Space Coast Education Community Celebrates Its 20th Year Recognizing Exemplary Science Teachers

COCOA, Fla., August 17, 2018 — The University of Central Florida congratulates seven outstanding science teachers who received the distinguished Exemplary Science Teacher Award from the Space Coast Science Education Alliance (SCSEA) on August 7 at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). The award is given in recognition of Brevard County teachers who continually go above and beyond the norm to educate their students in science.

The 2018 SCSEA Exemplary Science Teacher award winners are Michelle M. Berry, Endeavour Elementary; Roger Cohen, Gemini Elementary; Jennifer Cotton, Titusville High; Jeffrey Higginbotham, Rockledge High; Angela Lambert, Harbor City Elementary; Aaron Mitchell, Bayside High; and, Tammie Rutkowski, Riviera Elementary. Roger Cohen and Tammie Rutkowski were also inducted into the Exemplary Science Teacher Hall of Fame, as this was their second award.

Photo of 2018 Exemplary Science Teachers and Brevard County administrators
Pictured from left to right (teachers are holding their awards) are: Loren Kingsley, District Secondary Science Resource Teacher; Aaron Mitchell (Bayside High); Jeffrey Higginbotham (Rockledge High); Jennifer Cotton (Titusville High); Tammie Rutkowski (Riviera Elementary); Angela Lambert (Harbor City Elementary); Dr. Mark Mullins, BCPS Superintendent; Michelle Berry (Endeavour Elementary); Michelle Ferro, Elementary Science Content Specialist, and Roger Cohen (Gemini Elementary).

New BCPS Superintendent Dr. Mark Mullins presented the unusual “awards” that drew much excitement from the recipients. Each teacher received a Triceratops fossil that had been carefully mounted as a display piece by the Academy of Natural History Preparation, a nonprofit science education organization located in Rockledge. In addition to the elegant banquet provided by Renaissance Catering, each teacher received an honorarium and a one-year membership to a science education organization, such as the Florida Association of Science Teachers.

The inaugural SCSEA Exemplary Science Teacher awards banquet was held in 1999 at FSEC. “When we started this program 20 years ago, it was to encourage exemplary science teachers to keep up the great work and for the Space Coast community to say thank you for the sacrifices that teachers and their families make. That goal remains the same,” said Susan Schleith, SCSEA Treasurer and FSEC K-12 Education Program Director. The great science teachers that we have in Brevard are a key reason Brevard is among the top Florida school districts in science.

“The importance our businesses, industry and other organizations place on science makes Brevard County a very special place to live and work”, said Ginger Davis, retired BPCS Science Coordinator and SCSEA Vice President. That was evidenced by the numerous sponsors from across the Space Coast that made the awards program and banquet possible. Gold sponsors were Brevard Zoo, Canaveral Council of Technical Societies, Florida Institute of Technology, Florida Solar Energy Center, Lockheed Martin, STEMScopes Florida and the Viera Company. Silver sponsors were Academy of Natural History Preparation, Discovery Education, Dixie Crossroads Seafood Restaurant, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and McGraw-Hill.

A new award, the Informal Science Educator Award of Excellence in tribute of Elizabeth Melvin was also announced at the dinner by Jennifer Thompson. Brevard County is known for strong science education outside of the formal classroom, too. Organizations like Brevard County Parks and Recreation, Keep Brevard Beautiful and the Brevard County Natural Resources Management Department, where Mrs. Melvin last worked, contribute greatly to science literacy.

The evening had other special moments including recognition of Suzanne Leslie, retired from the Eastern Florida State College Planetarium and Observatory, for her support of the Exemplary Science Teacher Awards Program. For well over ten years the awards banquet had been held at the Planetarium in Cocoa, which is closed and may not re-open due to hurricane damage. John Latherow, who recently retired from Satellite High and who is a past Hall of Fame winner was recognized for his years of service and was invited to continue to inspire others by becoming a member of the Space Coast Science Education Alliance.

The SCSEA is a nonprofit representing organizations and individuals who work together to improve scientific education and STEM literacy in Brevard County. For more information about the Exemplary Science Teacher Awards or SCSEA, please visit www.spacecoastscience.org.

For more information, please contact Susan Schleith, SCSCEA Treasurer and FSEC K-12 Education Program Director, at susan@fsec.ucf.edu or 321-638-1017.

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WARNING: SCAMMERS Posing as Florida Solar Energy Center

Warning sign, red outline triangle with black exclamation point in middle, cludy blue sky background
WARNING! Scammers posing as FSEC.

WARNING: SCAMMERS are posing as the Florida Solar Energy Center. FSEC® has received several reports from consumers that they are receiving multiple calls (from different phone numbers) from a telemarketer posing to be the Florida Solar Energy Center. In some cases, they are even being referred to the FSEC website. FSEC is a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF). FSEC will not call consumers to offer help with an electric bill, offer a free estimate, or solicit information for a purchase.

