Research Projects

Project at a Glance

Project Status: complete

Title: Suncache solar water heating system demonstration project

Principal Investigator / Author(s): Lee, Eric

Contractor: Davis Energy Group

Contract Number: ICAT 07-1


Research Program Area: Emissions Monitoring & Control

Topic Areas: ICAT Grants / Technology, Mobile Sources & Fuels


Abstract:

SunCache is a low-cost, all-in-one passive solar water heating (SWH) system that uses polymer materials extensively to reduce cost and weight. The goal of this project was to demonstrate that SunCache is ready for widespread commercialization of affordable and cost-effective SWH after a decade of development at Davis Energy Group (DEG), funded largely by the U.S. Department of Energy through the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). In mid-2008, DEG engineer Eric Lee established Harpiris Energy to commercialize SunCache and supply the 80 SunCache collectors and ancillary equipment required for this demonstration project. Additional firms involved in the SunCache ICAT project include Sempra Utilities (site recruitment, match funding of monitoring activities), Information and Energy Services (field monitoring), as well as 19 different installation contractors.

The 80 collectors installed in this demonstration project were equally divided between single family home and multi-unit residential applications. A single contractor installed all 40 of the multi-unit collectors installed as three large-scale systems at a low-income apartment complex in Hanford, California. All but 11 systems were installed in Sempra Utilities territory. This report contains preliminary performance data for eight systems including two of three Hanford systems, and the parties have agreed to continue data collection for at least 12 months.

This project was funded primarily by the Innovative Clean Air Technology (ICAT) program at the California Air Resources Board. Match funding for this project was provided by DEG, the Office of Emerging Technologies at Sempra Utilities, and individual site owners who paid for all installation costs.


 

For questions regarding research reports, contact: Heather Choi at (916) 322-3893

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