The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) recently lent its photovoltaic (PV) generator trailer to Kennedy Space Center (KSC) to power a Low Speed Electric Vehicle (LSEV) charging station on site. The fleet coordinator, Bruce Chesson, wanted to take energy efficiency and conservation at KSC one step further by adding a solar-powered charging station to the two existing stations, both already powered by electricity from the utility grid.
FSEC’s PV trailer is typically used to provide power for emergency operations during disaster relief, but KSC fleet officials wanted to determine if the LSEVs could be effectively powered by the 440-watt trailer system. These LSEVs support shuttle processing operations, launch pad modifications and everyday support requirements. FSECs stand-alone trailer PV system successfully charged each of the six LSEVs in the fleet, one at a time.
Although KSC already uses PV technology to power several systems around the site, it has never been used to support electric vehicle transportation. KSC would like to partner with local energy providers to construct similar charging stations around the Space Center.
Through collaboration between the University of Central Florida’s (UCF) Nanoscience Technology Center (NSTC) and the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a group of researchers from both UCF institutes will travel to Romania in June 2009 to participate in a five-day workshop exploring new developments in nanoscience and solar energy. The goal of this workshop is to formulate ideas about how to stimulate and give direction to future research collaborations between Romanian and UCF research teams.
COCOA, Fla. – The University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) will lead one of 12 research and development teams that will work on the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Sandia National Laboratories’ Solar Energy Grid Integration Systems (SEGIS) projects. DOE plans to invest up to $24 million over a number of years to provide funding for the research and development of new solar electricity, or photovoltaic (PV), technology resulting in more versatile, higher-performing products. This research will make PV systems more practical for home and business owners, as well as for utilities, by improving the operational characteristics of the systems. These newly planned PV systems will allow solar electricity to become a more fundamental part of household and commercial energy systems while simultaneously serving a vital role in the utility portfolio of generation resources.
Like most industries throughout the world, the resort industry is seeing a growing trend in the use of renewable energy and “green” practices. More and more hotels in tourist destinations across the globe are trying to be good stewards to their visitors, as well as to the environment, by utilizing renewable energy applications for powering their facilities, rather than passing off the current high energy costs to customers through higher rates. Seeing the industry take such positive strides is what inspired researchers at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to develop a program to promote eco-tourism in the Caribbean, one of the most popular tourist destinations, and around the world.
The second annual Serve to Preserve Summit on Global Climate Change, hosted by Florida Governor Charlie Crist on June 25-26, 2008, continued to promote Florida’s excellence as a growing leader in alternative fuels and conserving the state’s natural environment. The summit also focused on the need to pursue alternative fuels and renewable energy as a means for economic benefits through a variety of “green” technologies.
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) welcomed the Mayor of the City of New York, Michael Bloomberg, and First Deputy Mayor Patricia Harris for a tour of the facility on Friday, June 20, 2008. Mayor Bloomberg expressed an interest in learning about FSEC’s role in the research and development of large-scale photovoltaic (PV) systems and hydrogen fuel cells, as well as recent breakthroughs related to “green”, energy-efficient building practices.
As project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP), FSEC’s Subrato Chandra was recognized earlier this year by U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Assistant Secretary, Alexander Karsner, for his outstanding support during the development of the DOE Builders Challenge.
In February, the Builders Challenge called on the U.S. homebuilding industry to build at least 220,000 high-performance, energy-efficient homes by 2012. The initiative was announced at the 2008 International Builder’s Show (IBS) in Orlando, Fla., where Chandra and other FSEC researchers provided live technical assistance at the DOE booth. Out of the 40 pioneering builders that signed up for the challenge prior to its launch at the IBS, Chandra and the BAIHP team were responsible for recruiting 18 of these builders.
“Your enthusiasm and dedication are exceptional,” wrote Assistant Secretary Karsner in a letter to Chandra.“It is because of the hard work and dedication by individuals like you that America is able to meet the challenges of energy security and climate change head on at this critical time in our history.”
The Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) team is the only university-based Building America team competitively funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy-Building Technologies program. BAIHP works with partners throughout the United States. The project focuses on effectively balancing cost, design, construction, and energy decisions to develop customized solutions for our team members. The BAIHP brings practical research expertise to America’s Home Building Industry.