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Meet the team at Absolicon – Jonatan

2023-12-15

Hej Jonatan! Please tell us some about your background.

“I grew up in here Härnösand, just a few hundred meters from the current Absolicon headquarters, but I lived many years in Umeå in the north of Sweden. I also had time to live and study in China for one year during my university studies.”

What did you study and what´s your professional background?

“I started my university studies in the field of energy engineering, but after 3 years I switched over to engineering physics to have the opportunity to study more courses leaned towards theoretical physics. After my studies I started a Ph.D. position in Umeå, in the field of nanophysics. During my study years I had however started working some part time for Absolicon, which was then a much smaller company than it is today. During the first year of my Ph.D. studies, I then had the opportunity to be involved in first large sales project of Absolicon, the production line in China. To grab this opportunity, I quit my Ph.D. and moved into Absolicon full time.”

What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering?

“Ever since I started my university level studies, I felt that I want to work with the transition to a more climate-neutral society. Then, the choice of the specific path of engineering physics came from deep interest in physics and mathematical modelling.”

What is your role in the company and what are your work activities?

“I currently have two roles in the company. First, I am the company CTO, which means that I oversee and manage the technology platforms of the company. In addition to this, I also lead the industrialization group. In this group we are charged with a lot of the development of our technology, but also important processes such as production of pilot series of collectors and management of our inventory.”

How do you foster creativity and innovation within your team?

“One of the things that I have always felt strongly about in Absolicon is our culture of allowing mistakes. At Absolicon, I try to be part of building a culture where you are appreciated for trying your best and where a failed attempt is just one attempt closer to success. We also try to build an environment where everyone has a lot of freedom in their daily work and where we promote self-organization in taskforces.”

Can you share a breakthrough or significant achievement from a recent research project?

“At Absolicon, there is a constant improvement of both practices and technology. We were very recently able to share new interesting results from a wind-load test of our collectors, where we have interesting indications of wake effects at a previously unexpected scale. This can potentially have effects for how we most efficiently protect our solar fields in really strong winds. If I am to discuss a larger project, I would want to point towards the recent experiences of using our new mechanical tracking system. This system was developed before the installations at Carlsberg in Thessaloniki and Birra Peroni in Bari. The new tracking system was developed by a larger team in Absolicon, following both operator feedback and results from theoretical performance modelling. With the new tracking system, the performance of our fields has increased substantially, while the cost and installation complexity were significantly reduced.”

How do you approach problem-solving when faced with technical challenges?

“Being a theoretician at heart, my problem solving is often based around mathematical modelling of the problem and trying to break down complex issues in smaller parts. At Absolicon, I have also really learned the value of finding and working with external experts in different fields. Working with such a broad scope of technology as Absolicon, there is simply no way that we can be technical experts in all fields we encounter. I do however find that an understanding of the basic concepts always helps in the contact with more experienced engineers, regardless of field.”

What do you expect from global energy demand in the next 10 years?

“Given the urgency of energy transition, I think it is fair to expect that some clean energy technologies will see a very rapid expansion on the energy market. My hope is that this is enough to make a real dent in the usage of fossil fuel, even if we certainly still have something to prove as a society on that point. Of course, I also hope and expect that solar thermal will be one of the technologies that see a large global expansion. We have a great offer, both in terms of economy and in terms of total environmental impact.”

Is there something specific about the Absolicon technology you want to highlight?

“Our technology is built to be a truly robust and durable option for solar thermal. Regardless of if you subject our fields to harsh winters, severe storms, demanding industrial environments, dust-storms or large hail dropping in thunderstorms, our collectors will shrug it off and continue to produce energy with high efficiency when the sun returns.”

Now that we know more about what you do at Absolicon, what do you like to do in your free time?

 “With three small kids at home, most of my time away from work is spent for family activities. When I have some time for myself, I really enjoy working on my house and I also try to spend some time studying Chinese.”

Would you like to share an aspiration or an advice?

“Again, being a theoretician at heart, I have this general advice that a great starting point for any kind of problem solving or engineering project is to make sure that you understand the fundamental mechanisms and models. I have seen many projects in later stages suffering from a lack of this kind of solid starting point.”

Useful links

Calculate your energy savings and reduced CO2 emissions with the Decarbonization Calculator >>

See our worldwide solar thermal industrial installations >>

Meet the team at Absolicon: Antonio >>

Meet the team at Absolicon: Briss >>

Meet the team at Absolicon: Andrea >>

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