ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

SunCache Solar Water Heating System Demonstration Project

Eric Lee and Mark J. Berman, Davis Energy Group, Davis, California

March 09, 2011
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


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 (Innovative Clean Air Technology) project include Sempra Utilities (site recruitment, match funding of monitoring activities), Information and Energy Services (field monitoring), as well as 19 different installation contractors.

Speaker Biography

Eric Lee is President of Harpiris Energy, Davis, California. Mr. Lee began working in the solar thermal field in 1999, when he and Dick Bourne began efforts at Davis Energy Group (DEG) to develop a low-cost ICS (Integrated Collector Storage) solar water heating system. While at DEG, Mr. Lee served as principal investigator for the SunCache project, the HyPak high-efficiency commercial A/C system, and the IEHRV (Indirect Evaporative Heat Recovery) evaporative heat exchanger. In 2008 he founded Harpiris Energy to manufacture SunCache and other polymer solar products. Mr. Lee received his B.S. in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and M.S. in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Mr. Lee has 6 patents and has published three papers at conferences of the American Solar Energy Society, where he has been a member since 2001.

Mark J. Berman is a Principal and Vice President of Davis Energy Group. Mr. Berman has more than twenty-five years experience in the energy industry. Mr. Berman is responsible for management of DEG's residential retrofit programmatic work and its participation as provider for the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) for Homes Pilot Program. In addition, he manages commercialization of advanced cooling and heating products. Mr. Berman earned a Master of Business Administration at Indiana University and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Rutgers University. Both degrees were conferred with honors. Mr. Berman received his Certified Green Building Professional (CGBP) in 2007 and is also a LEED for Homes Accredited Professional.

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