Poster Session


SESSION I: 7:00-8:00am- Poster Set-up; 9:30-10:40am -Poster Session I

Track 1: Biomass

Track 2: Smart Grid

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name


Potential for Oilseed Crops in the Southeast- David Wright


Power Quality Impact Study For Interconnection of Heterogeneous Distributed Energy Resources- Ali Hariri


Pongamia – An Oilseed Tree Crop for Florida’s Lost Citrus Acreag – David Harry


Recent Fuel Cell Research Activities at FSEC- Ali T-Raissi


Evaluating eTuber and Energy beets as Feedstocks for Biofuels and Biogas in SouthFlorida- Brian Boman


Ultra-Compact Portable Power: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Open-Cathode System- William Lear


Commercial Production of Terpene Biofuels from Existing Slash Pine Plantations- Gary Peter


Microstructure Effects on the Capacity, Power, and Energy Density of Metal-air Batteries for Large Grid Storage Applications- Petru Andrei


Environmentally and economically sustainable production of fuels and chemicals from sweet sorghum- Wilfred Vermerris


Nanomaterials for Enhancing Electrochemical Energy Storage- Wolfgang Sigmund


Engineering Bacillus Subtilis Biocatalysts for Production of Biofuels and Chemical Feedstocks and Biochemicals for Pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical Applications- James Preston


The Effects of the Discharge Product on the Discharge Characteristics of Li-air Batteries- Vamsci V. Bevara


Biomass Treatment with Supercritical Fluids for high Throughput and Yield to Fuels- Aydin Sunol


Non-Destructive Testing and Quality Control Technologies. Ensuring High Quality, Safety and Reliability of New Generation Batteries-Volodymyr Redko


Oxygen-blown Gasification for Efficient Conversion of Woody Biomass to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels- Ali T-Raissi


Power Quality Improvement of Electric Vehicle DC Charging Stations Utilizing UPQC and SFCL- M.H. Amini


Dual pretreatment Strategy for Enhanced Biomass Hydrolysis- John Telotte


Buildings as Batteries: Inexpensive Ancillary Service to the Grid from HVAC Systems- Yashen Lin


Floating Cultivation System for Low-cost Production of Algae- Dr. Ioannis Dogaris


Hydrogen Energy Storage for On-Board Fuel Cells, Concentrated Solar Power and

Secondary Batteries- Sesha Srinivasan


Dealing with Heterogeneity: The Central Problem with Using Agroindustrial Waste as a Feedstock for Heterotrophic Algae- Thomas Lyons


Development and Characterization of Novel Metal Chloride Thermal Storage Media with Enhanced Heat Transfer- Philip D. Myers


Landfill Gas to Liquid Fuel- Ryan Kent


Encapsulation of the Phase Change Materials and Its Application in Thermal Energy

Storage System- Tanvir E Alam


An Experimental Evaluation and Thermochemical Modeling of High Temperature Steam Gasification of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW)-Uisung Lee



SESSION II: 11:45-12:45pm- Poster Set; 3:10-4:10pm – Poster Session II

Track 1: Solar Energy

Track2: Energy Efficiency

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name


Advances in Micro-inverter Technologies- Issa Batarseh


Thermal Simulation of FSU’s Off-Grid Zero Emissions Building- Juan Ordonez


Photomechanics of Liquid Crystal Polymer Networks- William Oates


Low Cost Building Energy Efficiency Solution Based on Real-Time Occupancy Based Control- Jonathan Brooks


Distributed & Mobile Solar Electricity Generation with Energy Storage Devices and Application to PrePaid (PPD) Technology for the Latin America marketplace- Albert Rodriguez


Moisture and Energy Consequences of a Tight Residential Envelope- Robin Vieira


Nanostructured Transparent Polymer for Encapsulation of PV Modules and Optical Devices. Breakthrough in Design and Properties of Solar Cells- Elena Shembel


An Overview of Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC) Activities in Hot Humid Climates-Eric Martin


Effective Doping of CdTe Towards High Efficiency Thin Film Solar Cell- M. I. Khan


My Florida Home Energy Interactive Web tool- Lesly A. Jerome


Cooling Channel Analysis to Enhance the Efficiency of Photovoltaic Panels- Obiechina Abakporo


Florida Energy Efficiency Loan (FEEL): A New Residential Lifestyle Literacy and Leveraged Lending Program-Craig Miller, Hal Knowles


Integration of Transparent Insulation Materials into Solar Collection Devices- Sam Yang


Targeting Utility Customers to Improve Energy Savings From Conservation and Efficiency Programs- Nicholas W. Taylor


Air-Processed Polymer-Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells With Higher Than 6% Efficiency- Iordania Constantinou


Exploring the Market for Multifamily Energy-Efficiency Retrofits in Florida- M. Jennison Searcy


Development of Novel Water Splitting Materials for the Production of Renewable Hydrogen- Samantha Roberts


Side by Side Evaluation of Residential Hot Water Heating Systems in Florida- Carlos Colon


Kinetic and Material Analysis for Solar Fuel Production- Michael Bobek


A Program for Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Laboratories- Philip J. Wirdzek


Energy Glass – The Next Generation in Solar Energy Production with Enhanced Building Physical Security- Theron Colbert


Permanent Magnet for Energy Efficiency Systems- Ke Han


A Mathematical Model for Performance Prediction of a Hybrid PV/T Module for Hot and Humid Climates- Cheng-Xian Lin


Energy Efficiency and NRCE: A Needed, Country, State and Industrial Policy/Program- Cristian Cardenas-Lailhacar


Solar Water Heating as a Green House Gas Reduction and Energy Conservation Strategy- Thomas Lane


Energy Efficient Transportation- John Nuszkowski


Energy-Aware Database Disk Storage System- Yicheng Tu




SESSION III: 7:00-8:00am – Poster Set-up; 11:25-12:25pm – Poster Session III

Track 1: Natural Gas & Marine Energy

Track 2: Education

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name

Poster #

Title/ Presenter Name


The Direct Use of Natural Gas- Scott Ranck


Renewable Energy Education Program at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability- George Philippidis


Natural Gas As A Transportation Fuel- Mark Thompson


“Buildings and Energy: Design and Operation vs. Sustainability” an Energy Engineering Course for Florida-specific Building Design & Operation- Prabir Barooah


So Natural Gas Motor Fuels are Cheaper than Oil: Does This Solve Our Energy Problem?- David E. Bruderly


Educating on Economic Realities of Sustainable Energy- Mark Jamison


Crew Member Training Standards for Natural Gas-Fueled Ships- Dennis L. Bryant


Introducing Specialization in “Sustainable Energy Systems” for Under-Graduate Students in Engineering at the University of West Florida.- Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran


Evaluation of Viability of Combined Heat and Power Projects in Florida– David Richardson


Industrial Energy Efficiency Education- Nina Stokes


Performance Evaluation and Field Testing of Gas Heat Pump- Rajeev Kamal


Sustainable Floridians Program – Strengthening Your Sense of Place-Kathleen C. Ruppert


Scaling Relations for the Model Scale Testing of Hydrokinetic Ocean Renewable Energy Systems- Karl Von Ellenrieder


Two Alternative Fusion Energy Confinement Concepts: Spheromaks and Laser-Assisted Muon Catalyzed Fusion- Charles A. Weatherford


Water Energy for Florida and the USA- George Meyer


Challenges in Quantifying Optimal CO2 Emissions Policy- Theodore J. Kury




Monday, May 12- 10:40-11:40 am



Track I : Biomass


Potential for Oilseed Crops in the Southeast – David Wright, James Marois, Sheeja George, University of Florida – IFAS


Oilseed crops are important biofuels. Florida has the potential to grow many different types of crops for energy production. Years of research with canola showed the potential for oilseed crops and the fit into current cropping systems of the Southeast. However, for an industry to develop, it is important for the crops to fit into current systems and having infrastructure to plant, manage, harvest and store the crop. Oilseed crops fit these criteria with the exception that we need earlier maturing crops that can be planted in the fall after cotton, soybean or peanut and be harvested by late April or early May at the latest so that these summer crops can be planted timely. Recent research with camelina and carinata show the potential of these crops and cooperative work with Agrisoma BioSciences and Applied Research Associates has allowed an expanded vision of the potential for the crops for “drop in fuel” and evaluation of cultivars that may be more adapted to conditions in the Southeast. This talk will focus on recent work on oilseed crops and the viability for Florida growers.


Pongamia – An Oilseed Tree Crop as a Profitable Replacement for Florida’s Lost Citrus Acreage – David Harry, Claire Kinlaw, Tom Schenk, Naveen Sikka, Terviva Inc.


Rule #1: For any renewable fuels crop to be successful, it has to make economic sense for landowners to grow it.

Corollary #1: It has to be better than other crop choices the grower has.
Corollary #2: It needs to fit within a grower’s existing equipment and infrastructure.
Rule#2: There needs to be already existing (and deep) downstream market demand for the output.
Rule#3: The lower the capital costs to process the crop, the greater the probability it will scale.

Over the last two years, TerViva has deployed successful trials with major citrus growers in southern Florida in planting a hardy leguminous tree crop called pongamia. Pongamia produces a generous nut crop that can be mechanically harvested. The seed looks like a large lima bean and its properties are extremely similar to soybeans. However, the tree produces over 10x what soybeans can produce and can crow on a footprint where soybeans generally cannot. The nuts are shelled with a peanut sheller and crushed with conventional soybean crushers – all low-capex items. The end products are: a valuable oil (high in oleic and palmetic acid) and a seedcake which can be used as a high-protein (27%) animal feed or a high-nitrogen (4%) slow-release, low-nitrification fertilizer for Florida’s sandy soils. The oil is a C 18:1 molecule making it valuable for a drop-in feedstock for biodiesel, lubricants, surfactants and other biochemicals. The oil also has bio-pesticidal properties and can be a substitute for the mineral oil that is mixed in almost all conventional crop sprays.

The tree has been grown as an ornamental in south Florida since the 1920’s. The tree thrives in tropical/subtropical tree suited to growing zones no cooler than 9b which is generally from Orlando and southward. Pongamia is planted at the same field density as citrus, but requires much less water than citrus, minimal fertilizer, and little or no pesticides which can help the problems being addressed throughout the Everglades watershed. Financially, the crop can be a very close income replacement for lost citrus and can make 3x-4x more than other biomass crops.

Exceptionally successful trials have been deployed with major agricultural landowners such as US Sugar, Evans Properties, Graves Brothers, and even on Mosaic’s challenging phosphate reclamation and heavy clay soils. TerViva has more new growers this year and is sold out of tree stock for 2014. Pongamia could be the best crop to restore lost value to tens of thousands of acres of abandoned citrus land, and brings life back to the rural economies in the southern half of Florida.


