Archive for the ‘Energy News’ Category

Important notification regarding photovoltaic (solar) panels sold under the trade name Advanced Solar Photonics (ASP) on behalf of Bluechip Energy LLC

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

On February 13, 2013, the Florida Solar Energy Center revoked its module registration of ASP modules, having discovered that documentation asserting Underwriters Laboratories (UL) testing was not substantiated by UL.

UL has issued a public notice regarding the counterfeit products, and information enabling identification of the affected panels is available in the Public Notices portion of the UL website, or may be accessed via the following link to the notice: UL warns of counterfeit UL Mark on photovoltaic panels (Release 13PN-20).

Please note that ASP issued a recall for these mislabeled photovoltaic products, with details regarding inspection and replacement accessible via the following link: Advanced Solar Photonics Announces Product Recall of PV Modules for Code Compliance.

The Florida Attorney General’s Office is equipped to receive complaints regarding the ASP/Bluechip Energy products directly from consumers, with protocols in place to investigate consumer fraud. Complaints may be filed via a “Quick Link” on the Attorney General website homepage, or accessed and submitted electronically via the Citizen Services Contact Form via the following link: Citizen Services Contact Form.

Please direct all complaints and investigative inquiries to the Florida Attorney General’s Office

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International Renewable Energy Speaker at FSEC on Monday, May 21, 2012 @ 3 p.m.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

What:
An opportunity to learn about a unique international sustainability project.

Title of Presentation:
Urban Energy Services through Stand-Alone Renewable Energy Systems

Speaker:
Dr. Priyadarshini Karve

Abstract:
Generally in the developing countries, stand alone renewable energy systems are associated with electricity generation for rural areas. However, many such systems have failed due to a variety of reasons. An assessment of the failures indicates several reasons, such as lack of technical expertise for operating the systems, difficulties in servicing and maintenance, mismatch between energy services available and energy services required, social, economic, political constraints, etc. Most of these problems would be avoided if the stand alone systems were based in urban areas. Furthermore, no government subsidy or grant will be necessary, as even normal banks can provide finance due to the relatively better creditworthiness of the urban proponents. To some extent the successful introduction of systems, such as solar water heaters in urban areas, is already pointing in this direction.

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Subrato Chandra Remembered

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Subrato Chandra, Ph.D., retired project manager for the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) and one of the pioneers of the building research division of the Florida Solar Energy Center, died Jan. 12 following complications from surgery.

A pioneer of buildings research at FSEC, Subrato Chandra, died Jan. 12, 2012 due to complications from surgery.

Subrato Chandra, a pioneer of buildings research at FSEC.

Subrato, who worked for FSEC for 34 years before retiring in 2010, was passionate about integrating energy efficiency into home design and, long before most people had ever heard the term photovoltaics, helped develop the concept of a PV powered house in Cape Canaveral in 1979.

One of his proudest achievements was highlighted in an email he recently sent a colleague in which several FSEC initiatives were touched upon in a listing of the most transformative homebuilding trends in the last 75 years.

Subrato’s compassion can be seen in the types of projects he championed:   As director of FSEC’s research and development division in 1995 he helped the Environmental Protection Agency launch the Energy Star Homes project that has become the most widely accepted energy-efficient green homes projects in the country.  The Building America project he led still works directly with Habitat for Humanity home builders throughout the country to help make housing more affordable for needy families and helps make manufactured or HUD-code homes more efficient.

Subrato led FSEC’s first major funded project in the buildings area with a $400,000 contract on passive cooling by natural ventilation received in 1981 from the Department of Energy.  During his career at UCF he was involved in $14 million of funded projects. In addition to his work at FSEC, Subrato served as a faculty member in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Construction Engineering in the College of Engineering and Computer Science.

Subrato was able to succeed because he always championed the personal relationship over the pure technical work. He communicated equally well with a housing subcontractor and a renowned scientist. And in so doing he was able to have a number of happy employees and help funding agencies achieve their goals. His loss will be felt nationwide in the building research community.

“He was a great teacher, a respected scientist, and a classy gentleman, ” said Craig V. Muccio, a colleague from Florida Power and Light who first met Subrato in a solar engineering class Subrato was teaching in 1980.

Most recently Subrato was working with the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory as a senior buildings engineer.

Subrato’s wife Mitra works in the Office of Research & Commercialization and he has two grown children.

Florida Manufactured Solar Electric Panels

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Dr. James Fenton Speaks to Florida House of Representatives, Energy & Utilities Subcommittee on December 6, 2011

Below is the transcription of the 12-minute video recording, located here: http://vimeo.com/33415686.

My name is James Fenton, I’m director of the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center here today and I would like to talk to you about manufacturing, manufacturing renewable energy in Florida.  Specifically I’ll use examples of photovoltaics; solar to electric panels.

Which purchase is best for Florida?

Which purchase is best for Florida?

Let’s look at Florida manufacturing jobs as a tale of two salad bowls.  The $10.00 bowl made in Florida using Florida materials keeps all the money and all the jobs in Florida.  The $9.50 bowl imported from China, manufactured by Chinese, using Chinese materials sends most of the money and the jobs to China.  Which purchase is best for Florida?

