GlassPoint First to Deploy New Solar Sensors

Solar Sensors

Solar industry leaders collaborate on desert deployment challenges with solar sensors.

GlassPoint Solar, the leader in solar enhanced oil recovery (EOR), has become the first company in the world to deploy new optical sensors developed by the DLR Institute of Solar Researchand Black Photon Instruments (BPI), a spin-off of Fraunhofer ISE. The sensors, optimized for desert environments, were installed at GlassPoint’s 7MWth solar EOR project at an oilfield in Southern Oman to provide precise real-world solar energy data used to enhance performance.

The new BPI CSR460 sensors measure circumsolar radiation in environments prone to extreme heat and high levels of airborne dust, dirt and sand, which can deflect the sunlight and reduce the efficiency of a solar thermal system. By determining the influence of circumsolar radiation on plant performance, GlassPoint can improve the accuracy of its performance models and the efficiency of the enclosed trough.

“GlassPoint is committed to leading the way in Middle East solar data and field design,” said Ben Bierman, GlassPoint Chief Operating Officer.

We designed the enclosed trough technology from the ground up to overcome high winds and dust common throughout the Gulf region. Being first to deploy these advanced sensors gives us superior insights into the value of the energy from sunlight as the sunshape changes over the course of the day. The data helps optimize the performance of our solar EOR project in Oman and can be applied to improve the design of future large-scale projects.

Results from the first year of operations has proven GlassPoint’s technology thrives in challenging desert conditions. Actual performance of the GlassPoint system matched output models within a few percent and steam production continues to exceed contracted targets. During a severe dust storm last year, the facility continued to operate successfully and produced the rated amount of steam for the day.

GlassPoint continues to collaborate with solar industry leaders such as DLR and Black Photon Instruments to develop best practices for solar energy deployment in dusty operating conditions throughout the world.

For more information on circumsolar radiation and the BPI CSR460 sensors, please visit DLR’s website.

About GlassPoint Solar
GlassPoint is the leading provider of solar steam generators to the oil and gas industry for applications such as Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR). Oil operators worldwide deploy EOR to boost well productivity by up to 300 percent. By replacing gas-fired steam generation with solar, GlassPoint can reduce EOR gas consumption by up to 80 percent. The gas saved can be redirected to higher value uses such as LNG export, industrial development and power generation. GlassPoint’s projects operate in global markets ranging from the Middle East to California. For more information, visit

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This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.

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