Archive for the ‘Energy News’ Category

EnergyGauge® Summit Premier 3.22 Features LEED® (Version 3) 2009 Energy Optimization Calculation

Monday, November 9th, 2009
EnergyGauge Summit Premier just released version 3.22

EnergyGauge Summit Premier Version 3.22 Live at GreenBuild Expo.

EnergyGauge Summit is easy-to-use, state-of-the-art software that offers construction-industry professionals substantial time savings while completing required energy modeling calculations for LEED® projects.

The Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, just released EnergyGauge Summit Premier 3.22. FSEC will be exhibiting the software at the GreenBuild Expo in Phoenix November 10 – 12, 2009. This 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. It also offers a time-saving federal tax deduction qualification feature.

The new version of Summit Premier contains several improvements and additional features that make it more functional in its use for LEED and other calculations. They include:

  • Addition of the LEED (version 3) 2009 calculation feature for Energy Optimization Credit
  • Updated federal tax deduction calculation as per IRS Notice 2008-40 (amplification to IRS Notice 2006-52)
  • New input fields for various building envelope and system components to allow for more accurate modeling
  • Additional schedules for HVAC system control
  • DOE-2 based system sizing feature (beta version)

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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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Free Energy Efficiency Upgrades for Low-Income

Thursday, August 13th, 2009
Weatherization Works in Florida

Florida Department of Community Affairs

With assistance from the Florida American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Florida Department of Community Affairs’ Weatherization Assistance Program is offering grants to qualifying low-income households for energy-efficient home improvements.

Preference is given to owner-occupied homes, elderly (60 years-plus) or physically disabled residents, families with children under 12 and households with a high-energy bills.

Contact your local Weatherization Assistance Program office to see if you qualify or visit www.FloridaCommunityDevelopment.org/WAP for more information about the program.

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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Muradov’s Paper Featured by ScienceWatch®

Friday, May 8th, 2009

An article written by Nazim Muradov, a principal research scientist at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center, was recently identified by Thomson Reuters’ Essential Science Indicators SM as one of the most cited papers in the research area of “Hydrogen Economy.”

Read Q&A from Nazim Muradov.

Q&A with Nazim Muradov

Muradov’s highly cited article, “From hydrocarbon to hydrogen-carbon to hydrogen economy,” published in the “International Journal of Hydrogen Energy” in March 2005, is now featured as a Fast Moving Front paper in the field of engineering on Thomson Reuters’ ScienceWatch® Web site:  http://sciencewatch.com/sciencewatch/dr/fmf/2009/09mayfmf/09mayfmfMura/.

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MEDIA ADVISORY: Renewable Energy Solutions Demonstrated by Students at EnergyWhiz Olympics on Saturday, May 9

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

WHAT:
The seventh-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics is a series of day-long activities dedicated to students with an interest in alternative fuels. It is composed of the Junior Solar Sprint, Hydrogen Sprint, Energy Innovations and the new Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off.

  • 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 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.

Number of Teams in Each Competition –
Junior Solar Sprint:  60
Hydrogen Sprint:  13
Energy Innovations:  12
Solar Cook-off:  46

WHEN:
Saturday, May 9 starting at 9 a.m.

9:00 a.m.    Welcome – Auditorium
Dr. James Fenton, Director, Florida Solar Energy Center

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

11:30 a.m.    Energy Innovations Judging – Middle School Teams

12 noon    Energy Innovations Judging – High School Teams
Junior Solar Sprint Race Begins (Track Area 1)

1:00 p.m.    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.

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PR09-07

Energy Experts Offer Zero Energy Green Home Webinar Series

Monday, May 4th, 2009

The University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) will now offer a 12-course Webinar series on how to design, build and operate a Zero Energy Home — a home that produces as much energy as it uses.

This series of online courses offers practical education from building science experts with more than 30 years of research and experience. These courses are appropriate for architects, builders, contractors, designers, educators, energy auditors, energy raters, engineers, prospective homebuyers and utility representatives.

During these tough economic times, builders are looking for ways to attract home buyers and the new government administration is concentrating on creating “green jobs.”  Zero Energy Homes provide an opportunity to accomplish both and save consumers money while reducing their carbon footprint. These courses will show participants how to maximize energy-efficient design, make the best “green” choices, and optimize performance from solar and home energy management systems.

12-Course Webinar Series Begins June 3

The 12-course Webinar series begins June 3, 2009.

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