UCF Awarded $800,000 for Energy-Efficient Technology

University of Central Florida (UCF) has been awarded more than $800,000 to support advanced energy-efficient building technology projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators and energy auditors, the Department of Energy announced on Friday.

The projects selected today will help make the nation’s buildings more energy efficient and cost-effective. They will also support training programs for specialists to service and operate new and existing buildings, to develop and deploy best practices resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and to establish a green workforce with technical expertise to reduce energy costs for consumers.

“These projects will help the United States lead the world in advancing energy-efficient technologies,” US Energy Secretary Steven Chu said. “Energy-efficient commercial buildings will help our country cut its carbon emissions and energy costs while the training programs will upgrade the skills of the current workforce and attract the next generation to careers in the emerging clean-energy economy.”

The nation’s 114 million households and more than 74 million square feet of commercial floor space account for approximately 40 percent of U.S. primary energy consumption, as well as 39 percent of carbon dioxide, 18 percent of nitrogen oxides, and 55 percent of sulfur dioxide emissions. These projects will help lower the energy demands and emissions of commercial buildings and promote a specialized, energy-efficient buildings workforce.

The UCF projects selected are:

University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida) – $552,338

This project will provide a detailed computer model for a Variable Refrigerant Flow (VRF) AC system in the EnergyPlus™ building energy simulation tool.  This project aims to fully understand the complex interactions of VRF AC systems from an HVAC system perspective, and investigate the interactions of this HVAC system type within a real world building environment. Detailed laboratory testing of this advanced HVAC system will provide invaluable performance information which does not currently exist in the form required for proper analysis.

University of Central Florida (Orlando, Florida) – $256,461

The University of Central Florida is seeking to develop the best residential HVAC condenser technology currently available on the market by retro-fitting the unit with both a high efficiency fan system and an evaporative pre-cooler. The system will be adapted for high performance condensers using variable frequency drives and rotary compressors to achieve superior efficiency.  Previous tests of a high efficiency fan and diffuser stage developed by researchers at the Florida Solar Energy Center have shown to reduce overall condenser power by 4%. Evaporative pre-cooling is known to improve efficiency.

For detailed project descriptions of award winners, visit HERE.

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