For Immediate Release
1679 Clearlake Road
Cocoa, FL 32922-5703
Phone: (321) 638-1007
FAX: (321) 638-1010
Florida Solar Energy Center Selected to Lead Three National Research Programs
The Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) has been selected to receive more than $15
million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over a five-year period to
conduct research in three major energy areas: fuel cells, industrialized housing,
and building energy simulation.
FSEC, a research institute of the University of Central Florida (UCF), will lead
nationwide teams of researchers from universities, DOE's national laboratories and
industry in the three projects.
The FSEC team will oversee the $19 million DOE High Temperature, Low Relative
Humidity Membrane fuel cell work involving the activities of Working Group that
includes researchers from Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve
University, Clemson University, the Colorado School of Mines, FuelCell Energy,
General Electric, Giner Electrochemical Systems, Pennsylvania State University,
the University of Tennessee and Virginia Tech.
The working group will prepare and evaluate new membranes for proton exchange
membrane (PEM) fuel cells, a technology that has been receiving worldwide
attention due to its uses in the hydrogen economy and the automobiles of the near
term future. The potential applications for PEM fuel cells range from automotive
propulsion to power for hand-held devices such as cell phones and PDAs.
In the second project that is being funded by DOE, the Building America
Industrialized Housing Partnership (BAIHP) will continue its work to accelerate
the nationwide development of cost-effective, production-ready energy technologies
that can be widely implemented by factory and site homebuilders. These
technologies will achieve 30 percent to 50 percent savings in whole-house energy
use through a combination of energy efficiency and renewable energy measures. The
team will conduct research in the southeast (hot-humid climate zone) and the
Pacific northwest (marine and cold climate zones) on improved duct systems,
factory integrated heating, cooling and water heating systems, green products and
processes, cool roofs and other energy-saving products and strategies.
The BAIHP team is led by FSEC in collaboration with UCF's Industrial Engineering
program and researchers and energy experts from Arizona State University, Calcs-
Plus, Florida Home Energy and Resources Organization, Oregon Department of Energy,
the Residential Energy Services Network, the University of Texas at Austin School
of Architecture and Washington State University. The Florida Department of
Environmental Protection's Florida Energy Office has contributed significant
matching funding. Collaborating industry team members include producers of HUD
code housing (Champion, Clayton, Fleetwood and Palm Harbor) modular builders
(Clayton, Excel, Palm Harbor, and Penn Lyon Homes) production builders (Centex and
K. Hovnanian) and 18 affiliates of Habitat for Humanity International in six
The third project, Advancement of DOE's EnergyPlus Building Energy Simulation
Program, is an important multi-year effort to expand upon DOE's investment in
building science analysis tools. EnergyPlus is a building energy simulation
program that focuses on improving the energy efficiency and long-term economic
feasibility of buildings. It has been recognized worldwide for its excellence in
technical ability to accurately model buildings.
FSEC will lead the diverse EnergyPlus team of collaborators for this project that
includes experts from CDH Energy, DHL Consulting, GARD Analytics, the University
of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, Oklahoma State University and C.O. Pedersen
Associates. The group will work in collaboration with other developers at the
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Because buildings use approximately one-third of all energy consumed nationally,
DOE focuses significant research in buildings and promotes more energy-efficient
equipment and appliances and lower energy-consuming building design. EnergyPlus is
especially effective at accurately modeling buildings so that architects and
engineers can investigate a variety of design alternatives for the building
envelope and heating/cooling systems in an effort to obtain the most energy
efficient and cost effective design possible.
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
center in the United States. Current research activities include solar water and
pool heating, photovoltaics (solar electric) and distributed generation systems,
energy-efficient buildings, alternative transportation systems and fuels,
hydrogen, fuel cells and other energy areas and energy education. For more
information about the center or these new projects, visit
http://www.fsec.ucf.edu or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.