2018 EnergyWhiz Awards

May 18th, 2018

Critter Comfort Cottage

Elementary Division

1st Place – In Spike of it All (Hedgehog) – Lawton Chiles Elementary, Tampa

2nd Place – Florida Ducks (Duck) – Ocean Breeze Elementary, Indian Harbor Beach

3rd Place – Lil’ Peeps (Chickens) – Hans Christian Anderson Elementary, Rockledge

Middle School Division

1st Place – The Mighty Midnighters (Cat) – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

2nd Place – The Happy Hoppers (Bunny) – Milwee Middle, Longwood

3rd Place – Chipmunk Chicks (Chipmunk) – Milwee Middle, Longwood

High School Division

1st Place – The Bog Frogs (Bog Frog) – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place – Marley’s Habitat (Leopard Frog) – Rockledge High, Rockledge

WOW! Award Elementary Division

Lil’ Peeps (Chickens) – Hans Christian Anderson Elementary, Rockledge

WOW! Award Middle Division

            Nature Gals (Squirrel) – Innovation Middle, Orlando

 

Energy Innovations

Middle School Division

            1st Place – Corn Snake Habitat – Milwee Middle, Longwood

2nd Place – Solar Powered Water Fountain – Milwee Middle, Longwood

High School Division

1st Place – T.I.M. (Disaster Assistant Robot) – Lyman High, Longwood

2nd Place – Charge Barge – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

3rd Place – Country Roads Putt Putt – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

WOW! Award Middle School Division

Solar Powered Water Fountain – Milwee Middle, Longwood

WOW! Award High School Division

Charge Barge – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

Energy Transfer Machine

1st Place – Mission: Feed Sheldon – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place – Phoenix Engineers – Innovation Middle, Orlando

3rd Place – Floridian Fan – Lyman High, Longwood

Precision Award – Phoenix Engineers – Innovation Middle, Orlando

 

Junior Solar Sprint

Best Design – Green Division (Grades 4 – 6)

            1st Place – Shelby Racing Team – Lithia Springs Elementary, Valrico

2nd Place – Mavericks by MAV – Pinewood Elementary, Stuart

            3rd Place – USchool Tiger Sharks, Nova Southeast University School, Coconut Creek

Best Design – Blue Division (Grades 7 & 8)

            1st Place – Beast Mode – Innovation Middle, Orlando

2nd Place – Solar McQueen – Milwee Middle, Longwood

            3rd Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Longwood

 

Most Innovative Green Division

            1st Place – Wonderful Wildebeasts – Corbett Preparatory, Tampa

2nd Place – 3 Headed Phoenix – Innovation Middle, Orlando

3rd Place – Solar Squad – McLane Middle, Brandon

Most Innovative Blue Division

            1st Place – Solar McQueen – Milwee Middle, Longwood

2nd Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Brandon

3rd Place – Solar Vikings – McLane Middle, Brandon

 

Race – Green Division

1st Place – Solar Squad – McLane Middle, Brandon

2nd Place – Shelby Racing Team – Lithia Springs Elementary, Valrico

3rd Place – California Kings – Martinez Middle, Lutz

Race – Blue Division

1st Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Brandon

2nd Place – Double Two – Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

3rd Place – The Cringe Crew – Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

 

Solar Energy Cook-off

Best Design – Yellow Division (Grades 4 – 6)

1st Place – Sun Food – Martinez Middle, Lutz

2nd Place – Sunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

3rd Place – Three Amigos – Martinez Middle, Lutz

Best Design – Orange Division (Grades 7 & 8)

1st Place – Sabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

2nd Place – Solar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

3rd Place – Solar Sharks, Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

Best Design – Red Division (Grades 9 – 12)

1st Place – The Hot Pockets – Lyman High, Longwood

2nd Place – Mango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High

 

WOW! Award Yellow Division

Sun Food – Martinez Middle, Lutz

WOW! Award Orange Division

Sabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

WOW! Award Red Division

Mango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High

 