Evaluating eTuber and Energy beets as Feedstocks for Biofuels and Biogas in South Florida-Brian Boman, Edward Evans, Ann Wilkie, University of Florida- IFAS


This project takes an innovative approach to developing the biofuel and biogas industry in the state of Florida using an eTuber and Energy Beet rotation system. The eTuber sweet potato, developed by CAREnergy, has 50% more dry matter than current leading varieties of sweet potatoes grown in Florida. As a result, it has a greatly increased ethanol producing potential and the eTuber’s starch can be processed with the technology used in a corn ethanol plant. The crop tolerates heat, requires little irrigation, and has been shown to produce 4 to 5 times as much starch per acre as corn. The ‘energy beet’ is a non-edible biomass crop that is “Generation 1.5″ simple sugar crop – does not need to be converted from starch and can produce twice as much sugar per acre as corn. In addition, Energy Beets ferment without the need for enzymes. The by-products can be used as a livestock feed supplement. A major goal of this project is to conduct field trials with eTuber and Energy Beer to develop protocol for growing the crop which can be developed into recommended practices. In addition, these trials will allow us to document potential yields and to collect the data on fossil fuels inputs for growing and processing the crop and construct a greenhouse gas (GHG) analysis to support an application for certification of the crop as an Advanced Biofuel Feedstock (ABF). The trials will include experiments on planting density, rotation crops, fertilizer and irrigation rates, pest & disease control, and planting and harvest times. Another goal will be to develop procedures to process the eTuberTM into ethanol fuel, by-products and syrup. Once the techniques to process the eTuberTM into syrup has been accomplished it will be tested as a putative ABF for e-coli, algae, and yeast to make biodiesel and jet fuel, etc. Studies will also be undertaken to determine the potential to use biogas to run the processing of eTuberâ„¢ sugar into biofuels using biogas through anaerobic digestion. A very important part of the project will be the economic analysis of the market potential and the impact of the commercialization of the eTuberâ„¢ for fuel and energy in Florida. The establishment of the eTuberâ„¢ ethanol industry has the potential to significantly benefit regional and local communities and to provide enormous gains for agriculture, especially in areas where diseases have taken out citrus groves.



Commercial Production of Terpene Biofuels from Existing Slash Pine Plantations – Gary Peter, Jennifer Lauture, Alan Hodges, University of Florida- IFAS


North Florida has a long history of collecting and processing pine terpenes into renewable chemicals. Recovering terpenes from live pine trees is actively done globally, but died out in the south because of high labor costs and the harvesting of older stands of slash and longleaf pine. Today the pine chemicals industry obtains terpenes from crude tall oil and turpentine collected in chemical pulp mills. However, the recent strong commercial interest in drop-in biofuels has dramatically increased interest in pine terpenes as a source of readily available hydrocarbon precursors for jet fuel. We propose to reinvigorate commercial collection of terpenes from live pine trees by developing new methods to boost production and decrease collection costs from stands of young planted slash pine. Planted slash pine stands cover over 3 million acres in North Florida and we estimate that tapping 200,000 acres can annually produce >100 million gallons of gum turpentine valued at >$400 million, without detrimental effects on the existing forest products industry. Cost effective collection of gum turpentine is expected to greatly improve economic returns to forestland owners while increasing jobs in the collection and processing industries.

Existing pine chemical markets and the new US military and commercial aviation industry markets for jet fuels made from renewable sources have increased demand for pine terpenes. The cost of terpene recovered from live pine trees depends on individual tree production rate or yield and per tree collection costs. To recover gum turpentine for $800/tonne we will complete the following aims: 1) increase terpene production from live trees by developing and testing cost effective chemical inducers of resinosis in young slash pine trees, 2) further develop methods that reduce the per tree collection costs, and 3) evaluate the impact of terpene collection on pine tree growth potential. A replicated factorial experiment with inducers, tree sizes, tree ages, and previous silvicultural treatments will be conducted. Trees treated with resinosis inducers will be tapped with borehole method and terpene yields and costs compared. Because landowners can still harvest trees for traditional wood and paper products, we will quantify the impact of resinosis inducers and live tree collection methods on tree growth. Overall, we expect to develop a cost effective system to collect large amounts of terpenes for renewable chemicals and biofuel production.

The second objective for this research is to test methods to produce drop-in jet fuels from pine terpenes, including gum turpentine, diterpene mixes and crude sulfated turpentine and crude tall oil. We have partnered with Applied Research Associates to test their proven catalytic hydrothermolysis and upgrading processes. Yields, chemical composition and fuel properties of processed gum turpentine or other pine terpene fractions will be analyzed. The third objective is to assess the economic impact of expanding gum turpentine collection and terpene based biofuels production in Florida.


Environmentally and economically sustainable production of fuels and chemicals from sweet sorghum- Wilfred Vermerris, John Erickson, Lonnie Ingram, University of Florida- IFAS


Sweet sorghum is a tall (4-6 m) grass that grows well in hot and dry environments and that accumulates large amounts of soluble sugars in its stem juice. Given the large amount of bagasse (crushed stems) that remains after the extraction of the juice, sweet sorghum is an ideal crop to transition from first-generation sugar-based biofuels and chemicals to second-generation biomass-based fuels and chemicals. We have developed new sweet sorghum cultivars that perform better in Florida and neighboring states than currently available germplasm. Further improvements in yield can be made by using germplasm that is resistant to anthracnose, the most prevalent fungal disease in the region that can reduce crop yields by 70%. We have identified the genetic basis of anthracnose resistance, so that this useful trait can be introduced more efficiently in new cultivars. Through a better understanding of the catalytic mechanisms of enzymes involved in cell wall biosynthesis, we are working on the development of sorghums with stems that are more amenable to biomass processing. In addition, we are investigating the genetic basis of root system architecture to enable more efficient use of water. We are also developing novel, high-value nanomaterials from the lignin-rich waste stream of the biorefinery, with the goal of off-setting some of the operating costs of the biorefinery. We have shown that some of these nanomaterials show promise in biomedical applications, specifically as delivery vehicles for DNA and therapeutic agents into human cells. Commercial-scale application of this comprehensive approach to sweet sorghum improvement will enable regional production of fuels and chemicals in an environmentally and economically sustainable manner. Supported by USDA-BRDI project 2011-10006-303508.


Engineering Bacillus subtilis biocatalysts for production of biofuels and chemical feedstocks and biochemicals for pharmaceutical and nutraceutical applications-James Preston, Mun Su Rhee, Lusha Wei, University of Florida- IFAS


Different forms of lignocellulosic biomass represent major renewable resources derived from solar energy via photosynthesis as major sources of fuels and chemicals. Energy crops, poplar and switchgrass, and agricultural residues, sugarcane and sorghum bagasse, are candidates for bioconversion to targeted products. The hemicellulose fraction, representing 20 to 30% of these resources, may be efficiently converted, via secreted xylanolytic enzymes, to sugars for intracellular metabolism and conversion to biofuels and chemicals by fermentative bacterial biocatalysts. With a sequenced and annotated genome, genetically malleable Bacillus subtilis strain 168 has become an attractive candidate for developing strains for bioconversion of xylans in hemicellulosic biomass to alternative biofuels and chemicals. Through deletion of its existing GH11/GH30 xylanase system and introduction of genes encoding a GH10/GH67 system B. subtilis strains have been engineered for efficient and complete conversion of xylans to targeted products, e.g. lactic acid for bioplastic production. Alternatively the B. subtilis can be genetically engineered to secrete either the GH11 or the GH30 xylanase for the conversion xylans to acidic xylooigosaccharides that have immunomodulating activities. With only the GH30 xylanase the B. subtilis strain MR44 produces acidic XOS that can serve as precursor for pentosan polysulfate (PPS) with pharmaceutical activities, including treatment of interstitial cystitis in humans and osteoarthritis in animals. B. subtilis biocatalysts allow the conversion of agricultural residues, e.g. bagasse derived from sugarcane and other crops, as well as dedicated energy crops, e.g. poplar, eucalyptus, switchgrass and sweet sorghum, mitigating consumption of fossil energy sources for transportation fuels and chemical feedstocks. Other B. subtilis biocatalysts may be used for production of high value specialty products for applications in nutrition and medicine.


Biomass Treatment with Supercritical Fluids for high throughput and yield to fuels-Aydin Sunol, Kyle Cogswell, Aaron Driscoll, and Zachary Cerniga University of South Florida


Supercritical Fluid Treatment of Biomass results selective removal of lignin hemi cellulose or cellulose as well as modifying the chemical structure of the biomass for subsequent treatments including biological and thermal. Effective Supercritical fluids range from water at the high pressure and temperature end to carbon dioxide ethanol mixtures for tunable temperatures. The effective list includes ammonia and amines as well. The gasification of the treatment residue can also be accomplished through supercritical gasification and this particular route avoids the drying step of the conventional gasification processes. The presentation will highlight our thirty years of experience in such treatments and novel processing concepts.


Oxygen-blown Gasification for Efficient Conversion of Woody Biomass to Liquid Hydrocarbon Fuels- Ali T-Raissi, UCF- Florida Solar Energy Center


Biomass conversion to carbon-neutral fuels is a subject of intense research due to concerns over diminishing resources and negative environmental impact of fossil fuel usage. In this poster presentation, we demonstrate a cost effective process for thermochemical conversion of biomass to a hydrogen-rich gas fit as a feedstock for the production of liquid hydrocarbon fuels. The process consists of gasification of biomass to syngas with subsequent Fisher-Tropsch synthesis to diesel range clean sulfur-free hydrocarbons. The focus of this presentation is on steam-oxygen gasification of pinewood charcoal in an updraft moving-bed reactor. The data show that the oxygen flow rate and [H2O]/[O2] feed ratio profoundly affect the efficiency of the conversion process. Data suggest that higher input of oxygen increases H2/CO ratio without affecting the CO/CO2 ratio in the output gas composition. This appears to be due to higher reaction temperatures across the board as a result of increased oxygen flow rates that permit higher rates of water gas and water-gas shift reactions. Increasing the [H2O]/[O2] ratio results in higher H2/CO ratio in the product gas with slight decrease in the rate of biomass consumption. The rate at which water is consumed by the reactions drops significantly at high [H2O]/[O2] ratios. This is due to the water-gas shift reaction due to cooling down of the reduction zone.


