The need for clean, reliable industrial heat through steam at a cost competitive with natural gas. The initial large application is for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) where operators can reduce the emissions and increase proven reserves. Future applications include mining, desalination, power generation and industrial heat.
An innovative solar steam generating system using trough mirrors enclosed in a glasshouse that lowers both capital and operational costs.
The greatest driver of system cost for concentrating solar is the wind. Wind increases the capital cost of other solar systems because mirrors act as huge sails that need to be engineered using tons of steel and concrete to withstand the forces on windy days. Wind also increases the operational cost of other solar systems because it covers the mirrors in dust and other dirt requiring expensive cleaning systems. Chrysalix invested in GlassPoint because its technology offered breakthrough low cost by removing both of these problems from the solar array. By enclosing the mirrors in a glasshouse the capital cost drops dramatically because the mirrors can now be made very cheaply with over 50% less steel and nearly 80% less concrete. In addition, the glasshouse protects the mirrors from the dust and dirt. Glasshouse cleaning systems reduce operating costs by up to 90% by automatically working at night ensuring every day is a soil free day. In addition, the water used is easily captured and reused.
GlassPoint has a unique solution for a CSP solar field with significant advantages over alternative approaches:
GlassPoint is aiming to be the first company to produce solar heat that is competitive with the cost of burning natural gas. The heat energy does not suffer the volatility of fuel prices and is emission free. GlassPoint is initially targeting the oil industry and thermal EOR applications. Not only could the solar EOR greatly reduce the industry’s OPEX and carbon emissions, the technology also promises to increase the fraction of economically recoverable oil.