Archive for the ‘Press Release’ Category

New Homes Wanted for Energy Research Study

Friday, May 11th, 2012

COCOA, May 11, 2012 — The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is seeking homes to participate in a State of Florida-sponsored energy research study.  Homeowners of selected homes will be compensated $200 for completion of the energy audit and participation in the energy monitoring study.

Eligible participants are homes that were permitted and built after March 2009, have 1500-2300 square feet of living area, and are owner-occupied year-round.

The FSEC research team will conduct an energy audit within each home and monitor energy use for approximately a three-month period.  Testing will examine house airtightness, air conditioner performance and duct leakage.  The FSEC research team will also collect the previous year’s energy bills.

If you are interested in participating in this research project, please visit http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/go/CodeResearch or contact Jeremy Nelson at 407-243-8197 or jnelson@fsec.ucf.edu by May 31, 2012.

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PR12-03

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Energy Research Study Seeks Two-Story Homes in 13 Counties

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

COCOA, November 29, 2011 — The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is seeking qualified two-story homes to participate in a U.S. Department of Energy-sponsored “wind washing” study that will begin next month.

Eligible participants will be compensated $50 for the initial study, and up to $680 for those who are selected to participate in the monitoring and repair portion of the project; repair costs will be paid by FSEC. Homes for the study are being sought in the following Florida counties: Brevard, Osceola, Orange, Seminole, Volusia, Lake, Marion, Putnam, Flagler, St. Johns, Clay, Duval and Nassau.

Diagram of how wind-driven attic air is pushed into the space between floors.

Wind-driven attic air is pushed into the space between floors.

Wind washing involves the flow of air from an attic space into the floor cavity between the first and second stories of the house. Homes with wind washing are likely to experience increased utility costs and, in some cases, indoor comfort problems. (more…)

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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Students’ Bright Ideas Shine at EnergyWhiz Olympics

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

COCOA, May 11, 2011 – Florida students have creative ideas for solving some of the world’s greatest energy challenges, and their solutions were demonstrated Saturday at the ninth-annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

More than 900 students throughout Florida converged Saturday, May 7 at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa to compete in the day-long competition showcasing student projects in alternative fuel technologies.

Solar Energy Cookoff teams were judged for their cooker's design.

Solar Energy Cookoff teams were judged on their cooker's design and the dish they cooked.

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 and Hands-On-Hydrogen, model-size hydrogen-powered car races; and Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design challenge. (more…)

New Research Facility to Test Home Energy Improvements

Friday, January 14th, 2011

COCOA, Jan. 14, 2011 – Recognizing the need for statewide energy efficiency, UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center celebrates the completion of its newest research facility for testing energy improvements in new and existing homes. A ribbon-cutting ceremony for this endeavor was held today on UCF’s Cocoa campus.

Initial research at the Flexible Residential Test Facility will focus on energy improvement potentials in vintage Florida homes. Those constructed prior to 1975 make up 63 percent of Florida’s more than eight million existing homes, which represents a substantial energy and cost savings potential for cost-effective, “deep” home energy improvements, or retrofits. Prospective savings could result in 30 to 50 percent of current residential energy use.

Funded by the state’s Florida Energy Systems Consortium, the research facility was instrumental in attracting a major multi-million dollar, four-year research grant from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

Ribbon cutting of Flexible Residential Test Facility

Cutting the ribbon at the opening of the Flexible Residential Test Facility are (left to right) Robin Vieira, Director, Buildings Research at Florida Solar Energy Center; David Lee, U.S. Department of Energy’s Director of Residential Building Programs; James Fenton, Director, Florida Solar Energy Center.

“As we address greenhouse gas emissions, we have to look at retrofitting existing homes. This facility will be instrumental in researching the impacts of home energy efficiency improvements in hot climates,” said Mr. David Lee, U.S. Department of Energy’s Director of Residential Building Programs.

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FSEC Offers Solar Tech Sales Course

Monday, November 8th, 2010

COCOA, Nov. 8, 2010 – Understanding the need for qualified representatives in the solar industry, the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) is offering a technical sales course to current and prospective energy professionals.

FSEC – a research institute of the University of Central Florida and the leading statewide solar energy training facility in Florida – is now offering the course, Photovoltaic System Technical Sales. The continuing education course focuses on technical knowledge and best practices for successful photovoltaic (solar electric) sales. The two-day course begins Jan. 12 in Cocoa.

Designed for sales personnel, contractors and solar practitioners who market photovoltaic (PV) systems, this course will provide participants with the necessary knowledge and tools to:

  • Evaluate the needs of a potential PV system customer
  • Perform a site analysis to determine the feasibility of installing a PV system
  • Select or design a system that best meets a customer’s needs
  • Prepare a proposal for a customer that presents design specifications, performance estimates, an installation schedule, costs and benefits.

“This is the first time that we’ve offered this course, and it will be a dynamic class,” said John Harrison, solar energy training manager at FSEC. “We have top-notch instructors with public and private sector market experience in photovoltaics.”

Participants will receive lecture presentations and a hands-on demonstration on conducting a site survey and analysis, in addition to seeing a demonstration of PV components.

The only prerequisite to the course is that students should have a basic understanding of electrical systems and their properties and terminology.

This course is very closely aligned with the new task analysis of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ (NABCEP) PV Technical Sales Certification Program and should help participants prepare for the NABCEP exam. For more information on eligibility requirements, visit http://www.nabcep.org/certification/pv-technical-sales-certification.

Register and learn more about FSEC’s Photovoltaic System Technical Sales course at www.fsec.ucf.edu/go/pvtechsales.

FSEC – Creating Energy Independence: The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida, is the largest and most active state-supported energy research institute in the nation. Current divisions and their research activities include Advanced Energy Research: alternative transportation systems, hydrogen fuel and fuel cells; Buildings Research: energy-efficient buildings; and Solar Energy: solar water and pool heating and solar electric and distributed generation systems. For more information about the center, visit http://www.floridaenergycenter.org or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at 321-638-1015.

UCF Stands For Opportunity: The University of Central Florida is a metropolitan research university that ranks as the 2nd largest in the nation with more than 56,000 students. UCF’s first classes were offered in 1968. The university offers impressive academic and research environments that power the region’s economic development. UCF’s culture of opportunity is driven by our diversity, Orlando environment, history of entrepreneurship and our youth, relevance and energy. For more information, visit http://news.ucf.edu.

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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.

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UCF Issues Invitation to Bid to Install Solar Systems at Shelter Schools

Friday, May 21st, 2010

COCOA, May 21, 2010 – The University of Central Florida (UCF) has issued an Invitation to Bid for solar and electrical contractors who are interested in installing 10-kilowatt photovoltaic (PV) systems at selected emergency shelter schools across the state. Bids are due to UCF by June 18 at 2 p.m.

As part of the SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter (E-Shelter) program, administered by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), 90 public schools in Florida will each receive a PV system with battery backup. The grant money for the $10 million state program came from federal economic stimulus funds. (more…)

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.

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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.

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