Dual pretreatment Strategy for Enhanced Biomass Hydrolysis- John Telotte, Subramanian Ramakrishnan, Florida State University


Cellulosic biomass is a renewable, carbon neutral resource that can be used to generate chemicals that replace petroleum products. Optimal processes for biomass utilization separate the raw material into its constituent parts: hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin, and then offer effective strategies to utilize the chemical components of each part. Dilute acid pretreatment is an effective pretreatment for removal of the hemicellulose component but the remaining cellulose – lignin mixture is still difficult to utilize. In this work we show that a second stage of pretreatment with N-Methyl Morpholine N-Oxide (NMMO) both helps to separate the cellulose and lignin and makes the cellulose more readily digestible by cellulase enzymes. This allows for a near complete fractionation of the biomass into streams that can be easily converted into sugars and other high value chemicals.
Specific work accomplished so far has examined the treatment of corn stover and sugar cane bagasse. The corn stover was initially subjected to dilute acid treatment with a sulfuric acid solution and the bagasse was treated with phosphoric acid. The resultant material was then dissolved in NMMO solution and then reprecipitated as an amorphous material. This mass was then reacted with a commercial cellulase enzyme mixture to generate glucose. In both cases, the materials treated with both acid and NMMO, showed the same final conversion to sugars in 24 hours that took 72 hours with acid treatment alone. In this presentation we will show the details of the treatment strategy, compare the reactivity of materials with different treatments and show the overall mass balance for biomass fractionation.


Harvest Power-Christopher Balfe, Molly Bales, Harvest Power Inc.


Harvest Power is an organics recycling and composting company. We build, own, and operate anaerobic digestion and composting facilities in America and Canada. Harvest has partnered with a municipality in Central Florida to anaerobically digest the town’s biosolids, food waste, and grease interceptor sludge and produce on-site, renewable energy for the adjacent wastewater treatment plant. This project is groundbreaking in its mix of feedstocks and system components and has recently started to accept organic materials. Perhaps most importantly, it is an excellent example of a closed-loop organics system: the entire municipality’s organics are now being recycled to produce renewable energy and natural fertilizers. The renewable energy powers the treatment plant while the natural fertilizers return nutrients to the municipality’s soil. This project is helping the municipality achieve zero waste and energy independence. Harvest’s presentation will highlight the Florida project described above while providing some information on Harvest’s business model and several of its operating facilities.


Floating cultivation system for low-cost production of algae- Ioannis Dogaris, Ph.D., George Philippidis, Ph.D., Michael Welch, University of South Florida, Andreas Meiser, Ph.D., Lawrence Walmsley, Culture Fuels, Inc.


Algae can potentially revolutionize the manufacturing of bioproducts, including renewable transportation fuels and a variety of chemicals. However, important techno-economic challenges should first be addressed. Productivity and yield under real-world outdoor conditions need to be boosted and water and energy usage needs to be minimized. In pursuit of those goals we have developed a floating algae cultivation platform that is scalable and cost-effective, as it is modular in design and is manufactured from inexpensive plastic film. Its design reduces water usage by 4-fold compared to conventional outdoor systems. In addition, it is engineered to improve CO2 mass transfer and nutrient uptake for enhanced algae cell growth. The cultivation of Nannochloris sp., known as a promising lipid producer, in the floating platform was successfully demonstrated outdoors. Algae growth was monitored to assess the effect of important process variables, such as nutrients and CO2 levels, on biomass productivity. Consistently high biomass productivities and yields have been achieved in semi-continuous outdoor operations over 14 months with no contamination problems. We have recently begun constructing a scale-up facility to demonstrate commercial feasibility and confirm the projected financial performance of the technology.


Dealing with Heterogeneity: The Central Problem with Using Agroindustrial Waste as a Feedstock for Heterotrophic Algae-Thomas Lyons, Eudes de Crecy, BioTork


The major limiting factor for the economic viability of processes involving heterotrophic algae is the cost of feedstock. Expensive feedstocks, such as refined carbohydrates, are far too expensive to allow for the viable production of low-margin chemicals. Consequently, there has been a concerted effort to develop algal fermentation processes that utilize low-cost agroindustrial wastes, such as biodiesel-derived crude glycerol. While this prospect is enticing, the heterogeneity of these substrates presents significant problems. First, these substrates are complex mixtures often containing a host of inhibitory chemicals. Microbes grow less robustly on agroindustrial wastes than they do on refined substrates,which profoundly effects the capex and opex of a proposed biorefinery. Second, the composition of agroindustrial wastes varies from production facility to production facility. For example, the composition of crude glycerol varies greatly depending upon the oil feedstock and the transesterification process, a fact that also profoundly affects the capex and opex of a proposed biorefinery. Thus, the idea of developing a one-size-fits-all alga for crude glycerol—or any other class of agroindustrial waste – is naive. The only viable approach is to develop a catalogue of algae that are adapted for specific agroindustrial waste streams. A second major key to economic success is robustness, or the ability of an alga to produce the desired chemical fast enough on the feedstock to facilitate an economically competitive process. Robustness is not a property that can be engineered and even if it could, genetic engineering is not ideal for industrial purposes where an end product (or co-product) is designed for feed markets. Rather, the best way to ensure robustness is through the use of evolution. Herein, we demonstrate the principles of this concept using different samples of biodiesel-derived waste glycerol as substrates for an oil producing heterotrophic alga.


Landfill Gas to Liquid Fuel-Ryan Kent, Ali Gardezi, Dr. Babu Joseph, Dr. John Kuhn, University of South Florida


Landfill gas can be captured, converted, and used as an energy source. Approximately 234 MM tons/year of municipal solid waste is produced in United States, with the average landfill collecting 2800 ft3/min of landfill gas (LFG). Most of this gas is wasted by flaring while landfills spend $8,000 per day on diesel fuel for their vehicle fleet. Using LFG helps to reduce odors and other hazards associated with LFG emissions. Collecting LFG also helps prevent methane and NMOC’s from migrating into the atmosphere and contributing to local smog and global climate change. The process involves two specialized catalysts, Ni-Mg supported on Ce0.6Zr 0.4O2 for use in a Tri-reforming reactor, turning CO2 and CH4 into hydrogen and carbon monoxide (syngas). The syngas is converted using a silica eggshell catalyst in the Fischer-Tropsch reactor (FTSR). Using both the tri-reforming and the FTS reactors in tandem enables conversion of the landfill gas directly into a tailored fuel cut of middle distillates (diesel and jet fuel). The catalysts combat current issues of coke formation and formation of less valuable heavier hydrocarbon waxes, lowering the cost of synthetic fossil fuels.


An experimental evaluation and thermochemical modeling of high temperature steam gasification of municipal solid waste (MSW)-Uisung Lee, J.N. Chung, H.A. Ingley, University of Florida


Microalgae have received much attention as a potential energy resource because they contain 250 times more oil per pound of biomass compared to other energy crops, such as soybeans (Hossain et al., 2008). In addition, microalgae do not compete for arable land since they are cultivated in ponds or photobioreactors (Rosch et al., 2012). Despite these benefits, life cycle assessment studies have shown that microalgae biofuel has higher environmental impacts than first generation biofuels due to the nutrient requirements for microalgae cultivation (Clarens et al., 2010). Thus, sustainable microalgae biofuel production system will need to integrate with wastewater as nutrient resources (Guest et al, 2013). A key obstacle of this integration is a lack of understanding of microalgae growth in wastewater which is necessary to improve microalgae productivity. Therefore, the goal of the overall study is to develop a new kinetic model of microalgae growth using wastewater as nutrient resources. The framework of the model was based on the combination of threshold and multiplicative theories. In the model, nitrogen, dissolved carbon dioxide concentrations, and light intensity were selected as major growth factors. The current study and results presented focused on

the determination of a rate expression for nitrogen based on existing models.


In this study, Chlorella sp., collected from Howard F. Curren Advanced Wastewater Treatment Plant in Tampa, Florida was used and performed in batch photobioreactors (1L) for 7 days. Synthetic wastewater with a similar composition to centrate from anaerobically digested swine manure was used for the cultivation. The experiment was conducted at a controlled temperature (22±1°C). During the experiment, 5% CO2-air mixture was injected through a fine bubble diffuser in the reactors (with the flow rate 400ml/min). The reactors were illuminated by 13W and 20W fluorescent lamps (24:0 h light-dark cycles) to provide the desired light intensity (5000lux).


Microalgal biomass concentrations were measured with time for different initial concentrations of nitrogen (0-308ml/L) with/without organic carbon in synthetic wastewater. The Haldane–Andrews model was found to fit best to the experimental data. Kinetic parameters of the Haldane-Andrews models were determined by fitting the experimental data to the relationship between specific growth rate (μ) and initial nitrogen concentration obtained from the growth curves. The parameters for microalgae growing in the wastewater (without organic carbon) were μmax = 2.32 d-1, Ks=140 mg/L as N, and Ki= 25 mg/L as N (R2=0.8014), while the parameters in the wastewater containing organic carbon were μmax = 17.12 d-1, Ks=229 mg/L as N, and Ki= 12.9 mg/L as N (R2=0.7694). The results showed that the μmax and Ks values in wastewater containing organic carbon were high because the organic carbon is readily bioavailable so that it stimulates the microalgae growth (Liang et al., 2009; Ogawa & Aiba, 1981). It indicated that the Haldane-Andrews model can describe the growth kinetic in terms of N with inhibition of NH3. Thus, the Haldane-Andrew model is an appropriate rate expression for nitrogen in the new model.


Track II: Smart Grid

Power Quality Impact Study For Interconnection of Heterogeneous Distributed Energy Resources-Ali Hariri, Omar Faruque, FSU Center For Advanced Power Systems


In this work, we will investigate the combined impact on power quality due the interconnection of multiple Distributed Generators (DG) on a distribution utility feeder. Our objective is to investigate power quality issues such as voltage sag/swell followed by transient events, harmonics or dc injection due to the interconnection of power electronic based converters, the effects of injection of low frequency (different from power frequency) anti-islanding signal injection, flicker issue due to the variability in wind velocity and solar irradiation. Literature review suggests that some work has been done in this area where either a single source of DG is connected to a small scale test system or multiple DG of same technology (PV or wind) were used to investigate the impacts. However, our approach will use the model of a real (a Florida based utility feeder) test system with multiple DG plant models using heterogeneous technologies such as inverter based and rotary machine based applications (induction generator and synchronous generator) found in various DG technologies. In addition, we would also conduct the impact of low-frequency harmonic injection (used for anti-islanding detection) on voltage and current THDs (Total harmonic Distortion). We will leverage the available data from a DOE sponsored project conducted at the Center for Advanced Power Systems (CAPS).


Recent Fuel Cell Research Activities at FSEC-Ali T-Raissi, UCF-Florida Solar Energy Center


Fuel cells are viable means to meet future energy demands. However, significant research must be accomplished in several key areas in order to achieve economic feasibility. Some of these research areas include membrane stability and catalyst performance. This poster will highlight the use of FESC funding to provide the framework for several follow-on projects obtained through alternate funding sources. The success of the follow-on projects was a direct result of the initial investment by FESC.


