NOTICE OF UPCOMING REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS from Florida Hydrogen Initiative

March 10th, 2010

The Florida Hydrogen Initiative (FHI) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) funded hydrogen and fuel cell program managed by the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) and the University of Central Florida (UCF). At the present time, this effort has about $1.5 million in funds that are to be awarded in competitive projects. For these proposals, DOE Golden has required that proposals be openly solicited and then be evaluated on a competitive basis. The only restriction on these funds is that FSEC/UCF is not eligible for funding. The purpose of this notice is to make the hydrogen community aware that a RFP will be issued in the near future. Read the rest of this entry »

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FSEC to Oversee Installation of Solar on 90 Emergency Shelter Schools

February 18th, 2010

COCOA, Feb. 18, 2010 – The Florida Solar Energy Center at the University of Central Florida will administer a $10 million state program to install solar energy systems on 90 public schools.

The SunSmart Schools E-Shelters (Emergency Shelters) program, unveiled this week by Gov. Charlie Crist, is expected to boost Florida’s clean energy sector by providing job opportunities to local installers and vendors. The grant money will come from federal economic stimulus funds.

The solar electric systems, also known as photovoltaic (PV) systems, will provide power during outages, offset electricity costs to the school during normal operations and reduce greenhouse gases. Read the rest of this entry »

FSEC’s Cromer Receives ASHRAE Fellow Award

February 9th, 2010
Charles Cromer, center, was selected=

Gordon Holness, president of ASHRAE (left), and Jeff Littleton, executive vice president of ASHRAE (right), recognize Charles Cromer as an ASHRAE Fellow for his significant contributions in the HVAC field.

The Florida Solar Energy Center’s Charles Cromer was selected as a Fellow at the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 2010 Winter Conference last month in Orlando.

The honor is granted to members who have attained unusual distinction in the field of heating, refrigeration, air conditioning or ventilation (HVAC).

Cromer, program director of the Appliance Laboratory at the University of Central Florida’s Florida Solar Energy Center, has made significant contributions in the HVAC field. His invention of the Cromer Cycle air-conditioning system provides more energy-efficient dehumidification than standard air conditioners or dehumidifiers. Read the rest of this entry »

Florida Solar Energy Center’s Philip Fairey Receives Lifetime Leadership Award

November 19th, 2009
Philip Fairey, deputy director of FSEC, receives the Building Efficiency Lifetime Leadership (BELL) award from Johnson Controls.

Philip Fairey, deputy director of FSEC, receives the Building Efficiency Lifetime Leadership (BELL) award from Johnson Controls.

Philip Fairey, deputy director of the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), is the recipient of the Johnson Controls’ second annual Building Efficiency Lifetime Leadership (BELL) award. The BELL Award recognizes individuals who have devoted many years of their career to energy efficiency, sustainability or renewable energy.

Johnson Controls, a leader in energy efficiency and sustainability, presented the award at their Green Tie Affair – a customer appreciation event – held in conjunction with the Greenbuild Conference last week in Phoenix, AZ.

Fairey’s nearly 30 years of experience in buildings research has advanced renewable energy and energy efficiency in Florida. His significant contributions include the development of moisture transport control and radiant barrier technology, advanced cooling and dehumidification systems, and energy analysis software tools.
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EnergyGauge® Summit Premier 3.22 Features LEED® (Version 3) 2009 Energy Optimization Calculation

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

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

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

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

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

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.