After 38 years of service for the Norwegian Armed Forces and NATO, with positions ranging from submariner in the navy to officer in the cyber defense force, Olav Hollingsaeter completed his service in 2017. Since then, Olav has invested all his time into researching ocean currents and ocean temperatures with the ambition to develop concepts to control these.
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?"
Temperatures are colder deeper down in the ocean column.
A key factor explaining the behavior of Hurricane Katrina was, among other things, that the sea surface temperatures in the path of the hurricane were extremely high. The warm surface water was feeding the hurricane with energy, making the hurricane stronger and stronger along its path.
As an old submariner, Olav knew that the temperatures are colder deeper down in the ocean column. He started to think about how to lift this colder water up and cool down the sea surface, thus preventing the feeding of more and more energy to the hurricanes.
A decade passed before Olav revisited the idea. Although a serious amount of time had passed, no serious efforts had been pursued elsewhere during this time.
When Grim Eidnes, then a senior scientist at Norwegian research institution SINTEF, expressed his enthusiasm about the idea, Olav decided to fully devote his time to this project.
In early 2017, Olav founded OceanTherm together with his brother Bjorn, an industrial economist and accountant by profession.
With funding from Innovation Norway and the Research Council of Norway, OceanTherm engaged Grim Eidnes and SINTEF Ocean on what would culminate in a long-term research partnership.
Grim Eidnes was the principal investigator on three SINTEF studies for OceanTherm, including our first deepwater test in the fall of 2019, before joining OceanTherm as Chief Scientific Officer.