Ultra-Compact Portable Power: Direct Methanol Fuel Cell Open-Cathode System-Fenner Colson, Matt Inman, University of Florida


Researchers at the University of North Florida and the University of Florida have developed a novel Direct Methanol Fuel Cell (DMFC) for powering portable electronics in the 10-100 W power class. DMFCs represent a promising alternative to traditional batteries for long-duration operation, but until recently were marginally suited for mobile applications due to their bulky architecture, mostly attributed to the cathode exit water recovery system required to continuously re-supply the anode reaction. By utilizing a patented Liquid Barrier Layer (LBL) in the fuel cell, the DMFC system presented here performs this task passively, eliminating many bulky, water-related components. A prototype of this simplified architecture has been tested for long-duration performance in CERDEC labs and has shown remarkable energy density characteristics, far exceeding those of current, top-of-the-line Li-Ion batteries and other commercially available DMFCs in the same power class. Ongoing research at UF is geared towards further optimizing the LBL to expand the operational envelope of the DFMC to higher ambient temperatures.


Microstructure effects on the capacity, power, and energy density of metal-air batteries for large grid storage applications- Petru Andrei, Vamsci Bevara, Florida State University


The penetration of renewable energy sources in our national grid is estimated to increase dramatically in the near future. It is estimated that the current national grid can support penetration levels of 10%-15% but needs major modifications in planning and operational practices in order to support penetration levels larger than 20%. Among the most important such modifications is the introduction of energy storage elements distributed across the grid to smooth the fluctuations of the power created by renewable sources. The new energy storage devices need to be scaled up to power ratings over 10 GW and energy capacities over 10 GW/h per device in order to compensate for the power fluctuations. In this presentation we discuss the effects of particle and pore size distributions on the specific capacity, power density, and energy density of metal-air batteries. The presentation will mostly focus on the effects of the microscopic structure of the cathode of Li-air and Li-metal batteries on the above mentioned quantities, but will also include a discussion of other types of batteries such as batteries based on sodium metal, LiCoO2, etc. Methods to improve the energy density of Li-based batteries will also be presented. The presentation will also give an overview of modeling and simulation efforts on energy storage devices (including batteries, fuel cells, and super capacitors) in our research group and will present the features of our in-house developed simulator for electrochemical systems, RandFlux [2]. The simulator can be used to model the discharge characteristics (including the power and energy densities) of most batteries (including Li-ion, Li-air, Li-oxygen, other metal batteries), fuel cells, and super capacitors.

Nanomaterials for enhancing electrochemical energy storage-Wolfgang Sigmund, Rui Qing, University of Florida


Large scale electrochemical energy storage requires several key aspects to be enabled. One of them is to make the materials as safe as possible, i.e. reducing thermal stresses, electrochemical induced stresses as well as removing reactive compounds. For mass application cost is also a major concern. We reported and patented several novel electrode materials over the past years. This talk and poster will highlight some of them. For example titania (pigment found in paint) is a low cost electrode material that we tailored into an attractive anode for lithium ion batteries. It removes carbon from the anode and has almost no volume change from fully charging to discharging. The poster will also highlight other materials that were designed and realized for highest energy densities, i.e. enabling better batteries for plug in vehicles

The Effects of the Discharge Product on the Discharge Characteristics of Li-air Batteries-Vamsci V. Bevara, Petru Andrei, Florida State University


Growing greenhouse gas emissions and degrading air quality, mainly in cities, due to automobiles powered by fossil fuels has resulted in a shift in interest towards renewable energy sources and storage technologies. Lithium based battery technologies like Li-ion and Li-air batteries have relatively high energy densities and so have received more attention. Li-air batteries in particular have a theoretical energy density approximately 5-10 times that of Li-ion batteries and comparable to that of gasoline. This relatively high specific energy density in Li-air batteries is due to the fact that one of the reactants, oxygen, is not stored in the cathode but is taken from the atmosphere. Despite, the high theoretical energy density, Li-air batteries face a major challenge, which is, limited practical capacity during discharge. The net electrochemical reaction during discharge in a Lithium-air battery with organic electrolyte results in the formation of lithium peroxide (Li2O2) due to the reversible reaction between Li metal and oxygen. This reaction/discharge product (Li2O2) is insoluble in the organic electrolyte and forms solid layers in the porous carbon cathode. It can be argued that the limited capacity of Li-air batteries is due to pore clogging in the cathode and the inability of oxygen to diffuse into the cell for the electrochemical reaction to take place. The discharge characteristics of a Li-air battery obtained using finite-element simulations shows a sudden drop in cell voltage from around 2.5 V to a potential less than 2 V. This sudden death of the battery might be the result of various phenomenon occurring in the battery. One theory as discussed above suggests that discharge product formation is more at the battery surface resulting in low oxygen transport into the cathode. The electrochemical reaction can no longer proceed due to a lack of oxygen, resulting in very limited formation of lithium peroxide inside the cathode and very ineffective use of the porous volume of the battery. This explains the limited capacity of the batteries as compared to the theoretical possible capacity given by the pore volume. Catalysts have therefore been used to improve reaction dynamics inside the battery for an effective utilization of pore volume. Another theory is that the discharge product has a very high resistance which increases with the thickness of the deposited Li2O2. This resistance results in an increasing voltage drop across the deposit layer as the discharge progresses, thereby reducing the battery potential as observed. The discharge product layer can also be treated as a barrier for the electron to tunnel through to participate in the electrochemical reaction. A few studies describe a critical tunneling length, beyond which tunneling can no longer be possible. The critical tunneling length according to those studies is usually 5-10 nm. Thus, the sudden death of the battery, in this case can be attributed to, thickness of the discharge product formed exceeding the critical tunneling length. The last two models for the discharge product provide simulated discharge curves of the battery which are comparable to the experimental discharge characteristics.


Non-Destructive Testing and Quality Control Technologies. Ensuring High Quality, Safety and Reliability of New Generation Batteries – Volodymyr Redko, Elena Shembel, Enerize Corp.


For ensuring high quality, safety and reliability of new generation Li-ion batteries Enerize developed proprietary non-destructive non-contact electromagnetic, holographic interferometry, gas discharge visualization, and combined methods and devices. These methods could be used for evaluation of the properties of nano-structured powder of electrode materials, polymer and solid inorganic electrolytes, interface of multi-layered electrode structures, semi-product and final product during new generation battery production. The safety and reliability of the final product are determined mainly by its basic technology, design and materials. However, without adequate quality control during manufacture, defects in even the best designs can lead to inconsistent performance and early failure. Deployment of automated quality assurance technology at every stage of the manufacturing and assembly process will increase the reliability and safety of batteries while lowering overall manufacturing costs by reducing wastage and preventing defective components from being incorporated into the finished product. The list of the non-destructive & non-contact methods and devices developed by Enerize includes but not limited the following:

  • Holographic interferometry for non-destructive testing of battery components during production.
  • Electromagnetic non-destructive non-contact testing of dry multi-layer structure and hidden defects evaluation.
  • Non-destructive non-contact combined electromagnetic & ultrasonic systems for determination of bulk conductivity & electromagnetic properties of powdered materials, including nanostructured. Electromagnetic non-destructive capacitance method for testing electromagnetic properties and chemical composition of materials during synthesis.
  • Electromagnetic eddy-current testing for determination of the interface resistance between current collector and active electrode mass.
  • High voltage gas discharge visualization method for quality assurance of hermetically sealed devices
  • Non-contact electromagnetic measurement of thickness and electro-physical parameters electrodes during coating.
  • Non-destructive non-contact testing of the conductivity of thin film polymer and solid inorganic electrolytes.
  • Non-destructive non-contact detection of hidden faults in collector welding of batteries and ultracapacitors;


These methods are based on the interaction of different vector and scalar fields with the test article:

  • Wave acoustic fields of different polarization;
  • Potential electrical and magnetic fields;
  • Vector eddy magnetic fields;
  • Gradient heat fields (infra-red spectrum);
  • Electron emission fields;
  • Glow fields of high voltage pulse discharges.

Mathematical constructs are used for process description and modeling. They provide indications of main analytical dependences between the parameters of the excitation / probe fields and geometric and electro-physical characteristics of the test article. Describing the wave process of elastic waves in isotropic and anisotropic media; Maxwell and Laplace equations; Mathematics of spectral transformations in different orthogonal bases; Theory of wave diffraction processes; Methods of defection of identification and treatment of images using fuzzy logic and artificial neural networks;

Noise resistant method of the wavelet Noise resistant method of the wavelet.


Developed non-destructive testing methods & devices enable to optimize the technology, and quality of initial materials, components, and final product, including in-line control during battery production. Enerize owns 12 US patents, and 1 UK patent in the area of non-destructive testing.


Power Quality Improvement of Electric Vehicle DC Charging Stations Utilizing UPQC and SFCL- M.H. Amini,Arif Sarwat, A.H. Moghadasi, M. Jamei, Florida International University


Electric transportation is an inevitable element of the Smart Grid (SG). High penetration of Electric Vehicles (EVs) may disturb the power quality. In this paper, firstly a comprehensive model of EV parking lots based on the probabilistic behavior of the drivers will be obtained. Among different charging modes, DC charging station (DCCS) is selected for the simulation purposes. This fast and direct charge of electricity recharges the battery in a considerably short time interval, giving EV drivers exceptional freedom. DCCS connection to the power grid will be established by rectifier. Hence, it causes current harmonics and disturbances for the power quality. Unified Power Quality Conditioner (UPQC) is utilized to the integration of series and shunt active filters and analysis of the combination of UPQC and superconducting fault current limiter (SFCL) are presented to satisfy the power quality requirements of the DCCS. SFCL aids on reduction in Volt-Ampere rating of the UPQC with limiting the excessive current when fault occurs. The analyses and simulations will be carried out by PSCAD/EMTDC to demonstrate the considerable effect of the control by SFCL on rating reduction of the UPQC.


Buildings as batteries: inexpensive ancillary service to the grid from HVAC systems-Yashen Lin,Prabir Barooah, Sean Meyn, University of Florida


Automated demand response can be a valuable resource for ancillary services in the power grid. This talk/poster illustrates this value with the first experimental demonstration of frequency regulation from commercial building Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems. The experiments were conducted in a 40,000 sq. ft. commercial building located at the University of Florida campus. Detailed are the steps required to make this possible, including control architecture, system identification, and control design. Experiments demonstrate: 1. Satisfactory frequency regulation service can be provided by the HVAC system without noticeable effect on the indoor climate, and 2. The ancillary service provided by this system passes the qualification criteria for participating in PJM Interconnection’s frequency regulation market. The system is easy and inexpensive to deploy since it doesn’t involve any equipment change, it is merely a software add on to existing HVAC systems. The ancillary service provided by HVAC systems can span the time scale of from a few seconds to an hour or more, depending on the level of control available. The combined capacity of the commercial buildings in the U.S. with the necessary HVAC equipment in place is estimated to be around 6 GW.