Culinary Award – Yellow Division

1st Place – Sunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

2nd Place – Three Amigos – Martinez Middle, Lutz

3rd Place – Tiki Troop – Atlantis Elementary, Cocoa

Culinary Award – Orange Division

1st Place – Sabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

2nd Place – Solar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

3rd Place – Sunny Side Up – Milwee Middle, Longwood

Culinary Award – Red Division

1st Place – Mango Marauders, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

2nd Place – The Hot Pockets, Lyman High, Longwood

 

Fresh From Florida Award Yellow Division

            Sunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

Fresh From Florida Award Orange Division

Solar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

Fresh From Florida Award Red Division

Mango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

Electrathon

MediaContact: Charles Harrison, charlie@electrathonoftampabay.org

 

High School Division

1st place, Brandon HS car 14 with 121 laps

2nd place, Brooks DeBartolo car 55 with 87 laps

3rd place, Brandon HS car 9 with 76 laps

4th place, Simmons Career Center car 35 with 24 laps

5th place STEMTECH car 823 with 14 laps.

 

Open Division

1st place, Tiger Racing car 4 with 153 laps

2nd place, Silver Bullet Racing car 94 with 149 laps

3rd place, RYNO Racing car 13 with 49 laps

4th place, Seminole State College car 314 with 40 laps

5th place, Hillsborough Community College car 30 with 3 laps.

 

Advanced Battery Division

1st place, Pro EV car 39 with 171 laps

2nd place, University of South Florida car 132 with 121 laps

3rd place Titan Racing car 242 with 80 laps.

 

Electrathon of Tampa Bay End of the Year Awards, 2017-2018 Race Season.

 

Season Points Winners:

High School Division

1st place, Simmons Career car 35 with 348 points

2nd place, Brandon HS car 14 with 328 points

3rd place Simmons Career Center car 53 with 324 points.

 

Open Division

1st place Tiger Racing car 4 with 464 points

2nd place Silver Bullet Racing car 94 with 228 points

3rd place Hillsborough Community College car 30 with 214 points.

 

Advanced Battery Division

1st place, University of South Florida car 132 with 404 points

2nd place, Pro EV car 39 with 330 points

3rd place, Titan Racing car 242 with 158 points.

 

Volunteer of the Year: Aditya Chelikani

Executive Board Member of the Year: Brady Weber Team

Sponsor of the Year: Mark Knowlton (Brandon HS)

“I Broke Mine” Award: Dustyn Clark (Brandon HS)

 

Fastest Lap per Division:

High School Division Mulberry HS car 38 at the HCC Race with a lap time of 30.774.

Open Division Tiger Racing car 4 at the HCC Race with a lap time of 30.69

Advanced Battery Division University of South Florida car 132 at the HCC Race with a lap time of 26.471.

 

Most Laps for the 2017-2018 Race Season:

High School Division: Simmons Career Center car 53 with 729 laps,

Advanced Battery Division: University of South Florida car 132 with 790 laps

Open Division: Tiger Racing car 4 with 1,141 laps.

 

Smart Vent Tech Improves IAQ and Saves Money, Energy

February 22nd, 2018

By Jennifer Josey
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
February 22, 2018

How many times have you completed a system upgrade for a device only to find that it’s glitchy? No one wants to “upgrade” to downgrade, and we don’t like being inconvenienced as things get “smarter.” This is just as true for our homes. Reducing energy consumption (thereby saving money) is a key driver for smart, integrated tech (think smart thermostats); however, adoption is lower if an upgrade risks compromising resident comfort.

Whole-house, smart ventilation is one such up-and-coming “smart” technology. But before it takes off, there are a couple of hurdles to jump: integration with standard heating and cooling systems, and proving the risks are limited and the benefits are many. Researchers with the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®), in partnership with Washington State University, are tackling smart ventilation systems head on.

UCF/FSEC researchers Chuck Withers and Dave Chasar installing a mechanical ventilation control unit on a flexible duct.

UCF/FSEC researchers Chuck Withers and Dave Chasar installing a fan on a flexible duct to test an energy-efficient mechanical ventilation control design.

