May 2014 represented a new milestone to N2 Applied, as the Board of Directors decided that we were ready to set up a test centre.
At the time, the plasma technology developed by Rune Ingels, and based on Professor Birkeland’s electric arc process, had convincingly demonstrated potential. However, building a test centre, represented a great leap of faith for a company with limited financial resources. Finding suitable premises and infrastructure was the next hurdle to be overcome.
The egalitarian Norwegian social structure presents good opportunity for innovation and technology development. Adding the fact that the entrepreneurs involved are Norwegians, based in Norway, we chose to locate the centre in Norway.
We have considered multiple locations around the country according to our selection criteria. The need for highly competent engineers and access to process-competence, industrial culture and tradition left us with fewer alternatives. Proximity to the international airport and the capital of Oslo was regarded as important to a company which is about to customizing technology in cooperation with potential customers and partners.
Also important for our choice of location was the availability of agricultural resources, such as cultivated fields, forests, rivers, livestock, farming culture and experience. The best – and available – combination of these assets, brought us to Strand gard in the municipality of Flesberg.
The location and premises enables us to continue the technology development in close cooperation with our partner Ferdinand Stempfer and SBI GmbH in Austria. A pilot version of the plasma reactor and absorption unit will be installed for experimenting, testing and benchmarking according to the targets we have specified, – with and without customer participation. Our primary objective is to further improve the energy efficiency of the solution.
Strand Gard is located 15 km north of the industrial city of Kongsberg, which is a major national technology cluster. The distance to Oslo is one hundred kilometers, which adds up to an acceptable commuting distance.
Once the location was chosen in May 2014, the projecting, planning and restoration of the old barn and stables from 1925 started. By August 2015, the new N2 Applied Test centre was a reality with laboratory facilities, office space and meeting room, all surrounded outdoors by agricultural field study areas.
Vital to the construction project have been our chosen partners:
Architect: Interiørarkitekt MNIL Annetin Hurum
Carpenter: Byggmester Ole Jonny Dokken
Plumber: Rørleggermester Åge K. Haugerud, Sondre
Electrician: Elektrikeren i Kongsberg, Bjørnar Dale og Ole Østerud
Lumber jack: Lafter Anders Fragått
Timber merchant: Håvardsrud Sag
Problem solver with truck and crane: Arvid Øia
Other local craftsmen and supportive neighbors