UCF recommends you file a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC): https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/stop-unwanted-calls-and-texts.

You can also visit the Florida Office of the Attorney General website for Consumer Protection.

Solar contractors must be licensed to do business in the state. You can check licenses at: http://www.myfloridalicense.com/dbpr/

Learn how to protect yourself from robocalls: https://consumersunion.org/end-robocalls/

UCF has trademark registrations for FSEC® and other related FLORIDA SOLAR ENERGY CENTER marks.  Unauthorized use is a violation of federal and state laws.

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Cloudy Skies Add to Real-World Learning Challenges at EnergyWhiz

By Sherri Shields

COCOA, Fla.,  May 21, 2018—A blanket of cloud-covered skies can be a real challenge for students to race Junior Solar Sprint (JSS) cars and keep solar oven temperatures sufficient for cooking.

Sam’s Speed Shop from McLane Middle School in Brandon, FL won first place in Race competition, second place in Most Innovative Design, and third place in the Best Design competition in the Blue Division (grades 7&8). Photo: Liza Robles

Although the sun never peeked through the clouds for the EnergyWhiz competitions on Saturday, May 12th, at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa, the JSS cars were still able to race. “One thing we’ve learned since hosting EnergyWhiz for the past 15 years is that if you want to stay on schedule, you need a backup plan in case the weather doesn’t cooperate,” said Susan Schleith, K-12 Education program director. “Battery backup is now an essential part of the car design, for situations like this.”

Female student from Saturn Elementary School and a male student prepare to race their Junior Solar Sprint cars, which were modified to run on batteries instead of solar due to the cloudy sky.
Female student from Students prepare to race their Junior Solar Sprint cars, which were modified to run on batteries instead of solar due to the cloudy sky. Photo: Leon Flowers

New to the JSS competition this year are two teams from Saturn Elementary School’s After School Program. An Army Education Outreach Program (AEOP) grant provided funding for Schleith to work students who are underserved and underrepresented in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. “I was able to work with the afterschool coordinator and students two days a month for nine months,” said Schleith. The MX team finished in fourth place, and the Shakamelina team ranked in the top 10. “The kids had a lot of fun. You can tell how proud they are of what they did,” said Marilea Pittenger, afterschool coordinator at Saturn Elementary.

Solar Energy Cook-off

Two male students stand along side their foil-lined, foldable cooker that has two side-by-side insulated pots in the center.
Sun Food from Martinez Middle in Lutz, FL earned a first place in Best Design and the WOW! Award in the Yellow Division (grades 4-6). Photo: Nick Waters
Team Sabores Grill (three female and two male students) stand along side their solar cooker, which incorporates the lens from a TV mounted on a stand.
Sabores Grill team from Lake Nona Middle School earned first place in the Solar Energy Cook-off Best Design, first place in Culinary, and the Wow! Award in the Orange Division (grades 7-8). Photo: Nick Waters

Backup plans for solar cooking are not as simple. Solar Energy Cook-off teams typically have backup recipes in case the sun is hidden behind the clouds, and most of the teams did this year. A few teams weren’t able to present anything to the tasting judges, but that didn’t stop them from discussing with the judges what they had planned and had tested prior to the event. “I give them credit for having the determination and creativity to follow through the process and not throw in the towel,” said Cheryl Thorn, Solar Energy Cook-off team leader.

Solar Energy Cook-off teams use digital or infrared thermometers to help ensure food is safe for tasting. Solar Express from Milwee Middle School, who earned second place in Culinary and Best Design, still managed to cook thin strips of steak for their steak fajitas. How’d they do that? “A good solar cooker design can make all the difference,” added Schleith. Solar cooking can be fun and Izaac Gonzalez from Milwee Middle School’s Solar Express adds, “My favorite part about this competition is that I get to eat the leftovers.” The instructors were pretty excited about EnergyWhiz too. “It’s gratifying to see the students perform well in front of the judges, being able to translate what they’ve learned in class into a real-world situation,” said Carol Unterreiner, Milwee Middle School instructor. “And then to a get a thank you from a student who felt he was able to adequately answer the judges questions about what he had learned, makes it all worthwhile,” added John Kallin, partner instructor. Solar cooking teams are judged in the categories of Culinary, Best Design, Wow!, and Fresh From Florida, which incorporates Florida-grown ingredients.