Hydrogen Energy Storage for On-Board Fuel Cells, Concentrated Solar Power and Secondary Batteries- Sesha Srinivasan, Tuskegee University, D. Yogi Goswami, Elias K. Stefanakos, Dervis Emre Demirocak, University of South Florida, Sarada Kuravi, Florida Institute of Technology, Ryan Integlia, Jorge Vargas, Florida Polytech University


Hydrogen is not a primary source of alternative energy like solar and wind. But hydrogen can be derived via various processes such as solar PV, biomass, photo-electrochemical etc. Once produced, an atomic hydrogen behaves like a lean burning fuel in (IC) combustion engines or an active ingredient source for PEM type fuel cells. Usage of hydrogen for stationary and mobile applications not only mitigate the carbon footprints from our atmosphere but also enables energy efficient processes. The role of hydrides because of their temperature swing properties, are currently employed to replace thermochemical energy storage in a concentrated solar power plants. For an electrochemical batteries such as Ni-MH, an added strength of developing light weight hydride electrodes lead for improving the available energy density and the overall battery life as well. Based on the rationale discussed above, this presentation is focused to highlight the salient features of hydrogen based research for fostering project based learning for STEM education and applied research.

Development and characterization of novel metal chloride thermal storage media with enhanced heat transfer- Philip D. Myers, D. Yogi Goswami, Elias Stefanakos, University of South Florida


Molten inorganic salts hold a great deal of promise as high-temperature heat transfer fluids and thermal storage media in renewable energy applications, and they have found use in nuclear and solar thermal power. As phase-change materials (PCMs) for thermal storage, chloride salts are especially promising-high latent heat of fusion and resistance to supercooling allow for high energy storage density and consistent energy delivery at design temperature. They are, however, hampered by relatively low thermal conductivity (less than 1 W/m-K in the molten state).

This study describes the development and characterization of novel high-temperature storage media, based on inclusion of transition metal chlorides in the potassium-sodium chloride eutectoid, (K-Na)Cl (melting temperature of 657°C, latent heat of 305 J/g). At the melting temperature of (K-Na)Cl, infrared (IR) radiation can play a major role in the overall heat transfer process—90 percent of spectral blackbody radiation falls in the range of 2 to 13 µm. Inclusion of small amounts (0.5 wt %) of IR-active transition metal chlorides can greatly improve heat transfer rates.

Determining the degree of improvement requires measurement of the absorption coefficient in the spectral range of interest. Unfortunately, traditional spectroscopic methods are ill-suited for work with molten salts: direct transmittance measurements overestimate absorption if they do not capture backscattering, and window materials (e.g., quartz) are prone to corrosion by these molten salts. A new IR reflectance apparatus was constructed to allow for determination of the spectral absorption coefficient of the newly formulated PCMs in the molten state. The apparatus consisted of an alumina crucible coated at the bottom with a reflective platinum surface, a ceramic heating element housing the crucible, and appropriately chosen window materials for containment of the salt and allowance of inert purge gas flow. Using this apparatus, infrared spectra were obtained for various transition metal chloride additives in (K-Na)Cl, and improved infrared activity and radiative transfer properties were quantified.


Encapsulation of the Phase Change Materials and Its Application in Thermal Energy Storage System- Tanvir E Alam, Jaspreet Dhau, D. Y. Goswami , E. Stefanakos, University of South Florida


Thermal energy storage (TES) is a key solution to the long standing issue of the intermittency of the renewable energy resources. The sensible heat storage is being widely used for TES systems. However, the low energy storage density of the sensible storage materials makes these systems large and expensive. Since the phase change materials (PCMs) have larger specific storage capacity, it reduces the overall storage cost by ensuring a more compact, efficient and economical TES system. The large volumetric expansion of the PCM during phase transition coupled with its low thermal conductivity makes the implementation of these systems quite challenging. A number of methods have been proposed to address the low conductivity of the PCMs. One of the most promising ways is to increase the surface area to volume ratio of the PCM. This can be achieved by the encapsulation of the PCM. We have developed an innovative technique to encapsulate the PCMs that melt in the 120oC-400oC temperature range which include; sodium-, potassium- and lithium nitrate, and their eutectics. The encapsulation process is a two-step approach. In the first step, the PCM pellet is coated with a benign polymer layer, and in the second step a layer of metal is deposited by electroless and electroplating techniques. The tested capsules have survived more than 2000 thermal cycles which is equivalent to more than 6 years of working environment. The thermo-physical properties of the PCMs were investigated by DSC/DTA, IR and weight change analysis at various stages of thermal testing. No significant change in the thermo-physical properties was noticed. The fabricated capsules are being tested in a lab-scale packed bed in order to test the storage capacity, and charging-discharging time at different flow rate of the heat transfer fluids.



Monday, May 12- 3:10-4:10 pm



Track I: Solar Energy

Advances in Micro-inverter Technologies-Issa Batarseh, Ahmadreza Amirahmadi, Lin Chen, University of Central Florida


Distributed solar energy systems, which take granularity of large-scale solar farms down to tens kilowatts per unit or even further down to a single PV panel, will be a tendency for future solar PV deployment because of the remarkable merits such as: Easy modularization and scalability; Elimination of single point failure; Simple installation and maintenance, High efficiency and low cost. Micro-inverters, one of typical distributed PV systems, are small grid-tie inverters of 150-400W that convert the output of a single PV panel to AC. The micro-inverters AC outputs are connected in parallel and routed to a common AC coupling point. No series or parallel DC connections are made leaving all DC wiring at a relatively low voltage level of a single panel. Micro-inverters can be further integrated into PV modules to realize a true Plug-and-Play solar AC PV generation system. AC PV modules with integrated micro-inverters have significant advantages over traditional PV systems since they allow Maximum Peak Power Tracking (MPPT) on each solar panel to maximize energy harvesting, and offer distributed and redundant system architecture. Previous approaches for the PV micro-inverters are mainly in the form of single-phase grid connected and they aim at the residential and commercial rooftop applications. It would be advantageous to extend the micro-inverter concept to large size PV installations such as MW-class solar farms where three-phase AC connections are used. Unlike single-phase systems, where a bulky power decoupling capacitor is required to buffer the fluctuated injected power, balanced three-phase system draws constant power from the proposed three-phase micro-inverter, which will minimize the DC link capacitance and allow for the long lifetime capacitors to be used. A soft-switched two-stage architecture for the three-phase micro-inverter is implemented. It aims at standard PV panels with low output voltage and nearly 83% market share. More specifically, the proposed three-phase distributed AC micro-inverter architecture would offer the following advantages: No mismatch losses due to parallel connection of PV modules: Micro-inverters effectively connect all the panels in parallel eliminating any mismatch losses between panels; Ease of installation through flexible and modular solar farm design: Micro-inverters would greatly reduce installation costs associated with wiring, cabling, DC bus disconnections, and large size inverters since each micro-inverter would generate AC power that could be directly coupled to the grid; Possible cost reduction due to mass production: Due to the large potential volumes of micro-inverters, economies of scale could be realized resulting in potential cost reduction to meet cost targets; Improved reliability by effectively reducing the number of components per watt compared to that of equivalent single-phase AC modules; Reduced in dollars per watt since one inverter is now amortized over higher level of power; and finally eliminated the need of an expensive custom AC cable that is required to balance the number of single phase inverters per phase.

Photomechanics of Liquid Crystal Polymer Networks-William Oates, Florida State University


The ability to directly convert visible light into mechanical work provides many opportunities in the field of smart materials and adaptive structures ranging from biomedical applications to control of heliostat mirrors for solar harvesting. The complexities associated with coupling time-dependent Maxwell’s equations with linear momentum is discussed by introducing a set of optical mode order parameters that govern the coupling between electromagnetic radiation and mechanics of a photodeformable solid. Numerical examples are given illustrating how this methodology is applied to a special class of liquid crystal polymer networks containing azobenzene. The dynamics associated with light absorption and its effect on deformation of the polymer are solved in three dimensions using finite difference methods and compared to experimental results. Particular emphasis is placed on the effect of polarized light on microstructure evolution and stresses that occur during photoisomerization of the optically active microstructure.


Distributed & Mobile Solar Electricity Generation with Energy Storage Devices and Application to PrePaid (PPD) Technology for the Latin America marketplace-Albert Rodriguez, ATI Energia LLC ATI Companies Group


The ATI Energia approach to Solar Electricity Generation focuses on Distributed-Community-Mobile Generation and is developing a PPD application for the Latin American Marketplace.

The ATI Solar Lounge is a prototype of a demonstrable “Modular and Scalable” system that can operate On or Off Grid 24 hours a day supplying low cost alternate energy. This technology can be applied to power Off-Grid Communities in Latin America and the outlying villages with a Prepaid (PPD) Technology application. In Latin America as in all developing countries, Prepaid Wireless Services is the norm and was the leading driver of the expansion of telecommunications provisioning as it employed a pay as you go financial model. A similar market opportunity can be expected for PPD Solar Electricity that will bring reliable power to the entire continent and propel LATAM into a new era of growth and improvement of quality of life.


Wireless Communications in Latin America was a Transformational Technology. In the year 2000, 5 years after BellSouth initiated operations in Latin America, Wireless Activations surpassed Wire-line connections (Figure 1). This was possible thanks to Technology that was NOT dependent on the existing infrastructure. The same can and will occur with Electricity Generation: Leapfrogging Infrastructure Development from a Fixed-line Centralized Electric Power generation to a Distributed Power Generation. ATI Energia is continuing to develop this concept using an initial applications of this model for Back-up Power and Cost Reduction in various locations. ATI Energia OFF Grid System Technical Description. The demo model for this system is available in the ATI Solar Trailer. The actual trailer was manufactured by GT Express Enterprises and is 16 feet long. It has been converted to a Solar System Demonstration trailer by ATI-Energia. The trailer is a self-contained “apartment” or office complete with air conditioning, seating, work area(s) and communications as well as WiFi and cable access.

It has a 1750 watt solar system that can stand on its own or tied to the grid. This PV array is subdivided into 2 components. The first sub-array is a 6 panel system rated at 1050 watts at ~70 volts, mounted on the roof of the display trailer with a UniRac hybrid track. The second sub-array is a 4 module system rated at 700 watts at ~70 volts on a portable UniRac hybrid rack that travels inside the trailer. A complete Technical Description will be part of the presentation at Go Solar Fest.
The ATI Off and On-Grid PV System was designed with the developing countries as a model but is can also be used as a project and construction site trailer. It is a modular system that can be adapted to any size requirement (with a minimum of 1.5 KW). The concept was developed after meetings with the FIS (Fondo de Inversion Social) in Panama and defining the basic needs of Darien, a community in Panama. This system is designed to also plug into the grid to charge the battery array, run the devices in the trailer, or feed power back into the grid. All of these devices are connected through the Switchgear Module, which handles the current flow with breakers and hard connections within the unit.

