50 years of history

The first calculations for monitoring technical conditions in the high-voltage grid were done with punch cards 50 years ago. Calculations were performed on NTNU's mainframe computer and one calculation took a whole night.

 “These days, the power industry can produce power and deliver it to customers with very little loss. Norway is a world leader in this area and much of this is due to innovative technology developed in Trondheim,” says Borthen of Powel.


The electrical engineer's career began at the Norwegian Electric Power Research Institute, which later became SINTEF Energy, on 1 January 1969. But Karl Petter and his colleagues did not stay at SINTEF for the rest of their lives. The technology was so attractive to business that Borthen and his 37 colleagues formed the company Powel AS in 1996. The software company has grown from 37 employees in 1996 to 400 in 2019, with offices in eight countries and a sales turnover of half a billion kroner.

 On 15 January, Powel celebrates Karl Petter and the company's symbolic 50 birthday.

“We have been in the driving seat in the technological development of the energy industry for over 50 years. We are proud of that,” says Trond Straume, CEO of Powel, who is grateful that there are still people like Karl Petter in the company to maintain that continuity.


Karl Petter Borthen was honored with Norges Vels Honor for a long and faithful service, employed by the same employer for half a century.

“Without Karl Petter and his colleagues, his expertise and development of software, Powel would never have existed. Since that time, we have contributed to a more secure, environmentally friendly and efficient energy sector in Norway, in the Nordic region and also a number of countries in Europe. Now that Karl Petter is retiring, his experience and knowledge will be continued in new and attractive solutions. This is a responsibility we take seriously," says Straume, who began his career at Powel in August 2018.


The new CEO sees many new challenges for the software house, which is headquartered in Trondheim and has clients in over 19 countries, mainly in the Nordic region and Europe.

“The aim is to continue to grow internationally and to be a leader in industrial IT and domain knowledge. We have 50 new and exciting years ahead of us,” smiles Straume.