In a first-of-its-kind report, “Field and Laboratory Testing of Approaches to Smart Whole-House Mechanical Ventilation Control,” FSEC documented research on lab and field testing of smart ventilation control (SVC) systems. The report explains that whole-house mechanical ventilation is a critical component to a comprehensive indoor air quality (IAQ) strategy. In addition, these systems can help the residential sector more reliably design, install, and operate mechanical ventilation systems to achieve best-practice IAQ while saving energy and improving comfort, moisture, and peak load impacts.

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Installing Solar Electric (Photovoltaic) Systems – An Instructional Program for Contractors, Utilities, Engineers and Code Officials

January 12th, 2018
Adults students in the Installing Photovoltaic Systems course receive hands-on instruction and install PV panels on mock residential roof systems.

Students participate in hands-on lab at FSEC’s Installing Photovoltaic Systems workshop.

The Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®) is offering its five-day course covering the design and installation of photovoltaic (PV) systems January 22-26, 2018, in Cocoa, Florida. This course is intended for technicians, electricians, engineers and other practitioners in the solar, construction, and electric utility sectors. The overall goal is to develop “system-knowledgeable” professionals to help ensure the safety and quality of PV system installations.

  • Hands-on – The course format includes a balance of classroom instruction and actual hands-on work with PV systems and equipment.’s
  • Student-interactive – Demonstration and lab exercises simulate the process of designing, installing and commissioning of residential and small commercial grid-connected PV systems.
  • State-of-the-Art – Emphasis is placed on code compliance and accepted state-of-the-art industry design and installation practice.

The course fee is $995 and registration can be completed online at the FSEC website: https://secure.fsec.ucf.edu/fsecstore/do/product/InstallPV. Each participant receives a copy of the textbook Photovoltaic Systems by Jim Dunlop as well as all instructional materials. Participants successfully completing the course will be awarded a certificate of completion from FSEC and will be eligible to take the North American Board of Certified Practitioners (NABCEP) Photovoltaic Associate Program examination (see below). This course is approved by the Florida Construction and Electrical Licensing Boards for 18 continuing education credits.

FSEC is an approved provider of the PV training that is a prerequisite for the NABCEP Photovoltaic Associate Program examination. Students may register for the Computer Based Test (CBT) after completing the FSEC Installing Photovoltaic Systems workshop. The examination fee is $150. Interested participants will be able to sign up for this exam within two years of completing the workshop. For further information on the NABCEP PV Associate Program, please visit http://www.nabcep.org/associate. FSEC has also achieved the Interstate Renewable Energy Council (IREC) Continuing Education Provider Accreditation for the FSEC Installing Photovoltaic Systems course.

For questions or more information, please contact Colleen Kettles at 321-638-1004 or ckettles@fsec.ucf.edu.

FAQ: New Legislation Regarding Solar Energy System Certification (HB 1021)

July 27th, 2017

By Colleen Kettles
July 27, 2017

The 2017 Florida Legislature, through HB 1021, amended the Solar Energy Standards Act of 1976 that governs the certification of solar energy systems manufactured or sold in Florida.

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Florida Legislative amendments in HB 1021 do not relieve FSEC from the legislative mandate to develop and adopt standards for solar energy systems, nor does it remove the authority of FSEC to test and certify solar energy systems.

Q:  How does HB 1021 specify the certification of solar energy systems that are sold or manufactured in the State of Florida?

A:  HB 1021 specifies solar energy system certification as follows:

“(d) All solar energy systems manufactured or sold in the state must meet the standards established by the center and shall display accepted results of approved performance tests in a manner prescribed by the center, unless otherwise certified by an engineer licensed pursuant to ch. 471 using the standards contained in the most recent version of the Florida Building code.”

HB 1021 defines the ‘center’ to mean “the Florida Solar Energy Center of the Board of Governors.”

