FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We strive to address all questions regarding our solution with answers grounded in professional research and collaboration between Norwegian and international research institutions. We aim to develop our technology in a way that maintains the trust of the people and the local communities where we operate. We consider this as crucial in our work to contribute to a sustainable future in areas and communities exposed to hurricanes or typhoons.
If you can't find an answer to your question in the FAQ below, feel free to reach out through our contact form.
Can you prevent hurricanes entirely?
A correctly dimensioned and designed bubble curtain system may prevent tropical cyclones from growing into devastating hurricanes or stop an already developed hurricane from increasing its strength as long as the storm/hurricane is heading into the well-mixed, downstream area of the bubble curtain system.
Can you provide an overall solution to mitigate hurricane damages?
When the criterion above is fulfilled, the hurricane will stop or reduce its growth, thus diminishing the damages.
Will the systems interrupt shipping pathways?
No, it is an underwater system not visible in the surface.
Will the systems withstand severe storms?
Yes, these systems will be completely submerged several tens of meters below the surface.
How do you make sure the system does not break?
It is fully dependent on the moorings and bottom anchors. Bubble curtain systems deployed in Norway have been in operation for more than 50 years without larger maintenance or replacements.
Will the systems impact sea life?
There is no expectation of any impact on the marine life. A scientific study on potential ecological impacts will be performed by an independent research organization prior to system deployment.
Will the CO2 footprint undo the positive effects of the hurricane prevention?
The CO2-footprint is mainly related to the power consumption of the compressors during the hurricane season (estimation is 20 days/year). The social cost of the CO2-footprint caused by the power consumption is expected to represent an insignificant fraction of the avoided costs of reducing the Sea-Surface Temperatures (SST) and thus the damage from hurricanes.
How has the concept changed since the feasibility study?
A deep-water field test performed in the Fall of 2019 confirmed the viability of the bubble curtain system for depths down to 50 meters. Additional testing is needed to confirm technology viability at depths of 150-200 meters.
What is the Bubble Curtain?
A bubble curtain system consists of one or more perforated pipes at some depth in the ocean, through which compressed air is led.
How does the Bubble Curtain work?
The ascending air form bubbles which entrain the surrounding water and generate an artificial upwelling of deep water towards the surface. When the upward flow reaches the surface layer, they mix and as long as the rising water is colder than the surface water, the surface temperature will decrease. When strategically positioned in the area we wish to influence, also considering the ocean currents, this will lead to colder surface waters in the path of the hurricane.
What is the difference between this system and other hurricane prevention systems?
The main difference is that this hurricane prevention system is installed completely at an intermediate depth of the ocean and therefore does not obstruct marine traffic in any way. It also does not include any chemical or biological additives (except for clean air).
How much can it reduce the damage from hurricanes?
For most types of losses to the U.S. economy caused by hurricane winds and storm-related flooding, expected annual costs total $54 billion, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates, equivalent to 0.3 percent of United States' current gross domestic product. That total consists of $34 billion in expected annual economic losses to the residential sector, $9 billion to commercial businesses, and $12 billion to the public sector.
As an example, research suggests that a 1-degree Celsius reduction in SST may lead to a 10 percent reduction in the “Damage to GDP” ratio, which would be a reduction of $5.4 billion in damages per year in the United States.
THE OCEANTHERM ORGANIZATION
How did OceanTherm come into existence?
Seeing the devastating damages caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 motivated Olav to come up with the idea behind OceanTherm. With 1833 lives lost in addition to enormous damages, we all asked ourselves “how did this hurricane become so strong?”
For more information, visit the Our Story page.
Is it possible to do my internship at OceanTherm?
We are always looking for bright minds to join us on our journey. If you are interested in doing your internship with us, please reach out trough our contact form.
How can I invite OceanTherm to speak at our event/conference?
Please send your request through our contact form.
Where can I find more information for my presentation/school project?
For information about our technology and the challenge we seek to solve, please visit our “How It Works” page.
Do you have a newsletter I can sign up to?
SUPPORT AND FUNDING
How are you financing the project?
We are financed with support from Innovation Norway and The Norwegian Research Council. In addition to our two founders Olav and Bjorn, we have a third shareholder with 15% equity, the Norwegian investor group MTI-Startup.
How can my company or organization help OceanTherm?
How can I help OceanTherm as an individual?
How can I help you raise awareness and/or raise funds?
I have a boat/own a research vessel and want to help. What can I do?
We are happy to hear that you want to help! If you have a research vessel that you think could help us and be available to us in any of our research activities, please reach out through our contact form.