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2018 EnergyWhiz Awards

C3, Middle, 2nd

Critter Comfort Cottage

Elementary Division

camera icon1st Place – In Spike of it All (Hedgehog) – Lawton Chiles Elementary, Tampa

camera icon2nd Place – Florida Ducks (Duck) – Ocean Breeze Elementary, Indian Harbor Beach

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Lil’ Peeps (Chickens) – Hans Christian Anderson Elementary, Rockledge

 

Middle School Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – The Mighty Midnighters (Cat) – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – The Happy Hoppers (Bunny) – Milwee Middle, Longwood

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

 

High School Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – The Bog Frogs (Bog Frog) – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Marley’s Habitat (Leopard Frog) – Rockledge High, Rockledge

 

WOW! Award Elementary Division

camera iconcamera iconLil’ Peeps (Chickens) – Hans Christian Anderson Elementary, Rockledge

 

WOW! Award Middle Division

camera iconNature Gals (Squirrel) – Innovation Middle, Orlando

 

 

Energy Innovations

Middle School Division

camera icon1st Place – Corn Snake Habitat – Milwee Middle, Longwoodcamera icon

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Solar Powered Water Fountain – Milwee Middle, Longwood

 

High School Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – T.I.M. (Disaster Assistant Robot) – Lyman High, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Charge Barge – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Country Roads Putt Putt – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

WOW! Award Middle School Division

camera iconcamera iconSolar Powered Water Fountain – Milwee Middle, Longwood

 

WOW! Award High School Division

camera iconcamera iconCharge Barge – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

 

Energy Transfer Machine

camera icon1st Place – Mission: Feed Sheldon – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

camera icon2nd Place – Phoenix Engineers – Innovation Middle, Orlando

camera icon3rd Place – Floridian Fan – Lyman High, Longwood

camera iconPrecision Award – Phoenix Engineers – Innovation Middle, Orlando

 

 

Junior Solar Sprint

Best Design – Green Division (Grades 4 – 6)

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Shelby Racing Team – Lithia Springs Elementary, Valrico

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Mavericks by MAV – Pinewood Elementary, Stuart

camera icon3rd Place – Tie – Thunderbird 1, North Broward Preparatory, Coconut Creek

camera icon3rd Place – Tie – USchool Tiger Sharks, Nova Southeast University School, Davie

 

Best Design – Blue Division (Grades 7 & 8)

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Beast Mode – Innovation Middle, Orlando

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Solar McQueen – Milwee Middle, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Longwood

 

Most Innovative Green Division

camera icon1st Place – Wonderful Wildebeasts – Corbett Preparatory, Tampa

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – 3 Headed Phoenix – Innovation Middle, Orlando

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Solar Squad – McLane Middle, Brandon

 

Most Innovative Blue Division

camera icon1st Place – Solar McQueen – Milwee Middle, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Brandon

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Solar Vikings – McLane Middle, Brandon

 

Race – Green Division

camera icon1st Place – Solar Squad – McLane Middle, Brandon

camera icon2nd Place – Shelby Racing Team – Lithia Springs Elementary, Valrico

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – California Kings – Martinez Middle, Lutz

 

Race – Blue Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Sam’s Speed Shop – McLane Middle, Brandon

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Double Two – Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – The Cringe Crew – Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

 

 

Solar Energy Cook-off

Best Design – Yellow Division (Grades 4 – 6)

camera iconcamera iconcamera icon1st Place – Sun Food – Martinez Middle, Lutz

camera iconcamera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Sunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Three Amigos – Martinez Middle, Lutz

 

Best Design – Orange Division (Grades 7 & 8)

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Sabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Solar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Solar Sharks, Hidden Oaks Middle, Palm City

 

Best Design – Red Division (Grades 9 – 12)

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – The Hot Pockets – Lyman High, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Mango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High

 

WOW! Award Yellow Division

camera iconcamera iconcamera iconSun Food – Martinez Middle, Lutz

 

WOW! Award Orange Division

camera iconcamera iconSabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

 

WOW! Award Red Division

camera iconMango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High

 

Culinary Award – Yellow Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Sunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Three Amigos – Martinez Middle, Lutz

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Tiki Troop – Atlantis Elementary, Cocoa

 

Culinary Award – Orange Division

camera iconcamera icon1st Place – Sabores Grill – Lake Nona Middle, Orlando

camera iconcamera icon2nd Place – Solar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

camera iconcamera icon3rd Place – Sunny Side Up – Milwee Middle, Longwood

 

Culinary Award – Red Division

camera icon1st Place – Mango Marauders, Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

camera icon2nd Place – The Hot Pockets, Lyman High, Longwood

 

Fresh From Florida Award Yellow Division

camera iconSunday Chefs – East Elementary, Punta Gorda

 

Fresh From Florida Award Orange Division

camera iconSolar Express – Milwee Middle, Longwood

 

Fresh From Florida Award Red Division

camera iconcamera iconMango Marauders – Edgewood Jr/Sr High, Merritt Island

 

 

Electrathon

MediaContact: Charles Harrison, charlie@electrathonoftampabay.org

 

High School Division

camera icon1st 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:

camera iconHigh 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.

 

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Smart Vent Tech Improves IAQ and Saves Money, Energy

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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Permit-Ready Solar System Certification Now Faster and Cheaper

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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