Chapter 471 (F.S.) specifies the manner by which licensed Florida engineers are authorized to submit design documents to local code enforcement jurisdictions for permitting as follows:

471.0195 Florida Building Code training for engineers.—All licensees actively participating in the design of engineering works or systems in connection with buildings, structures, or facilities and systems covered by the Florida Building Code shall take continuing education courses and submit proof to the board, at such times and in such manner as established by the board by rule, that the licensee has completed any specialized or advanced courses on any portion of the Florida Building Code applicable to the licensee’s area of practice. The board shall record reported continuing education courses on a system easily accessed by code enforcement jurisdictions for evaluation when determining license status for purposes of processing design documents. Local jurisdictions shall be responsible for notifying the board when design documents are submitted for building construction permits by persons who are not in compliance with this section. The board shall take appropriate action as provided by its rules when such noncompliance is determined to exist.

History.—s. 38, ch. 2000-356; s. 23, ch. 2002-299; s. 12, ch. 2009-195.

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UCF 1 of 6 Nationwide Teams Selected to Lead Research Partnerships for High-Performance Housing

July 11th, 2017
Interior of townhouse with staircase by front door. Return air grill under on side of staircase with mini-split ac unti above front door.

This mini-split air conditioning unit is located as close as possible to the central return grille of the existing system to help with room-to-room air distribution.

By Sherri Shields

COCOA, Fla., July 11, 2017—The University of Central Florida (UCF) is one of six nationwide teams selected by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to receive $3.7 million to study how to improve energy efficiency and indoor air quality (IAQ) in homes.

The selected projects are expected to lead to improved home energy efficiency and smarter home operation for millions of American families, saving money on their energy bills while improving health and comfort.

UCF will get more than $870,000 for two, two-year projects, which will be led by the university’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, Fla. The center is a leader in energy research, with three decades of energy and buildings research, technical assistance, and training experience. It’s expertise has led to it being named a DOE Building America Program’s Industry Partnerships recipient.

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FSEC Earns 2017 ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes Market Leader Award

June 30th, 2017

COCOA, Fla., June 30, 2017—The University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center® has earned an ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes Market Leader Award in recognition of its continued commitment to providing our nation’s homebuyers with ENERGY STAR® certified homes.

EnergyStar Market Leader Award 2017 Certified Homes logo

Home nergy raters submitted 2,905 home energy ratings through FSEC software services in 2017.

Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR® Certified Homes program presents Market Leader Awards to outstanding partners who have made important contributions to energy–efficient construction and environmental protection by building or verifying an outstanding number of ENERGY STAR® certified homes. As a rating provider, Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®) contributed 2,905 ENERGY STAR® certified homes in 2016, which is equivalent to reducing CO2 emissions by 4,915 metric tons.

“FSEC is pleased to be recognized for this award on behalf of the energy raters who worked with builders to achieve ENERGY STAR-labeled homes and registered their ratings through our software services,” says Robin Vieira, director of Buildings Research at FSEC.

The expert team of FSEC trainers and reviewers, working with energy raters, are an integral part of FSEC’s success as an ENERGY STAR® provider. In addition, FSEC’s innovative EnergyGauge software “automatically computes the necessary ENERGY STAR calculation to make determining the energy efficiency level of compliance easy,” explains Vieira.

The partnership between FSEC and ENERGY STAR® has been a lasting one. “FSEC helped EPA launch the ENERGY STAR® for Homes program in 1995 and will continue to work to research energy-efficient methods and to educate the building industry on best practices,” added Vieira.

The ENERGY STAR® program helps businesses and individuals save money and protect the environment through superior energy efficiency standards.

Learn more about ENERGY STAR at https://www.energystar.gov/about.

Review the full list of ENERGY STAR award winners at https://www.energystar.gov/about/2017_energy_star_certified_homes_market_leader_award_winners.

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PR17-05

Permit-Ready Solar System Certification Now Faster and Cheaper

June 19th, 2017
GO SOLAR Florida. Express PV Certifiction System. Fast. Permit-Ready. Low-cost. https://scp.fsec.ucf.edu/

Express PV Certification now FREE until the end of June.

COCOA, Fla., June 19, 2017— Contractors installing photovoltaic (solar electric) systems in Florida can now obtain permit-ready documents in a matter of minutes, thanks to a new online express solar certification system developed by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)®.

The database-driven, web-based Solar Certification Portal will process inputs from professional engineers and contractors licensed to install photovoltaic (PV) systems in Florida. The output includes an electrical schematic and supporting equipment documentation—which complies with prevailing codes and standards—certified by FSEC and ready for use in the building permit process.

