GlassPoint steam generators seamlessly integrate with existing thermal enhanced oil recovery (EOR) surface facilities. In fact, GlassPoint uses the same equipment used for decades in gas-fired steam generators, including the boiler tubes, sensors, pumps and controls. However, instead of using flames to heat the water in the boiler tubes to produce steam, GlassPoint uses concentrated sunlight.
All other concentrating solar thermal systems (Parabolic Trough, Power Tower, Linear Fresnel) were originally designed for electricity generation and require costly sub-systems, working fluids and secondary heat exchangers to interconnect to the oilfield.
Operates on Standard Oilfield Water
Once Through Steam Generators (OTSG) have been used for decades in heavy oilfields worldwide and define best practices for thermal EOR operations. In an OTSG oilfield produced water that has been minimally treated and softened is fed to the boiler and converted directly to steam for well injection.
The GlassPoint solar steam generator is designed to operate on the same low-quality, softened feedwater as an OTSG, significantly reducing water treatment costs when compared with older solar designs that require demineralized water to operate reliably.
In contrast, older solar thermal designs incorporate stainless steel, which is chemically incompatible with boiler-grade water, and require expensive “reboilers” and deionizing units. The need for pure, dematerialized water can quadruple water treatment costs—adding up to a dollar per barrel of water used.