Overall, this is an excellent example of the power of the sun and of man to harness and use its power. This application can be scaled up or down in size and it can be used on construction sites, rural areas and remote underdeveloped regions of the world or anywhere where there is a need for conventional operations with no conventional infrastructure.


Nanostructured Transparent Polymer for Encapsulation of PV Modules and Optical Devices. Breakthrough in Design and Properties of Solar Cells – Elena Shembel, Enerize Corporation


Enerize Corporation presents nano structured transparent polymer technology for encapsulation of different type of photovoltaic modules, including silicon based, flexible non silicon based (for example CIGS), organic and DSSC modules, organic light-emitting diodes (OLED), and other applications for optical devices.


Enerize novel technology includes patent pending nano structured transparent polymer, which is flexible, durable, has high level of adhesion for various materials, provides high level of hermetic sealing (waterproof) and UV protection, and contains nanostructured clusters with sizes from 20 to 100 nanometers, and micro-domains from 15 to 120 microns. Such composition of nanostructured clusters and micro-domains, located in a certain order in the volume of the polymer, results in micro lensing which increases the concentration of light reaching the semiconductor layer. As a result, the performance of PV modules encapsulated with one layer of Enerize nano structured transparent polymer improves as compared with PV modules laminated with glass or encapsulated with multilayer structure of other polymers.


Enerize single film nano structured transparent polymer materials are coated directly on the surface of solar cells or modules, and do not need any additional lamination with glass or polymer layers to deliver durable encapsulation.


Combination of the high efficiency PV modules for energy generation, and high energy Li-ion battery for energy storage is one of the key factor of the successfully using the solar energy.


We will present results of the investigation the structure and evaluation the properties of the nanopolymer and PV modules encapsulated with nanopolymer. We will present also the properties of high energy solid state Li-ion battery for energy storage.


The key component of the PV module is a single layer nano-structured optical polymer enabling solar modules of all types to be cheaper, lighter and deliver higher efficiency via encapsulation vs. glass or multilayer polymer coating. The key components of solid state Li-ion battery: leading-edge cathode, anode based on the composition of graphite and silicon, and solid high ionic conductive electrolyte.


Effective Doping of CdTe towards High Efficiency Thin Film Solar Cell- M. I. Khan, S. Collins and C. Ferekides, University of South Florida


Over the past two decades Cadmium Telluride (CdTe) based thin film photovoltaic technology has proven itself as a promising contender in the ever-growing renewable energy industry. Laboratory efficiencies of CdTe solar cells have reached the 20% mark, yet a lot more is to be achieved considering its much higher theoretical efficiency limit. At the current developmental stage, the bottleneck towards higher efficiency is the doping concentration which directly influences the attainable open-circuit voltage (VOC). However, conventional approach of increased doping is associated with poor carrier lifetime which negatively affects the current output of the solar cell. This study investigates a path towards attaining good VOC while simultaneously maintaining a decent carrier lifetime. CdTe is a group II-VI defect semiconductor with bipolar intrinsic doping capability. Excess Cd yields n-type conductivity in CdTe while excess Te produces p-type. A system has been developed with the capability of controlling the stoichiometry (hence the intrinsic doping) of CdTe films by varying the gas phase ratio of Cadmium (Cd) and Tellurium (Te), known as the Elemental Vapor Transport (EVT) process. EVT mechanism allows in situ control over the concentration of the native defects in a compound material deposition. For CdTe in photovoltaic device applications, this means enhanced intrinsic doping and opportunity for incorporation of extrinsic dopants by creating suitable vacancies. The study of the electronic properties of the deposited films and fabricated solar cells suggested variation of the native intrinsic defects as a function of gas phase Cd to Te ratio. This would allow creating the favorable conditions that need to be met to effectively introduce external dopants towards a higher efficiency solar cell.


Cooling Channel Analysis to Enhance the Efficiency of Photovoltaic Panels- Obiechina Abakporo, Dr. Juan Ordonez, Dr. Alejandro Rivera, Florida A&M University


The efficiency and lifespan of sustainable energy technologies can significantly decrease due to the overheating of cells in the device. Theoretically, it is known that temperature influences power
degradation by approximately 0.5% per degree Celsius in photovoltaic systems. The primary objective of this project is to develop improvements to current solar panel prototypes currently being used by reducing the operating temperature of the device. To accomplish this goal, heat sinks designed with cooling channels for photovoltaic panels were simulated under various circumstances using COMSOL Multiphysics to thoroughly analyze the methods that will maintain and/or achieve the optimum power output. The emphasis of this project is the heat transfer analysis of the cooling methods that is examined through simulation. The focus is placed on forced convection cooling by way of a propeller fan, but natural convection will also be considered and accounted for in the future. Optimized power production by the PV is calculated as a function of fin spacing, and air flow velocity of the attached heat sink and fan, respectively. The primary fluid used for cooling is air due to both natural availability and abundance. Heat transfer analysis is essential to the successful development and implementation of sustainable energy technologies on a global scale. The results acquired from the data of this project illustrate that photovoltaic panel energy conversion efficiency can be increased by about 11% with an effective cooling system applied. In principle, Fuel cells and potentially other alternative energy technologies can be cooled in the same manner, reinforcing the versatility, longevity, and dependability of these applications.


Integration of Transparent Insulation Materials into Solar Collection Devices-Sam Yang, Alejandro Rivera, Juan Ordonez, FSU Center for Advanced Power Systems


Rapid growth in solar thermal energy research (i.e. flat-plate, parabolic trough, solar tower, etc.) has sparked the demand for a heat transfer fluid (HTF) achieving high stagnation temperatures. In parallel to such demand, material and geometric optimizations for these collectors have become forefront research topics. In terms of material optimization, advanced glazing materials from products like plastics, polymer sheets, capillaries and cellular profiles have been broadly investigated to be used as effective thermal insulations. These glazing materials, also referred as transparent insulation materials (TIM), are solar transparent while providing good thermal insulation, and their fundamental physical principle lies in the wavelength difference between the absorbed solar radiation and the emitted infrared (IR) radiation. A review of related studies of different geometries and material configurations of TIM shows that a general mathematical model describing the thermal performance of a solar collector with any material and geometric configuration of TIM is lacking, however. Additionally, no research and development in integrating TIM into a parabolic trough receiver (PTR) has been performed yet. Hence in this research, a general model for a flat-plate (FPC) and for a parabolic trough solar collectors (PTC) equipped with TIM are derived, comparative studies of each system is performed, and their overall performance and potential to improve the collector efficiency are evaluated. Simulation results show that TIM integrated collectors achieve higher thermal efficiencies compared to conventional ones, with larger thermal resistance between the absorber and the outer cover using commercialized materials like glasses.



Air-Processed Polymer-Fullerene Bulk Heterojunction Solar Cells With Higher Than 6% Efficiency- Iordania Constantinou, John R. Reynolds, Franky So, University of Florida


Organic photovoltaic (OPV) cells have been a topic of research focus in recent years as they are a low cost renewable energy source due to their compatibility with large scale, flexible and high throughput roll-to-roll production. Even though power conversion efficiencies over 10% have been reached for polymeric solar cells, most reported high efficiency results are based on solar cells processed in a nitrogen atmosphere in order to avoid oxygen and moisture – the main causes for degradation. For this technology to be commercialized, polymers that can withstand oxygen and moisture without significant degradation during processing are desirable.
In this report, polydithienogermole-thienopyrrolodione (PDTG-TPD) was used to demonstrate good air processability while maintaining high efficiency. A bulk heterojunction device was made with P(DTG-TPD) as the donor and PC70BM as the acceptor. Comparing devices made in air and in nitrogen atmosphere, only a 7% decrease in device performance was observed for the devices with the bulk heterjunction film processed in air. Power conversion efficiencies over 6% were achieved with an open circuit voltage of 0.83 V and a short circuit current of 12.6 mA/cm2, which to our knowledge is the highest efficiency reported for OPV cells with an active layer processed in air.

Development of Novel Water Splitting Materials for the Production of Renewable Hydrogen-Samantha Roberts, Helena E. Hagelin-Weaver, University of Florida


Thermochemical water splitting offers a unique alternative to the demand for alternative hydrogen energy to replace fossil fuels. This process produces hydrogen from water using renewable solar energy. Direct water splitting occurs unfavorably at extremely high temperatures (2300 °C) and requires product gas separation. Utilizing the iron oxide two-step reaction cycle allows for water splitting to be safely separated into two reactions (water splitting and thermal reduction) and lowers the operating temperature significantly (1500 °C). In this project, water is passed over a reduced iron oxide material to generate hydrogen while the oxygen is taken up by the oxygen-deficient iron oxide. In the second reaction, the resulting iron oxide is heated to release oxygen and regenerate the reduced reactive material to close the cycle.

Under high temperature operating conditions, reactive materials can undergo detrimental sintering effects that can limit diffusion transport and severely reduce the surface area available for reaction. Our novel reactive material development approach makes use of high temperature ceramic oxide powder supports, such as nanoparticle zirconia and yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ), which can be implemented to increase thermal shock resistance. This research investigates the hydrogen production activity and stability of iron oxides on these types of oxide supports and how these reactive materials improve oxygen mobility, lower operating temperatures, and improve the water splitting reaction. These studies are intended to develop reactive materials with increased activity and limited sintering effects for multiple reaction cycles.

Kinetic and Material Analysis for Solar Fuel Production-Michael Bobek, Nathan Rhodes, David Hahn, University of Florida


A solar fuels generation research program is focused on solar fuels production by means of reactive metal CO2 splitting in a cyclic metal oxide redox process. Ceria oxides are explored as an intermediary reactive material to dissociate CO2 molecules. In order to exploit the unique characteristics of highly reactive materials and ultimately achieve the potential efficiency gains at the solar reactor scale, laboratory scale TGA has been used to explore the redox cycle at temperatures ranging from 1373-1723 K for up to 2000 cycles. The extent and stability of reactive potential over these cycles are qualified with resultant TG data. Using high resolution SEM and electron dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS), the oxide morphology and the oxide state are quantified; including spatial distributions and the stability of the porous structure is examined over the many cycles.

