Every entrepreneur’s dream is to find the solution to an unsolved problem. Essentially, it’s what entrepreneurship is all about. Climeon’s founder, Thomas Öström, took entrepreneurship to a new level when he decided to tackle one of humanity’s biggest issues today, the global energy and climate crisis. Thomas’ moment of clarity arrived on a walk he took while on a business trip in Beijing. The smog he inhaled made him feel like something had to change and that he had to be a part of that change. Industry had grappled with questions concerning energy efficiency and CO2 emission reduction for decades but had continuously failed. So, what could be different this time?
Digging deeper, Thomas realized that around fifty percent of the world’s energy ended up wasted as low temperature heat. With this large quantity of unused energy, he recognized that companies had an untapped gold mine. Not only could they help saving the planet by recycling that heat and using it for energy production – companies could also save heaps of money.
Thomas understood that he needed to include more people into his concept to find a solution that could effectively capture and convert this vast amount of heat. His neighbor Dr. Joachim Karthäuser, an expert in chemistry, was exactly whom Thomas needed to investigate the next step. Thomas himself was an engineer. Thomas and Joachim concluded that in order to save CO2 emissions they needed to create a product that was not only sustainable from an environmental perspective, but also financially profitable for companies. They simply needed to achieve customers demands of a profitable payback time.
After numerous discussions in Thomas’ basement, on the terrace and in the garden, they had developed a concept that could convert heat into energy and essentially into 100 % clean electricity. They called it the “C3 Technology”. Thomas and Joachim had also found a way to make this technique profitable for customers as the technique had a record-high efficiency. In fact, the efficiency was more than 50 % of the theoretical maximum (defined by Carnot).
At this point Thomas contacted one of the smartest people he knew, his childhood friend Olle Bergström. Olle who holds a triple degree including an MSc in Physics, was asked to scan the C3 Technology for potential flaws. To his surprise, Olle found that the technology should in fact work in practice and should also result in an extremely strong business case for potential customers. As a result, Olle decided to invest in the idea and became a co-owner within a few weeks.
The company Climeon was founded in spring of 2011. During the fall that same year, a prototype of what later became Climeon Ocean™ was developed at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. In order to take the Climeon Ocean solution to the next level, Thomas started searching for a dream team for his company. Talents from different industries, backgrounds, nationalities, academic backgrounds and ages. Simply, the best people he could find out there, but that shared his vision of creating a better planet and the financial success of customers simultaneously.
Today, the Climeon team has managed to create one of the major energy innovations made in the last 50 years. Not only are the solutions behind Climeon Ocean profitable for companies financially, they are profitable for the environment as well. One Climeon Ocean machine can save the same amount of CO2 as planting up to 30 000 trees. Climeon’s new office in Sweden’s Silicon Valley, Kista, with a team of around 30 talented people, has now replaced Thomas’ basement. A series of modules have been developed from the original C3 Technology. Modules suited for different industries and thus different space limitations. Today, Climeon Ocean is sold to customers all over the globe, such as Fincantieri, one of the world’s largest ship manufacturers. In May 2016, Climeon proudly announced that the company has received the Honoree Title of WWF’s Climate Solver 2016 (Article in Swedish).