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Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category
September 14, 2016
By Barb Abney
A University of Central Florida-led team will receive $1.1 million to develop new manufacturing processes using a specialized tool that will bring the U.S. a step closer to achieving its goal of affordable photovoltaic (solar) energy.
The project, led by Kris Davis, a research engineer at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, will largely take place at the university’s International Consortium for Advanced Manufacturing Research in Osceola County where the tool will be among the first to be installed when the building opens in spring 2017.
Making the research manufacturable was critical to getting the federal funding and having the state-of-the-art facility in Osceola County where process engineers will be on staff to manage the equipment was also imperative, Davis said.
“This is the future,” he said of the process his team will use to ultimately produce thousands of solar cells an hour in and without the costly and cumbersome vacuum-based deposition processes typically used to convert silicon wafers into solar cells. (more…)
By Sherri Shields
August 3, 2016
EcoStruction is a series of workshops offered by the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) that provides the first steps toward a sustainable career path in clean energy, sustainability or the environment.
Sponsored by CareerSource Brevard as part of the Clean Energy Jobs Accelerator Grant, participants of the pilot training program on August 1 – 5 were able to choose from five different courses:
- Introduction to Construction Jobs & Energy Efficient Housing
- Introduction to Sustainability
- Introduction to Building Efficiency Performance
- Introduction to Photovoltaic Systems Technician
- Introduction to Photovoltaic Sales and Marketing
In addition to their chosen workshop, participants received Sustaining Service training by UCF’s Rosen College of Hospitality to develop customer service and soft skills that are in high demand by Brevard employers.
“Combining Sustaining Service with specific occupational skills, and a layer of clean energy training, elevates these participants’ chances of securing employment,” said Valerie Carothers, CareerSource Brevard business liaison to the clean energy industry.
“Thanks to our training partners, Central Florida Clean Cities Coalition, the UF/IFAS Extension Service in Brevard County, and UCF Continuing Education, we were able to offer a variety of clean energy topics, and so far the feedback has been fantastic,” said Colleen Kettles, program director for business and workforce development at FSEC.
“I started this class knowing nothing, and even had a hard time pronouncing photovoltaics, but now I feel like an expert,” said Joussette Calvo, a participant in the Introduction to Photovoltaic Sales and Marketing workshop.
Students also had the opportunity to see a Tesla electric car and hear from guest speaker, Larry Hufford, founder of homebuilder LifeStyle Homes, about how homes, photovoltaic systems and electric cars are integrating. “The LifeStyle solar-powered home generates its own electricity from sunshine. The Tesla then uses this sunshine-generated electricity to get its battery charge. This means that the Tesla essentially runs on sunshine!”
Although the EcoStruction workshops are only offered as part of this pilot training series, FSEC offers other courses that support clean energy career development. Visit http://ce.fsec.ucf.edu/ for a full course listing.
For additional training information, please contact Colleen Kettles, firstname.lastname@example.org.
June 22, 2016
By Sherri Shields
FSEC researchers and their Texas A&M University co-authors win Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Hydrogen Production (ICHP) in Hangzhou, China last month. Illustrating the novel approaches in solar hydrogen production, the paper, “Solar reactor investigation for the thermochemical steps of the sulfur-ammonia water-splitting cycle,” has also been included in a special issue of the International Journal of Hydrogen Energy.
“In our work, we presented the solar-driven hybrid sulfur-ammonia water splitting cycle (HySA) for hydrogen production. HySA is a promising technology for energy and environment applications, utilizing both solar photon and thermal radiation in a series of reaction steps. This study presented our efforts toward the design of a solar aerosol reactor for the thermochemical steps of the cycle. For this, we developed a conceptual particle model, based on our experimental and numerical findings,” said Agni Kalyva, Texas A&M University at Qatar. (more…)
By Sherri Shields
March 21, 2016
COCOA, FL–Elementary, middle and high school students—from Jamaica to Virginia—will show off their energy conscious inventions during the EnergyWhiz competition on Saturday, May 14th.
EnergyWhiz is a daylong event where students showcase their hands-on renewable energy products, which reflect their knowledge of alternative energy fuel sources and use scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork. The students have built everything from solar-powered vehicles and cooking ovens to remote controlled hydrogen-powered mini-vehicles.
The annual event is held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the Cocoa campus of the University of Central Florida (UCF) and Eastern Florida State College, at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, 1679 Clearlake Road. The event is free and open to the public.
Activities will include: Junior Solar Sprint, Energy Innovations, Energy Transfer Machine, Bright House Solar Energy Cookoff, the Electrathon, and the Hydrogen Horizon Automotive Challenge. (more…)
Gainesville Middle School Science Bowl Team Overtakes Miami in Double-Elimination, Melbourne Team Places ThirdWednesday, March 16th, 2016
By Sherri Shields
March 16, 2015
Florida is one of 50 regional science bowl competitions nationwide that yields the winning team that advances to the National Middle School Science Bowl. This year, 17 middle school teams came to the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, in Cocoa on March 5 to flex their intellect muscle in a fast-paced question-and-answer competition.
Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, the science bowl encourages middle school students to excel in mathematics, science and engineering. It provides an avenue of enrichment and reward for academic science achievement
Eight Florida finalist teams worked through the double elimination rounds over the course of several hours. Those teams were: Abraham Lincoln Middle from Gainesville, Archimedean Middle Conservatory from Miami, Edgewood Jr/Sr. High from Merritt Island, Falcon Cove Middle from Weston, Forest Grove Middle from Ft. Pierce, Westglades Middle from Coral Springs, West Shore Jr./Sr. from Melbourne, and Westwood Middle from Gainesville.
New Home Energy Rating Software, EnergyGauge® USA 5.0 Released; Free Trial Available for Limited TimeMonday, August 24th, 2015
24 August 2015
Newly accredited by RESNET as a Home Energy Rating Software (HERS), IECC and Tax Credit tool, EnergyGauge USA 5.0, will be available as a free trial product for 90-days (or until November 30, 2015, whichever comes first). Any interested party may download Version 5.0 to examine the impacts of the ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 Standard on their most popular home designs.
Version 5.0 fully implements the new ANSI/RESNET 301-2014 Addendum A, hot water system calculations. These new hot water calculations allow HERS ratings to gain HERS credits for improved plumbing design, hot water piping insulation, low-flow fixtures, drain water heat recovery systems (DWHR), hot water recirculation systems and low water-use clothes washers and dishwashers. It also supports the national EPA ENERGY STAR new home program qualification and the U.S. DOE Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) new home program qualification.
The trial offer of EnergyGauge USA 5.0 will not allow RESNET registration of HERS Ratings. To be able to register ratings with the RESNET Registry using EnergyGauge USA 5.0, certified raters will need to purchase a license for the software.
To download the free 90-day trial offer, simply go to http://energygauge.com/usares/trial50.htm and click on the download button.
EnergyGauge software is a product of FSEC, a research institute of the University of Central Florida.
By Sherri Shields
May 28, 2015
It’s a growing phenomenon in Florida! From the Panhandle to the Keys, EnergyWhiz is drawing in students fascinated with renewable energy technology.
EnergyWhiz, which includes six separate competitions, is a venue for students in grades fourth through 12th to demonstrate their science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics capabilities through hands-on, energy-focused competitions. At this year’s 13th annual event on May 2, more than 650 energized students from across Florida converged at the University of Central Florida’s FSEC in Cocoa to showcase their renewable energy projects and participate in the competitions. “We like making things run on the sun,” said Conner Dale, a student from Edgewood Junior Senior High. “It’s fun to interact with other students from across the state,” added Raydn Hall.
Tallahassee, Gainesville and Orlando hosted smaller EnergyWhiz Expos this year, leading up to the major EnergyWhiz event. “In an effort to reach more students, we’re encouraging teachers across Florida to host regional EnergyWhiz Expos, and then the winners of the expos will advance to the state level and compete at FSEC,” said Susan Schleith, K-12 education director at FSEC.
By Barb Abney
May 14, 2015
The University of Central Florida is the only university-led team in the nation to receive part of a $4 million investment by the Energy Department to develop and demonstrate energy efficient methods of keeping homes cool in the summer and warm in winter.
The Energy Department’s Building America program is working with industry partners to develop cutting-edge innovations and resources that will lead to 50 percent savings in new homes by 2025 and 40 percent savings in existing homes by 2030.
The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction, led by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), will receive nearly $1 million for research focused on optimal comfort systems for heating, cooling, air distribution, and humidity control. The project will also study high performance ventilation systems and indoor air quality strategies.
“This research will help us develop integrated approaches to making homes more energy efficient while keeping them comfortable, healthy and durable,” said Eric Martin, the project’s lead researcher and program director in FSEC’s Building Research Division.
Much of the work focuses on cooling applications in hot and humid climates like Florida’s. Work on keeping homes warm in the winter will be conducted by partners at Washington State University.
Experiments will be conducted in laboratory homes located at FSEC, as well as in occupied homes.
“To ensure near-term market penetration, we are working with several industry partners including production home builders and product manufacturers,” Martin said. “But we are also focused on influencing codes and standards, which can result in a significant market impact for years to come.”
A major focus of the Building America program is reducing home heating and cooling because combined they represent the highest single energy use for U.S. homeowners or 40 percent of a home’s energy consumption. In 2014, U.S. homeowners spent $70 billion to heat their homes and $24 billion to cool them. Improving the energy efficiency of home heating and cooling systems and building envelopes including roof, walls and windows is estimated to potentially reduce space conditioning energy consumption by as much as 70 percent.
Over the past 20 years FSEC has led three Building America Industry Partnerships: the Energy Efficient Industrialized Housing Partnership, the Building America Industrialized Housing Partnership and the Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction.
MEDIA ADVISORY: Student-Designed and Built Solar Cars, Electric Go-Carts, Solar Cookers, Hydrogen Cars and Contraptions, Energy Efficient Pet Homes and Solar Inventions – All in One Day!Wednesday, April 8th, 2015
By Sherri Shields
April 8, 2015
The 13th annual EnergyWhiz, a daylong event showcasing student-built energy projects. These hands-on renewable energy activities expose students to alternative energy fuel sources and encourage scientific know-how, creative thinking, experimentation and teamwork.
More than 800 elementary, middle, high school and college students from across Florida will participate in the University of Central Florida/ Florida Solar Energy Center event.
Brevard County Parks and Recreation, in partnership with FSEC, is sponsoring the EcoLiving Jubilee, where various energy and environmental organizations will be on site to share information about their products and services.