Archive for the ‘Energy News’ Category
By Sherri Shields
Feb. 5, 2015
The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition was awarded first place for Most Improved Petroleum Reduction, among nearly 100 coalitions nationwide. The U.S. Department of Energy’s Clean Cities Coalitions advance the nation’s economic, environmental, and energy security by supporting local actions to reduce petroleum consumption in transportation.
The Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition territory encompasses a 10-county area consisting of Brevard, Flagler, Indian River, Lake, Okeechobee, Orange, Osceola, Seminole, St. Lucie and Volusia Counties. The coalition had a 247 percent increase in petroleum reduction in 2013 compared to the previous year. The Most Improved award was announced at the annual Clean Cities Coordinator Workshop in December 2014.
COCOA, October 31, 2014
Mayor Buddy Dyer was the guest of honor this week aboard a zero-emission electric passenger bus during its Orlando tour stop. The Catalyst, a 40-passenger battery-electric bus manufactured by Proterra, picked up the mayor and several of his staff at City Hall for a quick trip around downtown Orlando. The Central Florida stop was one of only a few remaining demonstrations taking place on its way back home to Greenville, SC after a cross-country tour.
October 24, 2014
Newly updated software offers construction-industry professionals substantial time-savings while completing required energy modeling calculations for LEED® and energy code projects. A limited-time discount is available.
Commercial construction companies have a new tool to help their clients build LEED® certified buildings faster and more efficiently thanks to the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®).
FSEC® released the EnergyGauge® Summit Premier 5.00 software at this year’s Greenbuild conference in New Orleans. The conference is the premier event for sustainable building in the United States and draws thousands to learn about the latest technology and techniques. FSEC’s state-of-the-art software provides construction-industry professionals with the opportunity to substantially reduce the time required to complete energy modeling for the commercial construction LEED® rating system and code compliance using ASHRAE 90.1 or IECC.
October 13, 2014
The following notice does not apply to solar electric (photovoltaic – PV) systems that provide electrical power to air-conditioning systems.
Products currently being marketed in Florida as “Solar Air Conditioners” or “Solar Assisted Air Conditioners” using solar heating collectors have not been certified by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). These products feature a solar heating collector within a conventional air conditioning system. FSEC has not tested or validated the claim that the solar heating collectors enhance air-conditioning performance.
Consumers are advised to consult an income tax professional regarding any federal income tax credit claims. Qualified residential solar systems are defined in §25D(d) of Title 26 of the U.S. Code.
Tax Code Reference:
By Danielle Daniel
October 8, 2014
Southeast Volusia Habitat for Humanity and Habitat for Humanity of South Sarasota County—affordable housing partners of the University of Central Florida’s FSEC—were the honored recipients of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Zero Energy Ready Home Leading Affordable Builders awards in September. A total of 28 industry leaders (including six affordable builders) were recognized at the 2014 Housing Innovation Award ceremony at EEBA’s Excellence in Building Conference in St. Louis, Missouri. DOE Housing Innovation Awards acknowledge the outstanding efforts of contractors and builders to design and construct high performance, zero energy ready homes.
Energy efficiency, comfort, and durability are key components of DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes. To qualify for this certification, homes must meet stringent requirements in seven categories. To reduce energy consumption and resulting energy costs, these high performance homes must achieve a very low score on the Home Energy Rating System (HERS) Index. The closer the score is to zero, the less energy is needed to run the home.
By Sherri Shields
September 25, 2014
A hydrogen safety technology that was developed as a result of a partnership between the University of Central Florida’s FSEC® and NASA, and then commercialized by a university startup company, has been internationally recognized by the R&D 100 Awards program as one of the most technologically significant products to enter the marketplace last year.
When NASA John F. Kennedy Space Center needed an easy-to-use, safe, effective and non-powered solution to visually detect dangerous hydrogen leaks on and near the shuttle launch pad, they reached out to FSEC’s Dr. Ali Raissi and his team of researchers, Drs. Nazim Muradov, Gary Bokerman, Nahid Mohajeri, and R. Paul Brooker. Together, NASA KSC and FSEC—a research institute of the University of Central Florida—designed a one-of-a-kind, tape-like solution that selectively changes color in the presence of hydrogen gas. Since hydrogen gas is odorless and colorless, visual detection means that the leak source can now be quickly pinpointed for repair.
