This article was originally featured in the edition:

GlassPoint's Indoor Solar Collectors Increase Efficiency


GlassPoint has leveraged its unique approach to solar thermal energy for oil and gas applications that have proved so successful the company is now building one of the world's largest solar projects in Oman by Pete von Behrens, GlassPoint Chief Technology Officer.

Solar Electricity is growing rapidly, but it can't address all energy segments. Worldwide, industry is the largest user of energy"”larger than transportation, larger than residential"”and two-thirds of industrial energy use is in the form of heat, not electricity. Despite this massive market potential, historically, the global solar industrial heat market has developed slowly. It's made up of vast, but small-scale, niche applications.

At GlassPoint, we discovered one of the biggest and fastest growing industrial markets for solar energy was right in front of us: the oil and gas industry. The traditional energy industry consumes an amount of energy equal to 10 percent of its own production. We set out to design a solar technology specifically to meet this energy demand and are now deploying our solar thermal solution at an unprecedented pace. From the beginning, we knew that cost would be the key to winning over oil and gas producers. When we designed our system, we prioritized cost efficiency, a metric that encapsulates many design and manufacturing choices; everything from optical precision to thermal efficiency to materials costs for steel and concrete.