Express system certification only costs $150—a $100 reduction over the current manual system certification fee. Tier 1 PV systems (10kW or less) are eligible for express processing.

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Energized Students Infectious at Statewide Renewable Energy Competition

June 5th, 2017

COCOA, June 5, 2017—Nearly 50 schools across Florida—from Key West and Tallahassee—participated in this year’s EnergyWhiz competition last month at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center.

More than 115 teams, which included nearly 500 students, prepared their projects for competition: model-sized solar cars for the Junior Solar Sprint (JSS), solar ovens for the Cook-off, full-scale photovoltaic panels for Energy Innovations, energy-efficient animal homes for the Critter Comfort Cottage competition, and go-cart-sized electric cars for the Electrathon.

In the longest running event, JSS, cars underwent inspection, design judging, time-trials, and new this year, team interviews. “Questions from judges may sometimes be intimidating, but interviews give students the opportunity to shine when they’ve put their heart and soul into a project,” said Guytri Still, JSS lead design judge and former middle school science teacher.

Long table with students on one side, inspectors on other side. JSS car being weighed in.

Junior Solar Sprint cars are inspected and weighed. Credit: Selina Black

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Permit-ready Solar System Certification Now Available Within Minutes

June 1st, 2017
Close up view of photovoltaic panels

Express Photovoltaic System Certification Now Offered

COCOA, Fla., June 1, 2017—Contractors installing photovoltaic (solar electric) systems in Florida can now obtain permit-ready documents in a matter of minutes, thanks to a new online express solar certification system developed by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC)®.

The database-driven, web-based Solar Certification Portal will process inputs from professional engineers and contractors licensed to install photovoltaic (PV) systems in Florida, and produce an electrical three-line schematic and supporting equipment documentation—which complies with prevailing codes and standards—certified by FSEC and ready for use in the building permit process.

In an effort to encourage licensed contractor and engineer feedback, a two-week introductory period will allow use of the new express system free of charge. Beginning June 16, each system certification will only cost $150, a $100 reduction over the current manual system certification fee.

Manual PV system design certification is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. The new express PV system certification process is expected to dramatically reduce the time and costs associated with permitting rooftop PV systems in Florida.

This new express online certification system results from a three-year program sponsored by Broward County with funding from the US Department of Energy’s SunShot program. FSEC was one of several team members of the Go SOLAR Florida initiative that was established to develop policies and procedures to standardize solar energy permitting and remove institutional barriers across the state of Florida, thereby reducing soft costs associated with rooftop PV system installation.

Access the Solar Certification Portal at https://scp.fsec.ucf.edu/. For questions, contact pvsystem@fsec.ucf.edu or 321-638-1457.

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PR17-04

Inventor of Laser Printer Speaks at UCF’s FSEC on May 18 at 11 a.m.

May 15th, 2017

CANCELLED. Due to unforeseen circumstances, this presentation will be rescheduled.

 

UCF Energy Connections Seminar Series presents, “Imagination versus Knowledge” by Mr. Gary Starkweather, inventor of the laser printer and color management technology.

UCF Energy Connections Seminar Series

Listen. Learn. Connect.

We now live in a world where we have access to stupendous amounts of knowledge. How does this knowledge enable new and innovative ideas or does it? Mr. Starkweather will use the example of the laser printer as insight into imagination and the use of knowledge, and also look at other instances of innovation. Many companies no longer spend much money on

Illustration of light bulb with "idea" written as the filament, doodles all around light bulb, and three pencils in yellow, green and blue with the words creative, knowledge, education

“Imagination versus Knowledge”

research and this is unfortunate. Eli Lilly said that research is the “Soul of the company, the heart of the business.” In 1899, the head of the U.S. Patent department said that the operation ought to be closed down, as all the good ideas have been invented. Since that statement, about 7 million patents have been issued. Imagination is very important. Mr. Starkweather will take a look at it and how it can be supported.

WHERE:
Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922-5703

WHEN:
Thursday, May 18, 2017 @ 11:00 a.m.

COST:
Free