Energy Glass – The Next Generation in Solar Energy Production with Enhanced Building Physical Security-Theron Colbert, TiRC Energy Engineering, International Professional LLC


Next to the economy – energy is the biggest concern to most citizens – safe, reliable service at a reasonable price which conserves natural resources and protects the environment. National leaders are looking for innovative ways to reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint, while developing more efficient methods of power generation. This is especially a vital realization, considering that electricity demand will increase considerably over next several years (and for decades to come), while growth in power generation capacity is precarious at best, and the certainty that fuel and electrical generation costs are also set to increase substantially.
Energy Glass is the world’s only patented optically clear building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) window system that produces continuous energy from sunlight, diffused or ambient light and ground reflectance. Power intensive buildings now have the ability to be transformed into solar energy farms. Unlike conventional photovoltaic or thin-film applications which generate energy for only 4-6 hours per day at peak efficiency, Energy Glassâ„¢ produces 1-2 watts per square-foot per hour 10-12 hours/day and 3-4 watts at peak. Energy Glass also does not degrade from infrared solar radiation like typical PV cells. Energy Glass consists of a sheet of polycarbonate laminate infused with nano-particles, sandwiched between two pieces of glass. The nano-particles direct light into the window frame, where solar cells at the perimeter convert the light into electricity.
Energy Glass is an extremely practical and common-sense solution to the challenges growing countries faces in desiring to increase renewable energy production, yet at the same time, it resolves the dilemma of the lack of space for roof-top solar PV panels in the highly populated modern cities, by taking advantage of the obvious abundant tall vertical office building space.
Buildings quite obviously already need to have structural glass installed, so the added benefit of solar energy production is makes Energy Glass such a far superior product, that it actually would not make any sense to install anything else, given its inherent energy producing properties.
Energy Glass answers the requirement for both enhanced physical security and energy cost savings, as it is also available in high-grade bullet resistant, blast resistant, physical attack resistant (prison glass), natural disaster resistant (earthquake, tornado, hurricane) and fire resistant glass designs.
In U.S. states and territories with a “net-energy” electric bill metering system, businesses and citizens receive a credit applied towards their utility company’s account for surplus energy generated by the facility’s renewable power system. Energy Glassâ„¢ can also supply power to renewable battery energy storage systems, which can augment building power with stored renewable energy during high energy usage operational times when kWh energy charges peak.
For a fraction of the economic and environmental price of constructing a power plant, renewable energy technologies such as Energy Glass can substantially aid industrialized nations in controlling energy costs – minus the pollution, environmental damage, natural resources depletion, and recurring operating, labor and fuel costs. When additionally factoring in its inherent energy cost savings properties, the decision to install Energy Glass windows is as clear as glass.

A Mathematical Model for Performance Prediction of a Hybrid PV/T Module for Hot and Humid Climates – Cheng-Xian Lin, Francisco Emilio Zevallos, Florida International University


In this study, the performance of an integrated solar photovoltaic and thermal (PV/T) liquid (water) collector for hot and humid climates is investigated. A detailed thermal model is formulated to calculate and correlate the thermal parameters a standard PV/T collector, including solar cell temperature, back surface temperature, outlet water temperature, as well as the electrical parameters including open-circuit voltage, short circuit current, maximum power point voltage, and maximum power point current. An analytical expression for the overall energy efficiency of the PV/T collector is derived in terms of thermal, electrical, design and climatic parameters. A computer simulation program is developed to calculate both the thermal and electrical performance of the PV/T collector. The results of the computational simulation are found in good agreement with the experimental results reported in the literature. Furthermore, the authors made corrections to previous thermal and electrical models, which allowed us to observe that the thermal simulation results are more precise than those previously reported in the published papers. Based on the energy balance of each component of the system, an analytical expression for the temperature of the PV module and the water have also been derived.

Solar Water Heating as a Green House Gas Reduction and Energy Conservation Strategy-Thomas Lane, Colleen Kettles, ECS Solar and Florida Solar Energy Center/UCF


Historically solar energy was the only method in Florida to heat water for homes in the early 1900s. There was over 70,000 solar water heaters in Florida by 1950. Cheap electric safe water heaters promoted by utility companies eliminated solar water heating from the Florida market from the early 1950s to the mid ’70s. There was a resurgence from 1978 to 1985 as a result of the 40% federal tax credit, utility rebates and the rapid rise in utility rates in Florida. In 1986 the Federal IRS 40% tax credit ended and electric utility rates remained stable until 2006. There was virtually no market until 2006 when there was a new 30% federal tax credit, new state and utility rebates and rapid electric utility increases that created a resurgences in solar water heating.

One SHW systems creates the equivalent of 2800 kwh per year or it can be viewed as an energy generation device or energy conservation device. Each solar water heater installed offsets 4046 pounds of carbon dioxide, 12 pounds of carbon dioxide, and 7 pounds of nitrogen oxide besides eliminating mercury in Florida’s habitat. Solar water heaters have a design life of over 20 years. Florida residents installed 136,000 SHW systems from 1978 to 2006 creating a $500 million dollar industry eliminating 100 tons of Greenhouse gases. Solar water heating in utility DSM/ RPS programs (demanded side management and renewable portfolio standards) could result in a significant increase in installations. If 263,000 SHW were installed over the next twelve years it would result in 4 billion KHW saved and 400 million saved in utility bills. The results would include 400,000 kwh demand reduction, with 3 million tons of greenhouse gas reductions. This would create 5,000 jobs and a 1billion dollar industry. Solar water heating is new residential construction with 150,000 home states assuming 1,440,000 systems would be installed. (This does not include the retrofit market with a 4.4 single family housing inventory.) New residential construction would result in 26 thousand kwh saved, $3 billion utility savings, 2.2 6w demand reduction, 19 million tons GHG reduction, creating 30,000 jobs a year, and a 6 million dollar industry.

– Encourage solar in new construction
– Create a dedicated fund to provide financial incentives


– Eliminate the RNA test for utility SHW systems
– Establish goals with ad RPS program
– Require SHW on state buildings and public educational facilities.
– Require SHW in state funded or administered affordable housing, programs.
– Provide dedicated budget for solar demonstrated programs
– Increase the commercial sector funding for solar water heating



There is great potential for solar water heating in the state of Florida. This could be a boon to employment in the solar industry both in manufacturing and contracting. Besides helping Florida homeowners’ utility bills, it is urgent that we do everything possible to lower greenhouse gasses.



Track II: Energy Efficiency


Thermal Simulation of FSU’s Off-Grid Zero Emissions Building – Juan Ordonez, Florida State University


The poster presents a volume element model based simulation of the thermal response of the off-grid zero emissions building at the Florida State University Energy and Sustainability Center. The model results are in good agreement with preliminary experiments. The poster describes the OGZEB and its energy systems, presents the model and the experimental results used for initial model verification.

Low cost building energy efficiency solution based on real-time occupancy based control-Prabir Barooah, University of Florida


A large fraction of energy used in buildings is due to HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) systems. In this research we have developed a mostly software-based retrofit solution for reducing energy used by commercial building HVAC systems. The system employs a low cost wireless sensor network to detect which rooms/zones of the building are occupied, and control algorithms use that information to dynamically decide appropriate set points (flow rate, cooling/heating applied to the zones) that can ensure thermal comfort and indoor air quality while reducing energy use to near minimum. A software middleware is developed for commanding equipment to follow the computed commands. The entire system has been tested in a LEED silver certified building in the University of Florida campus that demonstrated that the first version of the system has the potential for easily saving 35% energy use. Extensive simulation studies have been carried out on with the second version of the technology that shows the potential for 50-70% savings over a well-tuned baseline (depending on weather). Since the only cost of the technology is the cost of the wireless sensors, the first cost of deployment is small. The payback period is estimated to be less than a year.


Moisture and Energy Consequences of a Tight Residential Envelope- Robin Vieira, Danny Parker, Philip Fairey III, John Sherwin, Chuck Withers, David Hoak, Florida Solar Energy Center/UCF


As part of a long-term experiment exploring retrofit measures, the savings from reducing air infiltration, with and without the addition of mechanical ventilation, are being studied. In 2011 – 2012, two identical laboratory homes designed to model existing Florida building stock were sealed and tested to 2.2 ACH50. Then, one was made leaky with 70% leakage through the attic and 30% through the windows, to a tested value of 8 ACH50. Reduced energy use was measured in the tighter home (2.2 ACH50) in the range of 15.8% – 18.6% relative to the leaky (8 ACH50) home.

Internal moisture loads resulted in higher dew points inside the tight home than in the leaky home. Window condensation and mold growth occurred inside the tight home. Even cutting internal moisture gains in half to 6.05 lb/day, the dew point of the tight home was more than 15°F higher than the outside dry bulb temperature. The homes have single-pane glass representative of older central Florida homes. There are factors that may limit the representation of the moisture results:

  • The laboratory homes have very little moisture capacitance, as they contain no interior walls, no furnishings, and no carpeting (slab is exposed).
  • The homes were only one year old when the testing took place. There is likely still some drying out of the slab and concrete block walls typical of new homes, not existing homes.

A second winter of testing was conducted in 2012-2013 with the tight home alternating between two-week periods with mechanical ventilation (63 CFM supply air continuously) and not having ventilation. The leaky east building remained the same with no ventilation. Both buildings used a schedule of 11 lb/day of internal moisture generation. Winter condensation was observed again when the supply ventilation fan was off. Inside window temperatures (measured for the second winter collection period) were lower than the inside dew point on cold winter nights. However, condensation was not observed when the ventilation fan was on, or in the leaky home. Heating energy use in the tight but ventilated home was 15% higher than in the leaky home with natural air infiltration only.

Cooling energy increased by 20-38% or about 4 kilowatt hours (kWh) per day in the mechanically ventilated unit in summer. Part of this increase resulted from the mechanical ventilation system fan itself, which added 1.8 kWh per day of energy use to the cooling system energy use. The mechanical ventilation system also contributed measurable increases to the building moisture levels.

Acknowledgement: Funding for the lab buildings was provided from the Florida Energy Systems Consortium and funding for the experiments was provided by the Department of Energy’s Building America program which archives the full September 2013 report, “Flexible Residential Test Facility: Impact of Infiltration and Ventilation on Measured Heating Season Energy Loads.”


An overview of Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC) Activities in Hot Humid Climates-Eric Martin, Florida Solar Energy Center/UCF


The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building America program has been a source of innovations in residential building energy performance, durability, quality, affordability, and comfort for more than 15 years. This world-class research program partners with industry to bring cutting-edge innovations and resources to market. The Building America Partnership for Improved Residential Construction (BA-PIRC), led by the Florida Solar Energy Center, focuses on developing and implementing innovations for both new and existing housing in the hot humid climate. This poster introduces the viewer to research conducted in the areas of low-load HVAC; high performance water heating systems; scalable, deep energy retrofits; and technical and business solutions for zero net-energy ready new construction.

