Archive for the ‘Energy News’ Category

Energy Audits for Rural Small Businesses

Friday, June 5th, 2015

Revised June 10, 2015

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) offers Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loans & Grants to rural small businesses. USDA chose the University of Central Florida’s FSEC to provide a limited number of subsidized building energy audits to small businesses in rural Florida communities who are eligible for the grants and loans. Audit candidates must also meet FSEC criteria, which will be determined by a phone interview.

Photo of small town businesses on a "main street."

A limited number of subsidized building energy audits will be available to small businesses in rural Florida communities. Photo: ThinkStock.com

What is a building energy audit? An energy audit is an assessment of the energy use and energy saving opportunities in a building. The business or building owners play a role in the audit by providing utility bills and getting quotes for the improvements to facilitate cost-benefit calculations. The audit report provides recommendations and calculations that help applicants complete the technical sections of the Renewable Energy Systems & Energy Efficiency Improvement Loan & Grant applications.

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New Florida Energy Code Effective June 30, 2015. Sign Up for the Training You Need; Limited Time Discount Available

Thursday, June 4th, 2015

By Sherri Shields
June 4, 2015
Updated: July 01, 2015

Florida Building Code Fifth Edition (2014) Energy Conservation

FSEC training courses will address the changes in the Florida Building Code, Fifth Edition (2014) Energy Conservation.

New Florida Energy Conservation Code—5th Edition (2014)—is effective June 30, 2015*.

*Notice of Legislative Delay: SB 2502-A, Section 69, Chapter 2015-222 Laws of Florida 5th Edition (2014) Florida Building Code

Residential energy code changes include:

  • Building air leakage rate testing and limit requirements
  • New prescriptive compliance requirements
  • New performance compliance reference values

Commercial energy code changes include new methods for code compliance:

  • ASHRAE prescriptive method
  • ASHRAE energy cost budget method
  • ASHRAE envelope trade-off option method
  • IECC prescriptive method
  • IECC performance method.

Get the updates and training you need.  Sign up by July 31 for a $50 discount (use discount code “Newcode”) on the following courses:

A complete list of FSEC courses can be found at: http://ce.fsec.ucf.edu/.

 

GRAND OPENING: EV Charging Station @ FSEC

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

You are cordially invited to attend the Grand Opening of the Electric Vehicle Charging Station at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center on Friday, March 20, 2015 at 11 a.m. 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922. Ride & Drive the Nissan LEAF®.

Central Florida “Most Improved” in Petroleum Reduction Nationwide

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

By Sherri Shields
Feb. 5, 2015

Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition logo

Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition encompasses a 10-county area.

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.

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Zero-Emission Electric Bus Tour Stops In Orlando

Friday, October 31st, 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.

Photo of Mayor Dyer waving to passengers inside of electric bus.

Photo: Mayor Dyer boards the Proterra “Catalyst” battery-electric bus and is greeted by MetroPlan Orlando Executive Director Harry Barley (center) and City of Orlando Fleet Manager Daryl Greelee (upper right). Photo courtesy of MetroPlan Orlando.

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New LEED® Modeling Software Saves Time, Money for Sustainable Commercial Construction

Friday, October 24th, 2014

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.

EnergyGauge Summit Premier Edition logo

A fully-functional trial version of EnergyGauge is available at EnergyGauge.com. A $100 discount per user license is available until 12/20/2014.

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.

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Notice to Consumers, Contractors, and Building Officials

Monday, October 13th, 2014

October 13, 2014

The following notice does not apply to solar electric (photovoltaic – PV) systems that provide electrical power to air-conditioning systems.

Warning sign with cloud background

Consumer Warning!

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:

http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/USCODE-2011-title26/pdf/USCODE-2011-title26-subtitleA-chap1-subchapA-partIV-subpartA-sec25D.pdf

FSEC Affordable Housing Partners Recognized for DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

By Danielle Daniel
October 8, 2014

ZERO Energy Ready Home U.S. Department of Energy logo

The DOE Zero Energy Ready Home Leading Builders awards are presented to builders who are changing the way homes are designed and constructed.

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.

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FSEC Research Fuels Patents, Commercialization, and Wins R&D 100 Award

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

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.

Photo of Nazim Muradov, Nahid Mohajeri, Gary Bokerman, Ali Raissi.

FSEC’s Advanced Energy Division researchers, left to right, Nazim Muradov, Nahid Mohajeri, Gary Bokerman, Ali Raissi. Not pictured: R. Paul Brooker.

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FSEC Research Presented at 2014 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

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:

3D view of exhaust fan

One study met ASHRAE 62.2 levels of ventilation with a high quality, quiet exhaust fan rated for continuous runtime, with an insulated exhaust duct to limit condensation.

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.

 

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.

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