FSEC Unveils new
EnergyGauge Software to Help with Tax Credit Compliance
Thanks to new software developed at FSEC, homebuilders around the
country will be able to easily and accurately take advantage
of the new federal tax credit of $2,000 for homes that reduce
energy use for heating and cooling by 50 percent as compared
to the national model code.
The building community is excited about the new
credits contained in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that went into
effect on January 1, providing financial incentives for new homes
that are energy efficient. An important component of the credits,
however, is that eligible homes must demonstrate savings using
software that has been approved by the IRS in accordance with RESNET
Publication 05-001 (http://resnet.us/standards/tax_credits/
and builders must demonstrate compliance by the use of third-party
inspectors certified according to IRS rules.
Uninterruptible Power: Opportunities for Battery-Based Photovoltaic
offer a long-term solution to power generation.
(Photo: Steven C. Spencer)
Over the past few years, utility power outages
have made headline news, and not only caused inconveniences but
loss of business, revenue and hardships for many. Whether these
outages are caused by hurricanes, ice storms, power shortages or
other utility disturbances, our way of life is significantly disrupted
without electrical power.
In the aftermath of major storms and the expected
damage to local electrical distribution systems, it is not uncommon
for utility power to be out for several days, if not for weeks
or even over a month in some cases, and the longer the power remains
out, the greater the problems that result. As a solution, many
businesses and homeowners are looking into alternative sources
of electrical power to mitigate potential — and probable — utility
Sarasota County Government
Wins the First "Florida Energy Achievement Award"
The 2005 Florida Energy Achievement Award, a
new program sponsored by the Florida
Solar Energy Center to recognize significant achievement
in the efficient utilization of energy, energy conservation, energy
education or renewable energy in Florida, has been awarded to Sarasota
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Patent Application Marks Successful Development of New Hydrogen
|Safe hydrogen storage is important to NASA's
space shuttle program.
Monitoring hydrogen storage and usage sites for
leakage is a crucial step in a safe operations plan. To assist
NASA in readily discerning the presence of hydrogen leaks, researchers
at FSEC have been developing methods for detecting the presence
of hydrogen. Since it is such a light gas, diffusing readily, its
leakage from a storage tank, in transport or during use can pose
potential safety problems. Because hydrogen is also invisible and
odorless, developing a system that provides greater ease of use
than the currently-employed sensors has been a great challenge.
Speaker Seminar Series
Begins with Talk by Christopher Wronski
Dr. Christopher Wronski, Professor Emeritus of
Electrical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, visited
FSEC on November 30 as the first speaker in the 2005-2006 seminar
series. During the coming year, several distinguished speakers
from industry, education and other fields will give presentations
for FSEC staff and the community on energy issues.
Wronski gave an afternoon seminar to FSEC
staff on "A Review
of Key Solar Technologies Including Current/Emerging Technical
Requirements," discussing a broad overview of current solar
cell technologies such as crystalline silicon, amorphous silicon
and thin films, the technical challenges in their manufacturing
processes, and a discussion of factors that would be critical in
reducing the cost of PV.
That evening, he gave a non-technical talk
Energy” for the general public. Members of the IEEE Cape
Canaveral Section also attended. After a brief introduction of
the economic and environmental benefits of using PV, Wronski discussed
topics in PV manufacturing such as competition, subsidies, cost
components and the advantages/disadvantages of currently-used solar
cell technologies such as crystalline silicon and amorphous thin
film silicon as representatives of the promising thin film solar
Check the FSEC home page (www.fsec.ucf.edu)
for information on upcoming speakers in the series.