For Immediate Release


Contact: Kenneth Sheinkopf
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 or call the FSEC Public Affairs Office at (321) 638-1015.