Posts Tagged ‘PV’

Solar Electric System Provides Emergency Power and Teaching Tool for Haines City High School

Friday, May 17th, 2013

By Sherri Shields

COCOA, May 17, 2013 – Students, teachers and the community of Haines City will reap multiple benefits from the new 10,000-watt photovoltaic (PV) system at Haines City High School. The PV system with battery backup will provide emergency power during an outage, reduce daily electricity costs to the school, and serve as a learning resource.

Haines City High School celebrates new 10,000 watt solar electric system with ribbon cutting and solar workshop for teachers. (From left to right, Mike Vergona, Vergona-Bowersox Electric Inc.; Caroline Weaver, Polk County Energy Manager; Peter DeNapoli, Solar World Eastern Region Manager; Patricia Butler, Haines City High School Principal; Stephen Scheloske, Haines City High School Assistant Principal ; Sherri Shields, FSEC Communications; Susan Schleith, FSEC SunSmart E-Shelter Program Manager. Photo Credit: Nick Waters

The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC), a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF), held a dedication ceremony and solar workshop for teachers to celebrate the installation of the 42-panel PV system at Haines City High School on Wednesday, May 15th. Coordinated by UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center, the system, valued at $85,000, is the 85th PV system installed through the SunSmart Schools Emergency Shelter Program.

In conjunction with the dedication, a professional development workshop gave teachers from Haines City High School, Poinciana Academy of Fine Arts in Osceola County, Bloomingdale High School in Hillsborough County and Montessori World School in Orange County an opportunity to experience hands-on solar activities, showcasing the FSEC curriculum and a companion renewable energy kit. More than 250 teachers have participated in similar workshops, impacting more than 50,000 students statewide.

Teachers participate in a hands-on professional development solar workshop (From left to right: Broderic Ogzewalla, Robin Anderson, and Britton Bouey from Haines City High School, and Raf Baksh from Bloomingdale High School). Photo Credit: Nick Waters

Not only does the PV system reduce electricity costs by up to $1,500 a year and serve as a generator when a power outage occurs, the system also reports performance data to FSEC; the data will be available on energywhiz.com in June. This site will allow students and teachers to analyze PV system performance data to better understand how the technology works. “We hope we never have to use the system as a generator, and we’re excited about the hand-on learning application for our students and teachers. Being able to see the real-time data that our system produces will be a tremendous resource,” said Stephen Scheloske, assistant principal at Haines City High School. (more…)

Renewable Energy Student Teams Energized Even on a Cloudy Day

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

COCOA, May 09, 2013— With clouds in the sky and all eyes on the weather, more than 600 elementary, middle and high school students were energized on Saturday, May 4th. Student teams—from Key West to as far away as North Carolina—gathered at UCF’s Florida Solar Energy Center on Saturday to demonstrate their Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) skills by competing at the 11th annual EnergyWhiz Olympics.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III speaks into megaphone.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish III welcomes crowd to EnergyWhiz Olympics.

The daylong event started out cloudy and posed challenges to the solar-dependent competitions, especially the Bright House Solar Energy Cook-off and the Junior Solar Sprint (solar-powered model car) teams. Although weather conditions were less than ideal, the sun managed to peek through the clouds and provide just enough energy for the teams to get through the solar competitions. And although Energy Innovations, a full-scale solar electric design and marketing challenge, depend on the sun for their complete product demonstration, teams also created marketing pieces—such as brochures, fliers, and posters—to promote their product.

Judges talking to students around full-size photovoltaic panel.

Judges discuss Energy Innovations project, "Sunfisher," with Edgewood Jr/Sr High team.

Fortunately, the rain held off until later in the day, allowing the Battery Assisted Transport (B.A.T.) Mobile, model-size electric cars, and the Electrathon, go-cart size electric cars, to compete without incident.

The Hydrogen Challenge, located indoors, attracted a large audience as students demonstrated their understanding of energy transfers through a custom-built Rube Goldberg-type apparatus. “The phenomenally creative and intricate contraptions were a challenge to judge,” said Eric Hoepnner, former middle school science teacher. Built with a hydrogen fuel cell in one of the steps, the timed machines were judged on accuracy, innovation, complexity, technical sophistication, and their use of fuel cell technology. Nearly doubling in size from last year, this event is expected to have even more participants next year. “There’s a huge coolness factor with this event,” Hoeppner added.

Students knelt down on yellow track watching model electric cars race side-by-side while crowd watches.

Students race their B.A.T. Mobiles

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

Susan Schleith, energy education director at FSEC says, “As our event continues to grow each year, my goal is to establish regional events around the state, with the ultimate competition taking place at FSEC. This would allow even more students to participate, and create a broadened awareness statewide. Tight school budgets and travel costs provide challenges that some student teams just can’t overcome.”

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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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Photovoltaics Are Half the Cost of Gasoline!

Tuesday, May 24th, 2011

Everyone is impacted by the current high price of gasoline. President Obama gets criticized because the public thinks he can actually control the price, Big oil gets called before Congress because it gets substantial subsidies from taxpayers. And we, the citizens, pay the highest gas prices we have ever paid in the face of one of the country’s most severe economic downturns.

But there is hope for the Sunshine State, as every cloud has a silver lining.

For the past half dozen years or so, the automotive industry has become pretty serious about producing electric cars that work. The new Chevy Volt (Motor Trend’s Car of the Year) and the all-electric Nissan Leaf are good examples – and they are real game changers.

But what does this have to do with the cost of photovoltaics and gasoline?

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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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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.

School Applications Now Being Accepted for Solar Funding

Thursday, March 18th, 2010

COCOA, Mar. 18, 2010 – Ninety public schools in Florida will be competitively selected to participate in the SunSmart Schools E-Shelter (Emergency Shelter) program, administered by UCF’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. Schools must submit an online application by April 12, 2010 to qualify for selection.
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FSEC to Oversee Installation of Solar on 90 Emergency Shelter Schools

Thursday, 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. (more…)

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

FSEC Solar Energy Experts Offer Renewable Education in Aruba

Friday, August 15th, 2008

Like most industries throughout the world, the resort industry is seeing a growing trend in the use of renewable energy and “green” practices. More and more hotels in tourist destinations across the globe are trying to be good stewards to their visitors, as well as to the environment, by utilizing renewable energy applications for powering their facilities, rather than passing off the current high energy costs to customers through higher rates. Seeing the industry take such positive strides is what inspired researchers at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) to develop a program to promote eco-tourism in the Caribbean, one of the most popular tourist destinations, and around the world.

(more…)