Solar Energy Patents in China - Using IFI CLAIMS Direct to Search Chinese Patent Translations

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As reported in the Wall Street Journal, there are three distinct trends in the US market for solar panels:
  1. Solar system installations are rising sharply.  1,254 megawatts were installed in the first half of 2012.  Up from 623 megawatts in the first half of 2011.
  2. The cost of solar systems is falling sharply.  The price per watt of electricity has fallen to 84¢.  This represents a drop of about 50% from 2011 according to GigaOm.  
  3. China is the largest producer of solar panels.  China supplies approximately 50% of the global market.  US factories produce about 3% of the global supply.  

If I want to search Chinese solar panel patents, where do I go?  The Intellogist blog has a good summary of free data sources at Free Chinese Patent Search System Comparison.   English language search options are limited to titles and abstracts on the SIPO site.  Espacenet supports English language titles and abstracts as well.  

IFI CLAIMS produces a comprehensive collection of Chinese patent translations and distributes this patent data via the CLAIMS Direct patent web service.   The patent API provides access to 5,988,582 Chinese patent translations with English language description and claims.  The patent translations are produced using a sophisticated statistical machine translation engine.  We train the engine using patent data resulting in an accurate translation of a broad technical vocabulary. 

CLAIMS Direct is not an end-user tool.  Instead, it is the developer friendly patent web service that software engineers and system integrators can use to easily expose patent search and patent data in their applications.  The patent API provides access to unequaled performance, patent data coverage and patent data quality.  

Below, I compare the coverage of Chinese solar panel patents on Espacenet, SIPO and CLAIMS Direct.  I use a search for “solar cell” OR “solar panel”. 


System

Query

Results

Espacenet
(Application Number “CN”)

"solar cell" OR "solar panel" in the title OR abstract

11,424

SIPO

"solar cell" + "solar panel" in Title OR Abstract

7,446 invention

1,533 utility models

8,979 total

IFI CLAIMS Direct
(application country “CN”)

("solar cell" OR "solar panel") in title OR abstract

14,130

 

IFI CLAIMS Direct
(application country “CN”)

("solar cell" OR "solar panel") in claims OR description

24,517

 

IFI CLAIMS Direct
(application country “CN”)

("solar cell" OR "solar panel") in any field

29,570

 


A chart summarizing this data is shown below.  

Chinese documents containing "solar cell" OR "solar panel"

Chinese documents containing “solar cell” OR “solar panel”

CLAIMS Direct has a slight advantage when searching only titles and abstracts.  But, when you add the text from Claims and the Description, CLAIMS Direct returns many more documents.  

What do the results look like? Let’s compare a recent document - CN-101686024-B, Application 200810141492 - “Spherical Solar Lighting System”.

 

Field

Espacenet

SIPO

CLAIMS Direct

Title

Spherical solar lighting system

Spherical solar lighting system

Spherical solar lighting system

Abstract

The invention discloses a spherical solar lighting system which comprises at least one solar panel connected with an inverter, and the solar panels are all spherical solar panels which are connected in series to form a spherical solar battery array. The spherical solar lighting system comprises the spherical solar panels, a charge controller, a storage battery set, an inverter AC output, and the like and is a device for improving the solar generation convert ratio. The spherical solar lighting system learns the advantages of the prior solar panels and overcomes the defects of angle consideringand fixed lighting of sloping solar panels and lean-to solar panels.; The spherical solar lighting system uses the spherical solar panels, though a sun angle tracking device is not used, the sphericalstructure of the spherical solar lighting system can guarantee that a half sphere is always under the irradiation of sunshine at any time under the condition that the sunshine exists, thus the stability of absorbing solar energy can be guaranteed.

The invention discloses a spherical solar lighting system which comprises at least one solar panel connected with an inverter, and the solar panels are all spherical solar panels which are connected in series to form a spherical solar battery array. The spherical solar lighting system comprises the spherical solar panels, a charge controller, a storage battery set, an inverter AC output, and the like and is a device for improving the solar generation convert ratio. The spherical solar lighting system learns the advantages of the prior solar panels and overcomes the defects of angle consideringand fixed lighting of sloping solar panels and lean-to solar panels. The spherical solar lighting system uses the spherical solar panels, though a sun angle tracking device is not used, the sphericalstructure of the spherical solar lighting system can guarantee that a half sphere is always under the irradiation of sunshine at any time under the condition that the sunshine exists, thus the stability of absorbing solar energy can be guaranteed.

This invention claims a spherical solar lighting system it comprises at least one solar energy battery plate solar energy battery board is connected to the inverter is connected with the solar energy battery plate are both spherical solar energy battery plate each spherical solar energy battery board it is connected in series between a sphere form solar energy battery pack. This invention is composed of spherical solar panel charge controller the accumulator battery inverter ac output and so on it is an improved solar energy power conversion efficiency of device. It absorbing the existing solar energy plate the advantages of the invention overcomes the problem that the inclined plane solar energy plate one side of the slope solar energy plate worry about the problem of angle and light stability defect. The solar energy lighting system using spherical solar energy battery plate although it is not used solar angle tracking device and the ball shaped structure can ensure the sunshine under the condition of any time with half ball head body is the sunshine irradiating the lower part of it can ensure the solar energy absorption the stability of.

1st Claim

NA

NA

1 this utility model claims a spherical solar lighting system it comprises at least one solar energy battery plate solar energy battery board is connected to the inverter is connected with the feature lies in that: Said solar energy battery board is same as radius of spherical solar energy battery plate each spherical solar energy battery board it is connected in series between a sphere form solar energy battery pack; And the spherical solar energy battery plate is set at lower part of the flat ball is oblate ball rod is connected with bottom board; On said bottom board is distributed and seven spherical solar energy battery plate and longitude according to the third row put in the middle three two sides of each two.

Description (sample paragraph)

NA

NA

[0002] as 21 century most potential of solar energy industrial development of potential large. Solar energy industry the invention claims a new chaoyang industry it also good for industrial policy environmental protection main body of the characteristic of the solar battery industry it has high value and the investment of the developing potential. Solar energy battery plate is the nearest several years of domestic research data from the heat point of analysis of people and application of from the external appearance it is mainly divided into two kinds of: Inclined plane solar energy plate one side of the slope solar energy battery boards and arched ridge shape of solar energy battery plate this design is based on present solar energy battery plate and conversion rate is low the occupied space is large and so on based on the out of. Foreign the solar energy battery research and it is mainly composed of american nippon.


The table above shows only the first claim and only one sample paragraph from the description.  There is much more text available.  The machine translated claims and description are not perfect, but they provide significantly more detail about the invention than the title and abstract.  For prior art searching, the advantages of having the additional Chinese patent translations is significant.  

CLAIMS Direct is a web service exposes a rich patent API that provides access to:
  1. Comprehensive Global Patent Coverage, including legal status and Chinese patent translations.  IFI CLAIMS formats the data using an extended ST 36 format that is consistent across all CLAIMS Direct patent data.  
  2. Developer friendly interfaces for search and documents download.  CLAIMS Direct is hosted on Amazon’s AWS platform.  Embedding patent search and display into your application is very simple.
  3. Fixed price licensing terms with no limits on volume.  We support in-house and commercial application development.  
For more information, contact us at info@ificlaims.com.  
Edited