Enclosed Trough

GlassPoint solar steam generators are designed to meet the unique needs of the oil and gas industry. The company’s enclosed trough technology houses thin curved mirrors inside a glasshouse. The mirrors track the sun throughout the day, focusing heat on pipe containing oilfield water. The concentrated sunlight boils the water to generate steam, which is then injected into the oil reservoir just like steam produced by burning fuel.


The glasshouse protects the mirrors from high winds and blowing sand and dust. It has an automated washing machine to maintain optimal performance even in harsh oilfield desert conditions. By bringing the solar collectors indoors, GlassPoint has achieved a number of capital and operating cost reductions compared to exposed solar thermal designs. As a result, GlassPoint solar steam generators can produce steam at costs competitive with natural gas in many oil-producing regions.

Enclosed troughs integrate seamlessly with existing oilfield operations, accepting the exact same feedwater as once-through steam generators (OTSGs) and generating exactly the same steam conditions. GlassPoint engineered its systems to comply with the industry’s rigorous Health Safety and Environmental (HSE) standards, minimizing safety risks from day one of construction to ongoing operations.