GlassPoint first in the world to deploy new solar sensors
April 29, 2014 | 12:00 AM
The sensors were optimised for desert environments and 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

Muscat: 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 Research and Black Photon Instruments (BPI), a spin-off of Fraunhofer.

The sensors, optimised 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, chief operating officer of GlassPoint. "We designed the enclosed trough technology from the ground up to overcome high winds and dust common throughout the Gulf region. Being the 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.

Solar EOR project
The data helps optimise 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 have proven that 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.

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