Florida Solar Energy Center, The Energy Chronicle, a newsletter of the Florida Solar Energy Center header
A Research Institute of the University of Central Florida Issue No. 7: April 2006

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Chinese delegation tours FSEC
Chinese solar energy delegation visits FSEC.  See complete story in "FSEC In The News". (Photo: Dianne Wood)


Commercial Buildings Under Attack from Uncontrolled Air Flow
April 24-25

Energy-Efficient Florida Home Building
April 26

Florida Green Home Designation
April 27

Checklist for Sustainable Development
April 28

EnergyGauge FlaCom I
May 1

Installing Photovoltaic Systems:
A Workshop For Electric Utilities, Electricians & Photovoltaic System Installers

May 1-5

Energy Analysis for Obtaining Tax Credits & Energy-Efficient Mortgages
May 2

EnergyGauge Commercial Rater Training
May 2

From Blueprints to Residential Energy Code Compliance
May 3

EnergyGauge Pro Hands-on
May 4

Window Options for Florida Residences
May 4

Diagnosing Moisture Problems
May 5

Junior Solar Sprint &
Hydrogen Sprint

May 6

Energy Gauge Class 3
June 12

Energy Gauge Class 2
June 13-14

Energy Gauge Class 1
June 15-17



Dr. James Fenton
Dr. James Fenton

It's time to start leveraging the federal tax credits with Florida incentives!

In January, I gave a presentation in Tallahassee to the Florida Senate Committee on Communications and Public Utilities – the state's "energy committee"  -- in which I suggested ways that Florida could leverage the new federal tax credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency to dramatically change our electric energy use.

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Fairey Develops New Presentation on Peak Oil and Global Warming

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There is significant disagreement among the experts as to how much oil we have left in the world, where it will come from, and how soon we really have to worry about it running out. FSEC's deputy director Philip Fairey has researched the topic and put together information in a way that can be understood and appreciated by both scientific and lay audiences. In his presentation “Into the Storm: The Twin Challenges of Peak Oil & Global Warming,” he challenges you to think about peak oil and global warming and what they mean to your future and your family’s future, as well as to the future of our planet.

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Training Video on Solar Water Heaters Now Online

photo of pv panels close-up

A training video tutorial on how the International Codes apply to solar domestic hot water systems has been produced by FSEC to show building inspectors how solar systems work and how the individual components function. The "Inspection of Solar Water Heating Systems" tutorial is an hour-long program, available online; it can be viewed as a complete project or by an individual component sections.

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Trane Award a Credit to FSEC Researcher's Dehumidification Concept

Charlie Cromer
Dr. Charles Cromer

FSEC's Charlie Cromer developed and patented the technology behind Trane's new CDQ™ (Cool Dry Quiet) desiccant dehumidification HVAC system. The innovative  system that controls humidity as it controls cooling has won the 2006 Frost & Sullivan Product Innovation Award for demonstrated excellence in new products and technology. The Trane system controls humidity at a substantial energy savings over alternative technologies.

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Researchers Develop Solar Water-Splitting Cycle for Hydrogen Production

photo of Space Shuttle Challenger lifting of next to hydrogen storage tank
Olawale Adebiyi in FSEC's
hydrogen lab.
(Photo: Nick Waters)

Hydrogen production from solar-driven thermochemical water splitting cycles (TCWSCs) provides an approach that is both energy-efficient and environmentally attractive.  Of particular interest are TCWSCs that utilize both thermal (i.e. high temperature) and light (i.e. quantum) components of the solar resource, boosting the overall solar-to-hydrogen conversion efficiency compared to those with heat-only energy input. 

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FSEC Administers Pilot Demonstration of LEED® Green Building Rating System

LEED for Homes logoFSEC has been chosen to administer the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes program in Florida as part of the council’s nationwide residential green building pilot program. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is a nationally recognized set of standards designed to emphasize the environmental features of buildings and their associated economic benefits. More than 80 builders around the country, including 12 affordable housing developers, have already registered projects in the LEED for Homes pilot.

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Solar Water Heating Manual Now Available on Web

Two of FSEC's most popular training manuals have been combined and revised into a new edition called "Solar Water and Pool Heating Manual: Design and Installation & Repair and Maintenance." In addition to being rewritten to include new material and an easier format for instruction, the new book has been updated and posted on the web for use by contractors, builders, home owners and others interested in learning more about solar water heaters.

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Is Florida Really the "Sunshine State for Solar Energy?"

If Florida is the "Sunshine State," how come we don't use more solar energy than the Golden State (California) or the Garden State (New Jersey)?   Are we really the Sunshine State?

We asked FSEC's Jennifer Szaro to give us some idea how we really measure up in terms of the attractiveness of our state for the development of a sustainable solar market.  She took a look at world solar resource maps and noted that Florida ranks tenth in the continental U.S. for solar availability, so it clearly is not just the amount of sunshine that dictates the market. 

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FSEC's First Fuel Cell Course a Big Success!

Participants in the fuel cell course
Fuel Cell Technology participants get hands-on training.
(Photo:Nick Waters)

It was standing-room only during the laboratory sessions at "The 2006 Short Course in Fuel Cell Technology," held at FSEC February 5 – 8.  Three days of presentations and hands-on lab sessions were led by FSEC director Jim Fenton, Kevin Cooper of Scribner Associates, Russ Kunz of the University of Connecticut and Vijay Ramani of the Illinois Institute of Technology.

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This newsletter has been produced by Ken Sheinkopf, Sherri Shields, and Dianne Wood.
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Florida Solar Energy Center