Archive for the ‘Energy News’ Category

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…)

Share/Save

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.

(more…)

Opportunities for Florida

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Opportunities for Florida from Florida Solar Energy Center on Vimeo.

UCF Receives $482,000 to Expand ‘Green’ Jobs Training Program

Friday, June 18th, 2010

COCOA, June 18, 2010 – More local workers can receive ‘green’ job training thanks to a $482,000 federal grant to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) at the University of Central Florida.

The grant, given under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will expand FSEC’s weatherization training program, which provides inspectors, contractors and other skilled workers training courses in energy efficiency retrofitting and weatherization services, such as house air sealing and air duct diagnoses and repair.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) selected 34 projects in 27 states to develop or expand weatherization training centers. FSEC is one of three training centers in Florida selected to receive part of the $29 million in funding.

(more…)

FSEC Scientist Earns Honorary Hydrogen Title

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Nazim Muradov, principal research scientist at UCF's Florida Solar Energy Center.

Nazim Muradov, a principal research scientist at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, was awarded the honorary title of International Association for Hydrogen Energy Fellow at the organization’s 18th biennial World Hydrogen Energy Conference.

More than 1,000 scientists and decision-makers in politics, finance and research gathered last month in Essen, Germany, for presentations on cutting-edge research on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies.

Muradov has been involved in hydrogen energy research for the past 30 years. He spearheaded U.S. Department of Energy-funded research efforts on the development, patenting and licensing of a novel process for producing hydrogen.  Under a NASA contract, he led a research and development program on the local production of hydrogen from renewable resources such as landfill gas and citrus waste.

Muradov is the author and co-author of 200 publications and 34 patents, and three of his technologies have been licensed to industry.  He recently received a patent for a new approach to cleaning up oil spills using carbon materials that can soak the oil up like a sponge. He is planning to collaborate with an industrial partner to determine the commercial potential of the technology.

Muradov’s areas of focus include hydrogen production, fuel reformers for fuel cells, catalytic solar energy conversion, hydrogen sensors, carbon nanostructures, fossil fuel decarbonization and hydrocarbon processing.

He is an associate editor of the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy and a member of the international editorial council of the Processes of Petrochemistry and Oil Refining. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy and the Board of Trustees and Scientific Council of the Madrid Institute of Advanced Studies (IMDEA Energia), Spain. He received a University of Central Florida Research Incentive Award in 2003, and he earned UCF’s Distinguished Researcher of the Year Award for institutes and centers in 1996.

Students Shine in Solar and Hydrogen Competitions

Tuesday, May 4th, 2010

COCOA, May 4, 2010 – Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of the world’s greatest energy challenges, and their solutions were demonstrated Saturday at the eighth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

More than 500 students throughout Florida converged May 1 at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in

Students from Tallahassee to Miami participated in this year's EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Students from Tallahassee to Miami participated in this year's EnergyWhiz Olympics in Cocoa on May 1st.

Cocoa to compete in the day-long competition that showcased student projects in alternative fuel technologies.

Events included the Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, a solar cooker design and cooking contest; the Junior Solar Sprint, model-size solar car races; the High School Hydrogen Sprint, model-size hydrogen-powered car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge.

(more…)

Emergency Shelter Schools Selected for $10M Solar Energy Program

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

COCOA, Apr. 27, 2010 – Ninety public schools in Florida have been competitively selected to participate in the SunSmart Schools E-Shelter (Emergency Shelter) program, administered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC). Each school will receive a solar electric system with battery backup – complete with installation, educational resources and materials, training for school personnel, and professional development for teachers.

The 10-kilowatt solar electric system will provide power to the shelter during outages for critical energy needs such as lighting, communications and essential medical equipment. During normal operations, it will offset electricity costs to the school and reduce greenhouse gases. Funding for the $10 million state program came from federal economic stimulus funds.

The 90 finalist schools (listed below) were selected from the 213 applications submitted, representing 45 of the 67 counties in Florida.

(more…)

MEDIA ADVISORY: Renewable Energy Knowledge and Skills Demonstrated by Students at EnergyWhiz Olympics on Saturday, May 1

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

WHAT:

The eighth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics is day-long event showcasing student projects in alternative energy. Activities include the Junior Solar Sprint, Hydrogen Sprint, Energy Innovations and the Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off. The general public is invited to observe all activities.

  • The Junior Solar Sprint is a competition that challenges middle school students to design, build and race model solar cars. Awards are given based on vehicle design, quality of craftsmanship, innovation and vehicle speed.
  • The Hydrogen Sprint is a high school competition that provides opportunities for students to explore hydrogen fuel cell power with a hands-on design component and a presentation.
  • The Energy Innovations program is a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge for middle and high school students. Each participating team designs and constructs a product or artistic work fully powered by photovoltaics (PV), also called solar electric cells. Teams also create marketing pieces – such as brochures, fliers, and posters – to accompany their products.
  • The Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off challenges students, in grades 4th – 8th, to design and build solar cookers, and to also cook a recipe of their own creation using the power of the sun.  In Top Chef-style, each dish will be judged by a panel of experts based on taste, ingredients and creativity.

WHY:

These hands-on renewable energy competitions – for elementary, middle and high school students – expose students to alternative energy fuel sources, and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.

WHO:

More than 650 elementary, middle, and high school Florida students – from Tallahassee to Miami and everywhere in between – will participate in the EnergyWhiz Olympics.

WHEN:

Saturday, May 1 starting at 9 a.m.

9:00 a.m.      Welcome – Auditorium, Dr. James Fenton, Director, FSEC

9:30 a.m.      Technical Judging Begins –

Junior Solar Sprint

Hydrogen Sprint

Hydrogen Sprint Presentations

Energy Innovations Displays Open to Public

Solar Energy Cook-Off – Design Judging

Solar Cookers – Displays Open to Public

10:30 a.m.            Energy Innovations Judging

11:30 a.m.            Junior Solar Sprint Race Begins (Track Area 1)

12 noon      Hydrogen Sprint Race Begins (Track Area 2)

2:00 p.m.            Solar Energy Cook-off – Recipe Judging (Auditorium)

3:30 p.m.            Awards Ceremony (Auditorium)

WHERE:

Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road, Cocoa, FL 32922

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:

For more information on these exciting educational events, visit

http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/education/k-12/events/ewhiz_olympics.htm or view a video about the EnergyWhiz Olympics at http://vimeo.com/982597.

CONTACT:

Susan Schleith, FSEC Education Coordinator, at 321-638-1017 or Susan@fsec.ucf.edu.