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. 10: January 2007

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photo of people standing around listening to tour guide of FSEC
Bob Reedy named FSEC's
new PV Director. Click here
for more information.

Installing Photovoltaic Systems Course
January 29 - February 2
Fuel Cell Short Course
February 4-7
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Course 1

February 26
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Courses 2 & 3

March 1 & 2
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Courses 4 & 5

March 5 & 6
From Blueprints to Residential Energy Code
March 12
EnergyGauge Pro Hands-On Training
March 13
EnergyGauge Class 3, 2 & 1
March 14 - 22
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Course 1, West Palm Beach

March 21
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Courses 2 & 3,
West Palm Beach

April 10 & 11
Energy-Efficient Florida Home Building, Orlando
April 24
Failure-Proof Buildings –
Courses 4 & 5,
West Palm Beach

April 25 & 26
Florida Green Home Designation Certification Course, Orlando
April 26


Dr. James Fenton
Dr. James Fenton

I was very honored last month when the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asked me to represent them with a presentation to the United States Council of Automotive Research (USCAR) Fuel Cell Tech Team. USCAR is the umbrella organization that coordinates research for DaimlerChrysler, Ford and General Motors.

This was an important meeting where DOE, in concert with USCAR, discusses upcoming research plans in the areas of proton exchange membrane fuel cell technologies and applications for America's future fuel cell cars and trucks. The meeting actually helps determine the priorities for Department of Energy research programs for the coming year.

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New Web Site Identifies Biomass Resources in Florida

Though there has been a great deal of national attention in recent months about the uses of ethanol crops for transportation fuel, Florida has now taken its first steps to begin to become a player in this area by the creation of a biomass Web site.

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Research Project to Help Develop Higher-Performance Fuel Cells for Aerospace Power Needs

Jim Fenton and Nazim Muradov are leading a new research project to optimize polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells (PEMFC) for aerospace auxiliary power applications, thanks to a $70,000 grant from the State University System of Florida (SUS).

The project, part of the NASA-funded SUS Florida Turbine Initiative, will help develop fuel cells as a power source for a wide range of applications.  NASA is especially interested in PEMFCs as the main source of auxiliary power in aerospace applications where key requirements are fuel cell efficiency, power density and fuel flexibility.

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Pinellas County Designated a Certified Green Local Government

The Florida Green Building Coalition (FGBC) has recognized Pinellas County’s outstanding environmental stewardship by designating it as the first Certified Green County Government in Florida.

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Bill Young Conducts Solar Workshop in Haiti

Photo of Bill Young with pv panels and ocean in background
Bill Young recently spoke on solar energy in Haiti.

Several years ago, Bill Young, a senior research engineer with FSEC, was asked by FAVACA to provide educational and consulting services related to the use of solar energy in disasters. This contact has resulted in trips to several island countries, most recently to Haiti, one of the poorest counties in the Caribbean.

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Rob Vieira Designs a Hierarchal Tool for Energy Decision-Makers

drawing of a multi-level pyramidFSEC’s Buildings Division director Rob Vieira has designed an Energy Policy Pyramid showing five levels of energy-saving strategies beginning with design and ending with fuel choices.

The pyramid will help decision-makers prioritize strategies to use in meeting their energy needs in the most cost effective manner. It serves as a tool so policy decision-makers can properly allocate their resources and take the most efficient actions.

Click here for a copy of his complete paper.

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stereo equipment.
Electronic equipment can be a significant contributor to energy usage.

In a recent study of energy use in new homes, FSEC’s Danny Parker and his co-authors looked at the growing use of the "other" end-uses (appliances, lighting, electronics, and miscellaneous equipment) in a home, especially in new homes, where increasing floor area and amenities are leading to higher saturation of these types of devices.

Parker and his colleagues, Richard Brown and Gregory Homan (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) and William Rittelmann (IBACOS), reviewed the findings of several field studies to assess the current state of knowledge about these end uses in new homes. The field studies include measurements of occupied houses in Arizona, Florida, and Colorado, as well as in unoccupied new homes.

Their findings show that appliances, lighting, electronics, and miscellaneous equipment can consume from 46% to 88% of whole-house electricity use in current low-energy homes. They also note that the annual consumption for the "other" end-uses is not significantly lower in new homes (even those designed for low energy use) compared to existing homes.

The paper shows how many "small" energy users (such as internet routers, smoke alarms, garage door openers and other typical household appliances) add up to significant impacts on energy usage.

For a copy of their complete paper, click here.

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This newsletter has been produced by Ken Sheinkopf, Sherri Shields and Dianne Wood.
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©2007 Florida Solar Energy Center/University of Central Florida
All rights reserved. • www.fsec.ucf.edu
Florida Solar Energy Center