FSEC researchers presented their research findings at the 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings in Pacific Grove, CA on August 17-22, 2014. Check out their research publications:
What are the implications of mechanically introducing humid outside air into residential buildings, compared to the indoor air quality benefits?
Take a look at the results of a study of 10 homes in Gainesville, FL that includes impact on energy use, comfort, durability, and cost.
- Measured Cooling Season Results Relating the Impact of Mechanical Ventilation on Energy, Comfort, and Indoor Air Quality in Humid Climates
In another study of mechanical ventilation in homes, two lab homes, constructed to represent characteristics of typical existing Florida homes, were monitored. They were configured with tight and leaky building envelopes, and with and without mechanical ventilation. Simulation results of high performance new homes with mechanical ventilation, and typical older homes with and without air tightening and mechanical ventilation, were also presented.
By Danielle Daniel
Congratulations to Dr. Nahid Mohajeri, who received a University of Central Florida (UCF) 2012-2013 Research Incentive Award in recognition of her exceptional research efforts. Dr. Mohajeri is an associate research professor at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).
Each year, UCF recognizes faculty members and research staff who have an outstanding research, scholarly, or creative record that advances the body of knowledge in their field.
“I did not get here all by myself,” states Mohajeri, in response to receiving the award. “I have been helped, guided, and given opportunities by many people during my tenure at FSEC that I will forever be grateful,” she explains.
Dr. Mohajeri’s recent contributions to the research community include the development of highly durable proton exchange composite membranes for fuel cells, a technology based on the addition of cerium oxide nanoparticles to the membrane. When tested, this innovative approach improved fuel cells’ membrane stability and performance, resulting in a sevenfold decrease in the open circuit voltage decay rate compared to the baseline membrane. Membranes are at the heart of hydrogen fuel cell technology, and by increasing their durability, goals for developing fuel cells as a reliable, alternate energy source are attainable.
Other accomplishments include the creation of a chemochromic hydrogen leak detection tool known as “Smart Paint,” which was used by NASA to visually detect colorless and odorless hydrogen leaks. Furthermore, Dr. Mohajeri discovered a new class of catalysts for the hydrolytic cleavage of ammonia borane, one of the promising classes of chemical hydrides for hydrogen storage. She has authored and co-authored more than 30 scientific publications and has received seven patents (awarded and applied). In addition to her research endeavors, Dr. Mohajeri says she considers it an honor as a professor to educate and mentor “the next generation of scientists.”
Regarding future contributions to energy research, Dr. Mohajeri’s diverse background has enabled her to work in various energy research areas. However, one focus in particular has garnered her attention: “The area of soft materials, such as polymers, for energy storage or energy efficiency technologies holds a special place in my overall interests in energy research,” she states.
By Sherri Shields
COCOA, May 17, 2013 – Students, teachers and the community of Haines City will reap multiple benefits from the new 10,000-watt photovoltaic (PV) system at Haines City High School. The PV system with battery backup will provide emergency power during an outage, reduce daily electricity costs to the school, and serve as a learning resource.
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF), held a dedication ceremony and solar workshop for teachers to celebrate the installation of the 42-panel PV system at Haines City High School on Wednesday, May 15th. Coordinated by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, the system, valued at $85,000, is the 85th PV system installed through the SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter Program.
In conjunction with the dedication, a professional development workshop gave teachers from Haines City High School, Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts in Osceola County, Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County and Montessori World School in Orange County an opportunity to experience hands-on solar activities, showcasing the FSEC curriculum and a companion renewable energy kit. More than 250 teachers have participated in similar workshops, impacting more than 50,000 students statewide.
Not only does the PV system reduce electricity costs by up to $1,500 a year and serve as a generator when a power outage occurs, the system also reports performance data to FSEC; the data will be available on energywhiz.com in June. This site will allow students and teachers to analyze PV system performance data to better understand how the technology works. “We hope we never have to use the system as a generator, and we’re excited about the hand-on learning application for our students and teachers. Being able to see the real-time data that our system produces will be a tremendous resource,” said Stephen Scheloske, assistant principal at Haines City High School. (more…)