Photoncycle aims to change the way electricity is generated, stored, consumed and paid for. Our mission is to enable the energy transition by developing and deploying innovative, autonomous, affordable energy systems, powered by the sun

The challenge

The Photoncycle business is built on the belief that distributed electricity can play an increasingly important role in the transition to a 100% renewable energy system. New PV technology will gradually increase the electricity generation available from rooftops, fully meeting demand in single occupancy households.

However, todays distributed generation technology has major weaknesses. PV systems in many geographies produce electricity mainly when it is not in demand during the day in the summer, exporting surplus electricity to the grid. Intermittent PV electricity is destabilising the grid, requiring increasing amount of centrally located back up generation and storage capacity to match electricity system supply and demand in real time, driving up system cost.

Wealthier households tend to be early adopters of distributed PV. A growing share of distributed PV generation increases the electricity bills for households that do not have PV installed, including many poorer households. This is a fundamentally unfair outcome which may constrain future distributed PV growth. 

As more wind and solar generated power is phased into the electricity system, the system imbalances are likely to get worse. Batteries can deal with short term fluctuations in supply and demand. However, battery storage is an expensive way of storing large quantities of electricity and contains very little energy per kg mass. Despite technological improvements, the fundamental limitations of battery technology will remain.

New technology needs to be developed to store PV electricity safely and cost effectively over time. This will enable distributed PV generation to be a sustainable solution for the energy system also in countries with significant seasonal variation in PV generation and demand.

Photoncycle develops technology and business concepts to meet this challenge. 

Values

Integrity

We adhere to the highest ethical standards and are transparent about our achievements

Innovative

We make useful products for our customers built around Photoncycle's own technology

Capable

Our team has the right competence and drive to successfully develop and deploy the Photoncycle system

Collaborative

We work well together, openly sharing information and ideas that drive innovation

Photoncycle Core Team

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Bjorn Brandtzaeg

Founder and CEO

Bjorn is the founder and Chief Executive Officer in Photoncycle, starting the company in 2020 at his kitchen table.

He has been the founder and CEO in two large renewable energy infrastructure companies taken them from incubation to large scale investments. He has also worked 10 years in the international energy advisory business.

Bjorn holds a dual MSc/MA degree from NHH and Johns Hopkins University (SAIS). He was a visiting fellow at MIT in 2020 and holds an AMP from Harvard Business School from 2022

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David Gerez

Chief Technology Officer

David is a systems architect who has taken complex products from idea to requirements, architecture, design and production.

He worked for more than twenty years in Schlumberger primary in technology development and manufacturing. David came to Photoncycle from the role as CTO in RESPINOR, a med-tech company.

David holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas and a MSc in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from MIT and a MSc in Systems Engineering from Johns Hopkins University.

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Sebastian Gutterod

Chief Science Officer

Sebastian is an expert on catalysis development.

He has been responsible for planning and establishing Photocycle's lab and leading Photocycle's work to resolve the scientific challenges of developing the company’s functioning distributed energy system.

Sebastian holds a BSc, MSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Oslo.

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Thomas N Sky

Senior Technology Developer

Thomas is a material physicist with passion for data and a background in solar energy. Thomas has a data-driven approach and strong problem solving skills.

Proficient in Python, he has deployed products used by others. Thomas has worked for three years as a process engineer at Norsun, a PV supply company.

Thomas holds a BSc, MSc and PhD in Material Physics from University of Oslo.

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Luis Bracamonte

Technology Developer

Luis is an expert on electrochemistry and catalysis with work experience from France in fuel cells/catalysis development.

He finished his PhD at NTNU in 2022 at the Department of Material Science and Engineering. Throughout his PhD, he worked closely with leading companies like Hydro and Alcoa.

Luis holds an MSc in Physical-Chemistry for Energy from University Paris Diderot, France and a PhD in Electro Chemistry from NTNU.

Board of Directors

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Baard Mikkelsen

Chairman of the Board

Baard Mikkelsen is the Chairman of the Board in Photoncycle.

Baard was the President and CEO in Statkraft the largest renewable
energy company in Europe for nine years.

Presently he is Chairman of Multiconsult ASA, Nettpartner AS and Clean Energy Group/Invest AS.

Baard has previously held CEO positions in Oslo Energy Group, Ulstein Group and Widerøe Group.

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Professor Unni Olsbye

Board Member

Unni Olsbye is a professor in Chemistry at the University of Oslo and a Board Director in Photoncycle.

Unni became a professor at UiO in 2001. and is one of the most cited chemists in Norway.


Since 2002, she has developed the innovation centre at the Chemical Institute at UiO focussing on catalysis development heading a team of 40 people.

Unni holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry from UiO.

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Erling Kopke Paulsen

Board member and strategic advisor

Erling Kopke Paulsen is Board member and strategic advisor in Photoncycle.

Erling is an investor, board member and strategic advisor to a number of the fastest growing start-ups in Norway including LAFT, Sanity and Folq, the fastest growing tech company in Norway in 2021.

Erling has previously held positions as VP Commercial Operations in Elkem Solar and in Boston Consulting Group.

Erling holds a MSc in Industrial Economics from NTNU.

Infrastructure

Photoncycle has established modern offices and laboratory facilities at Oslo Science Park. Much of the research underpinning the Photoncycle technology is developed at the company’s purpose-built laboratory, kitted with scientific equipment tailored to support the Photoncycle innovation process.

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