Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

As President Obama Helps Commission Solar Plant, UCF Solar Leader Receives National Recognition

Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
David Block, director emeritus of FSEC, receives national recognition from the International Renewable Energy Council.

David Block, director emeritus of FSEC, receives national recognition from the International Renewable Energy Council.

ORLANDO, Oct. 27, 2009 — As President Barack Obama hails the opening of the nation’s largest solar photovoltaic power plant in DeSoto County, a University of Central Florida engineer credited with making the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) a world leader in renewable energy research is being honored by a national council.

David Block, director emeritus of FSEC, has received a special recognition award from the Interstate Renewable Energy Council. The council, which Block helped found as the Interstate Solar Coordination Council in 1982, develops renewable energy programs and policies designed to lead to adoption of uniform guidelines, standards and quality assessment.

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New Home Sales Robust for Some Energy-Efficient Florida Builders

Wednesday, October 21st, 2009

It’s no surprise that in today’s ailing market, new home sales are down. What is surprising is that construction is on the rise for six Florida homebuilders.

In partnership with one of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Building America teams, led by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), these successful homebuilders are building super energy-efficient homes. They are achieving a standard met by fewer than one of every 1,000 new homes built in Florida since 2007.

Homes consume about 35 percent of the electricity produced in the United States. Homes are also responsible for more than 20 percent of the U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, a significant contributor to global warming. Building America’s goal is to develop cost-effective solutions that reduce the average energy use of housing by 40 to 100 percent.

The Department of Energy's EnergySmart Home Scale (E-Scale) is based off of the HERS Index.

The Department of Energy's EnergySmart Home Scale (E-Scale) is based off the HERS Index.

Similar to an automobile’s miles-per-gallon sticker, energy-efficient homes can have an energy-efficiency rating called the EnergySmart Home ScaleSM (E-Scale), which is based on the nationwide Home Energy Rating System’s HERS Index. A home with an E-Scale of zero generates as much energy as it consumes on an annual basis. While most existing homes have an E-Scale of 130 or higher, typical new homes in Florida have an E-Scale of about 90.
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FSEC to Help Run New National Solar Installer Training Network

Monday, October 19th, 2009

U.S. Department of Energy selected UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center to create and operate the network in six states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands

With unemployment at an all-time high, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is investing in solar workforce development and providing $2.8 million to the University of Central Florida’s Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to help lead those efforts.

During a train-the-trainer event at the Florida Solar Energy Center, participants learn about solar technologies and developing training curricula.

During a train-the-trainer event at the Florida Solar Energy Center, participants learn about solar technologies and developing training curricula.

FSEC was selected as one of nine national institutions that will operate the newly created Solar Installer Instructor Training Network.

The national network will address a critical need for high-quality, local and accessible training in solar system design, installation, sales and inspection. The training network is a five-year effort intended to create a geographic blanket of training opportunities in solar installations across the United States. Its goals are to accelerate market adoption of solar technologies by ensuring that high-quality installations are standard and to create sustainable jobs within the solar installation industry.

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FSEC’s Cummings and Withers Receive Distinguished Awards from ASHRAE

Monday, August 17th, 2009
ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers

ASHRAE – American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, Air-Conditioning Engineers

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recognized 56 members and one chapter for contributions to ASHRAE and the HVAC&R industry at the Society’s 2009 Annual Conference in June.

The Florida Solar Energy Center’s James Cummings and Charles (Chuck) Withers, Jr. received the 2008 Journal Paper Award for their article, Problems Related to Air Handler Leakage. The award honors the best paper or article published in ASHRAE Journal.

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Students Shine at EnergyWhiz Olympics

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of our world’s greatest energy challenges, and their renewable energy solutions were demonstrated at the EnergyWhiz Olympics – a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuel technologies.

Nearly 700 students throughout Florida converged at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center in Cocoa on Saturday, May 9, 2009 to compete in the seventh-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics. Events included the new Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint, model-size hydrogen fuel cell car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge.

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Subrato Chandra Recognized by DOE Assistant Secretary Karsner

Friday, August 15th, 2008
Subrato Chandra is the project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership.

Subrato Chandra is the project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership.

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.

University of Florida Professor Wins Florida Energy Achievement Award

Monday, April 21st, 2008

Dr. Ann C. Wilkie, associate professor at the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), has been named winner of the third annual Florida Energy Achievement Award. The award, presented by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), recognizes a company, organization or individual that has made a significant achievement in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy education or renewable energy in the state of Florida.

The FSEC award committee chose Wilkie for her extensive work in alternative energy -creating bio-energy from animal waste – and her leadership in promoting awareness and understanding of renewable energy and sustainable practices. (more…)

Florida Solar Energy Center Director, Dr. James Fenton, Recipient of 2008 UCF Award for Excellence in Distinguished Research

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

Cocoa, Fla. – Dr. James Fenton, director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and recognized expert in electrochemical engineering, received this year’s University of Central Florida Award for Excellence in Distinguished Research. This honor is awarded to researchers whose work has created an impact within their discipline and in society. Their work is recognized by research peers, has been published and presented on numerous occasions, and provides external grant and contract support for the research.

Fenton has led his team in a wide variety of hydrogen research activities, although he specializes in fuel cell applications. Fenton’s award-winning work focuses on the research and development of proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells. PEM fuel cells transform chemical energy released during the electrochemical reaction of hydrogen and oxygen to electrical energy, rather than producing mechanical energy as current internal combustion engines do. While PEM fuel cells are being developed primarily for the next-generation automobile engine, they are also being developed as sources for portable power and emergency backup power applications. (more…)

U.S. Department of Energy Awards Florida Solar Energy Center at UCF $2 Million for ‘Green’ Regional Project

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

The U.S. Department of Energy recently named the Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida as one of only two sites nationwide that will share a multi-million dollar grant to accelerate the adoption of new and developing energy-efficient technologies.

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) received $2 million from the Department of Energy (DOE) grant to be home to a regional building technology application center. The center, to be located at FSEC’s facility in Cocoa, will serve 12 states and produce projects that will substantially increase the deployment of high-performance “beyond-code” buildings across the Southeast. (more…)

EnergyWhiz Olympics at Florida Solar Energy Center-UCF

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

More than 300 students and teachers from throughout Florida participated in the 2007 EnergyWhiz Olympics at the Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday, May 12. Events included solar car races, hydrogen fuel cell vehicle races, a photovoltaic design competition called “Energy Innovations” and a solar-powered boat demonstration.

Students from elementary through high schools took part in the alternative fuel competitions. The largest event, with 61 teams, was the Junior Solar Sprint. Middle-school students designed and built model-sized, solar-powered vehicles, which they raced during the competition. Awards were given to the top performing vehicles based on design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and speed. (more…)