPA (CN).
The highest activity in patenting their inventions was demonstrated by the residents of the USA with a share of almost 23% of the total number of applicants who were granted patents during 2002-2021. Among other countries whose residents were granted at least 20 patents were China, Germany, France, Italy, Australia, Great Britain, Japan, Norway, Spain, South Korea, and Switzerland.
The most popular IPC subgroup with a share of almost 7.5% was F28D20/00 – Heat storage plants or apparatus in general. Device as a type of technical solution was mentioned in 60% of cases; different methods were mentioned considerably less often – in 32% and compositions - in almost 8%.
333 groups of identical unified indicators were identified among patents. The most numerous of them was a group with a combination of indicators LESM, LESE/ ES/ SH/ D, where LESM is "Low efficiency due to solar movement" and LESE - "Low efficiency of secondary equipment" (problems); ES is "Energy Storage " (technology element); SH - "Storage CSP or Hybrid CSP" (technology category); D – " Device" (technical solution type). The following problems at which the technical solutions were aimed were mentioned more than others by the authors in their inventions: "Low efficiency due to solar movement" and "High costs of equipment production".
A separate portion of the statistical analysis is dedicated to applicants of patent document. It includes the lists of applicants separately for patents and applications, breakdown of applicants' patent documents by offices, by types of technical solution, by problems, by technology categories, by IPC sections. The list of top 10 most productive applicants by the number of patents includes:
BASF, SE (DE)
Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives (FR)
LightSail Energy, Inc. (US)
Malta Inc (US)
Magaldi Industrie, S.R.L. (IT)
ENERGYNEST AS (NO)
Sunamp Limited (GB)
Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems Ltd (JP)
Zhongying Changjiang International New Energy Investment Co., Ltd. (CN)
SHENZHEN ENESOON SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY CO LTD (CN)
The concluding part of the analysis includes calculated data that allow the resulting patenting trends to be exposed and main conclusions to be drawn. Such diagrams as relationship of number of applicants to number of patents by year, relationship of number of single applications to total number by year, new applicants by year, top new IPC subgroups, and others, are presented here.
Detailed information on the methodology of search and processing of patent documents is available on the Advanced Energy Technologies website.
Who needs this Database?
This Database serves as one of the variants to monitor advanced technical achievements in the specified industrial sector. The statistical data, rating evaluations and carefully selected patent documents provided in the Database can be of interest for inventors, engineers, researchers, students and educators, as well as for businessmen and investors, who in one way or another are concerned with the problems of the development of solar energy production technologies.
The present database was prepared by EnerTechUp company and its partners. The database includes patent documents that were carefully collected from the publicly available sources and, according to the authors, to the greatest degree represent the latest innovations in the particular energy industry as of the date of the database preparation. Detailed information on the methodology of search and processing of patent documents is available at Advanced Energy Technologies website. Considering the difficulties related to the compilation of lists of international patent documents, including those related to time frames, national and terminological barriers, as well as taking into consideration high labour intensity of collecting the required analytical information and performing its qualitative interpretation, the authors of the database cannot guarantee absolute completeness and accuracy of the represented materials and disclaim any responsibility for the use thereof. EnerTechUp company represents this material “as is” and rejects any claims and liabilities arising from the use of data published therein, including, but not limited to: compensation for any type of financial damage, lost profit or compensation for moral injury. These stipulations also refer to employees, shareholders, agents and data suppliers of EnerTechUp company.
Patent database 1998- 2022 (Excel file)
IPC (brief definitions of IPC indices used in the Database)
Keywords (presence of specific keywords in the original title of the document or its English translation, keyword can be typed in to the header cell)
Family IPC pool (list of IPC indices assigned to all available documents of the patent family of the document)
A brief statistical analysis of major parameters of patent documents published between 2002 and 2021