Florida imports almost all of its energy resources.  The citizens of Florida pay $27 billion for electricity and $30 billion for gasoline for a total of $57 billion per year.  This compares to our state budget of $70 billion a year.  But unlike our state budget, which I hope by the way we spend all that money in the state, most of the $57 billion leaves the state of Florida.  We are faced with two energy challenges – How can Florida reduce its imported energy costs and how can Florida’s electricity and transportation fuel be manufactured in Florida?  Can we design an energy future which allows Florida to keep our capital in the state, increasing economic activity and produce high-wage jobs.  We can and there is a path to do it.  I would like to share such a path.
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Solar Power Systems Educate Students, Reduce Costs for Schools and Provide Emergency Power

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

COCOA, July 14, 2011 – Nearly 100 Florida schools will be soaking up solar rays to power their buildings this fall thanks to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC).

FSEC, a University of Central Florida research institute, is providing each school with a 10-kilowatt, solar photovoltaic (PV) system valued at more than $80,000. These systems allow schools to capture the sun’s rays and turn them into energy to help reduce electricity costs, and they also serve as generators during a power outage. Installation of the systems – under way now – will reduce energy costs by up to $1,500 a year and decrease greenhouse gas emissions.

 

The photovoltaic system at Oak Hammock Middle School in Ft. Myers is near completion.

The photovoltaic system at Oak Hammock Middle School in Ft. Myers is near completion.

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UCF’s FSEC Seeks Florida Homeowners for Retrofit Study

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Update: July 11, 2011 – The PNNL Website is temporarily down.  Applications are no longer being accepted from Florida.

Dear Florida Homeowner,

Are you interested in saving money on your utility bills?  Do you wish your home used less energy and was more comfortable? Have you considered investing in a major home renovation? If so, your home may qualify for a free energy assessment, incentives through your local utility company, and free technical assistance from one of the nation’s leading national laboratories.

UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is partnering with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to help homeowners achieve 30 to 50 percent energy savings through home efficiency retrofits!  If your house qualifies, your renovation will be part of a research study for PNNL that can help inform the nation about retrofit best practices.  (more…)

EnergyGauge Calculates New ENERGY STAR® HERS Index Target Automatically

Monday, February 28th, 2011

We are pleased to announce the release of our newest software version, EnergyGauge USA 2.8.05.  Incorporated in this release are several software enhancements designed specifically for energy raters.  In our effort to provide a complete energy rating and registration tool for HERS raters and providers, we have included a new HERS registration system, and automated the calculations required for the ENERGY STAR Version 3 (Revision 1) National Program.

ENERGY STAR Homes has announced version 2.5 of their program will go in effect April 1, 2011 and version 3 will go in effect January 1, 2012. The version 3 process, and version 2.5 in most locations, requires that each home have a unique ENERGY STAR HERS Index Target calculated. This target requires the creation of an ENERGY STAR Reference Design Home and a size adjustment factor. EnergyGauge automates the multiple step process and handles all of the logic required to determine if an entered home passes versions 2.5 and 3.

To make an energy rater’s job even easier, we have taken the ENERGY STAR Version 3 Program one step further by not only incorporating newly required checklists for quality control, but also performing the logic associated with ensuring checklist input conforms to the program requirements for v2.5 and v3.0. The rater also has the ability to print the blank checklists from the software.

In addition, this release supports a new system designed to simplify the registration process for raters and create secure downloadable PDF documents.  The process of creating and uploading the PDF documents to the HERS Registration Web site is performed automatically at the time the provider performs the registration.  Reports will include a digital signature embedded into the PDF document at the time of creation to ensure security and authenticity.

To learn more about EnergyGauge go to www.EnergyGauge.com

FSEC to Host Orlando Workshop for National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Day

Thursday, October 14th, 2010

Cocoa, FL – The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) will host the eighth National Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) Day Odyssey Advancing the Choice alternative fuel workshop on October 15, 2010 at Lynx Biodiesel Facility in Orlando at 250 Lynx Lane.

Clean Cities Florida Space Coast Coalition – Alternative Fuel Transportation

This nationwide event is being held in 94 different locations throughout the U.S. this year. Coordinated by the National Alternative Fuel Vehicle Training Consortium (NAFTC), in a partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Clean Cities program, the program promotes awareness and use of AFVs, energy conservation, and independence for the U.S.

The Space Coast Clean Cities Coalition, a Florida chapter of the U.S. DOE Clean Cities Program, has coordinated and organized the Advancing the Choice alternative fuel workshop as part of the national event. This workshop will feature presentations and discussions about AFV ownership opportunities, biodiesel and ethanol production, quality standards for fuel grade, utilizing biofuels in current vehicles, and construction of biodiesel and ethanol fueling stations.

The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and the cost to attend is free for on-line registration, or $10 at the door. For more information about this workshop please contact FSEC researcher Bill Young at (321) 638-1443, or visit www.clean-cities.org.

New Florida HVAC Rebate Program Spurs FSEC to Offer Duct Testing Course

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

The state of Florida is offering a $1500-per-household rebate for efficient air conditioner and heat pump replacements under the Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program. The rebates are available for systems that are contracted after August 30, 2010 and meet duct testing and efficiency requirements. The program ends December 31, 2010 or when $15 million in rebate funds are depleted.

The Florida ENERGY STAR® Residential HVAC Rebate Program is designed to encourage existing homeowners to replace their old energy-inefficient heating and cooling system with a properly-sized energy efficient system and to ensure that their heating and cooling duct system has minimal leakage.

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Opportunities for Florida

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Opportunities for Florida from Florida Solar Energy Center on Vimeo.