My Florida Home Energy Interactive Web tool- Lesly A. Jerome, Harold S. Knowles, III, Nicholas W. Taylor, University of Florida


The My Florida Home Energy tool is designed specifically for Florida homeowners. With some basic information about your home, this tool can analyze your present energy situation and identify potential energy efficient products and services that may reduce your energy usage and therefore utility bills. You can also find helpful support from an extensive home energy education library and read advice on how to select a good contractor, when to apply for financing, and where to search for incentives. The site was created through collaboration with the Program for Resource Efficient Communities (PREC) and the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Office of Energy (FDACS OOE) in order to address the requirement specified by the legislature in Section 377.703(2)(k) F.S. and HB 7117.

Florida Energy Efficiency Loan (FEEL): A New Residential Lifestyle Literacy and Leveraged Lending Program-Craig Miller, Hal Knowles, University of Florida – Program for Resource Efficient Communities


Objectives: To date, residential energy efficiency financing programs sell themselves as cash flow neutral pathways toward improved home comfort to borrower households. In reality, these programs are more often cash flow negative and, when poorly designed, can serve as an additional burden on families. This session describes the Florida Energy Efficiency Loan (FEEL), an innovative and alternative residential energy efficiency financing program recently launched in seven Central Florida counties. The program is jointly administered and enabled through a 10-year contract between the UF/IFAS Program for Resource Efficient Communities and FAIRWINDS Credit Union.

Methods: Initial financial support for FEEL program development was provided by US DOE ARRA grant funds directed through the Osceola County government to UF and its collaborators. Ongoing financial support for FEEL program administration comes through revenues associated with the loan structure and Participating Independent Contractor membership and project fees. The FEEL program is currently in beta testing with a full public alpha release in the late winter/early spring of 2014. It leverages and tailors existing UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service programs to improve household financial and utility service literacy; to improve access to credit for underserved households; to increase probability of timely loan repayment; to reduce risk of loan default; and to increase the depth and persistence of home energy efficiency.

Results: Beyond the FEEL program design, UF/IFAS plans to undertake the long-term administration, refinement, and expansion of the FEEL program into other cities, counties, and utility service territories statewide. Both qualitative and quantitative approaches will be used in the monitoring, measurement, and verification of the FEEL program from individual household utility bill savings and lifestyle behavior changes…to home improvement contractor performance and overall achievement of program goals.

Conclusions: The FEEL program provides a living laboratory and an evolving case study of the public/private sector partnerships possible in the effort to improve consumer lifestyles through awareness-based, action-focused outreach on household budgeting of energy, water, and finances.


Targeting utility customers to improve energy savings from conservation and efficiency Programs – Nicholas W. Taylor, Pierce H. Jones, M. Jennison Kipp, University of Florida


Electric utilities, government agencies, and private interests in the US have committed and continue to invest substantial resources ” including billions of dollars of financial capital ” in the pursuit of energy efficiency and conservation through demand-side management (DSM) programs. While most of these programs are deemed to be cost effective, and therefore in the public interest, opportunities exist to improve cost effectiveness by targeting programs to those customers with the greatest potential for energy savings. This article details an analysis of three DSM programs offered by three Florida municipal electric utilities to explore such opportunities. First, we estimate programs’ energy savings impacts; second, we measure and compare energy savings across subgroups of program participants as determined by their pre-intervention energy performance, and third, we explore potential changes in program impacts that might be realized by targeting specific customers for participation in the DSM programs. All three programs resulted in statistically significant average (per-participant) energy savings, yet average savings varied widely, with the customers who performed best (i.e., most efficient) before the intervention saving the least energy and those who performed worst (i.e., least efficient) before the intervention saving the most. Assessment of alternative program participation scenarios with varying levels of customer targeting suggests that program impacts could be increased by as much as 80% for a professional energy audit program, just over 100% for a high-efficiency heat pump upgrade program, and nearly 250% for an attic insulation upgrade program. Findings are directly relevant for utility program administrators seeking to improve program outcomes.


Exploring the Market for Multifamily Energy-Efficiency Retrofits in Florida- M. Jennison Searcy, Pierce H. Jones, Nicholas W. Taylor, University of Florida


In the U.S., and particularly in Florida, multifamily housing represents a significant untapped opportunity for advancing energy efficiency and conservation and reducing associated adverse environmental impacts. Attempts to capture this potential are complicated, however, by inherent market uncertainties, financing constraints, and “split incentives” whereby property owners incur the costs of multifamily retrofits yet tenants receive the direct benefits, primarily via reduced utility bills. Overcoming these challenges to grow the Florida market for multifamily energy retrofits demands on-the-ground projects coupled with applied research and performance evaluations that document project details and generate reliable and practical information about retrofit costs, benefits, and overall effectiveness. UF’s Program for Resource Efficient Communities (PREC) is playing a key role in several such projects to fill information gaps related to the market for energy efficiency in Florida’s multifamily housing. The objective of this poster and presentation is to introduce three of these PREC projects, highlighting their goals, partners, synergies and applied value.

For each project, the methods used to assess impacts require access to large sets of complete and reliable data: from utility partners, property appraisers, and others. Since 2006, PREC has been building relationships with utility staff (e.g., from Gainesville Regional Utilities, Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) and JEA) to collect and analyze energy consumption data for a wide range of applied purposes. These partnerships and datasets are foundational elements of the multifamily retrofit projects described here, grounding the analysis and performance evaluations with actual, rather than modeled, data.

The first project involved energy retrofits of five apartment complexes (over 230 units) in Orlando. PREC partnered with OUC and secured ARRA funding through the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (FDACS) Office of Energy to coordinate project design and implementation, offset property owners’ capital investments (via utility rebates), and perform post-retrofit evaluation of impacts. PREC estimates that the upgrades led to an average first-year energy savings of 23% (2,260 kWh) per treatment unit. Findings are valuable for use in the development of rebates and incentive structures for OUC’s future multifamily retrofit programs.

The second project is a research study in partnership with UF’s Shimberg Center for Housing Studies and funded through an award from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. This project builds on the OUC project to include in-depth interviews with property owners about retrofit costs and benefits, comparative assessments of the energy consumption of multifamily households, and estimates of tenant stability as a function of energy cost burdens. Results will be directly relevant to a wide range of energy and housing policy stakeholders, such as state financing agencies and affordable housing authorities.

The third PREC project, also in partnership with UF’s Shimberg Center, involves performance evaluation of a Multifamily Energy Retrofit Project. This effort is funded by the FDACS Office of Energy through the Florida Housing Finance Corporation (FHFC). PREC will play a key role in the selection of participating properties/owners and evaluation of retrofit effectiveness.


Side by Side Evaluation of Residential Hot Water Heating Systems in Florida-Carlos Colon, Florida Solar Energy Center/UCF


The Hot Water Systems (HWS) laboratory at the Florida Solar Energy Center (FSEC) in Cocoa, FL is now in its fourth year in operation. It has evaluated over eighteen residential hot water systems since it began operating in 2009. The laboratory undertakes testing of seven side-by-side water heating systems simultaneously delivering hot water at 120 ⁰F. Two systems of minimum code efficiency serve as electric and natural gas baseline during each year-long testing rotation. To date, standard storage water heaters, electric heat pumps, solar electric and tankless natural gas systems have been evaluated as single units and in tandem hybrid operation. Ultra-high efficiency hybrids such as heat pump with passive solar thermal have demonstrated a 77% electric reduction over the electric baseline providing hot water at an average of 1.75 kWh/day. In the natural gas category a hybrid solar thermal with tankless condensing heater demonstrated a 75% energy reduction providing hot water at an average consumption of 8.5 cubic feet of natural gas per day.
Two alternating and distinctive hot water draw schedules – ASHRAE 90.2 and NREL/Building America load profiles are used every month as loads. The first draw profile imposes the average residential hot water load (64.3 gal./day) while the latter changes dynamically per month providing a better representation of a typical residential seasonal hot water load. Because of varying seasonal water temperature conditions, data analysis leads to determination of efficiency penalties which are shown to vary from the stated equipment energy factor (EF) rating. Currently, the minimum efficiency standards for residential water heaters are being revised and implementation is scheduled to begin in 2015. In June 2013, the HWS laboratory upgraded the storage type natural gas water heater used as baseline to meet the 2015 minimum standards (i.e., EF=0.62, 40 gallon). Preliminary results indicate that a modest efficiency increase from thicker tank insulation leads to a 9% savings in natural gas reduction. Researchers have also experimented with intellectual property concepts related to water heating energy efficiency leading to one insulation apparatus patent applicable to hot water storage tanks. The HWS laboratory is funded by the Department of Energy (DOE) under the Building America Program in consultation with and administered by the National Energy Renewable Laboratory (NREL). The project also received funding from the Florida Natural Gas Association (FNGA).

A Program for Energy Efficient and Environmentally Sustainable Laboratories – Philip J. Wirdzek, International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL)


The International Institute for Sustainable Laboratories (I2SL) is devoted to the principles of sustainable laboratories and related high technology facilities, from design to engineering to operation. Through world-wide partnerships that provide an exchange of technical expertise, I2SL will encourage the development of high-technology facilities that address the rapid pace of science, medicine, research and development in an ever-changing and dynamic environment. I2SL’s mission addresses three key elements: promotion, implementation and education. Promotion – to raise awareness within the specialized and niche building sector for creating resource-effective and environmentally responsible facilities of science, science education, testing, medicine, research and development. Implementation – to encourage the creation of technologically advanced, energy-efficient, and environmentally responsive laboratories throughout the world through collaboration. Education – to facilitate the application of a sustainable “whole-building” approach in designing, engineering, constructing, operating and using laboratories and other advanced facilities.

The challenge for architects, engineers, and other building professionals is to design and construct the next generation of laboratories with energy efficiency, renewable energy sources, and sustainable construction practices in mind, and to do so while maintaining -and even advancing – high contemporary standards of comfort, health, adaptability, security and safety. By expanding upon a former US DOE and EPA program called Laboratories for the 21st Century (Labs21), I2SL maintains that the laboratory and related high technology facilities demand concentrated attention. What the cathedral was to the 14th century, the train station was to the 19th century, and the office building was to the 20th century, labs and related high technology facilities are to the 21st century. In short, it is the building type that embodies, in both program and technology, the spirit and culture of our age and attracts some of the greatest intellectual and economic resources of our society.

With their extensive requirements for health and environmental management, security, flexibility, adaptability and resource consumption, the design, construction, operation and use of these facilities will continue to present significant challenges to the building sector. Unlike other more conventional building types, these facilities are sophisticated machines with parts and functions that must interrelate at the highest level of life-cycle performance, a fact that cannot be ignored or deferred. If whole-building design and sustainability are truly goals for the built environment, these facilities provide the greatest opportunities and justification for such outcomes which therefore demands a high level of attention.

Permanent Magnet for Energy Efficiency Systems- Ke Han, FSU Mag Lab


In Florida, it is almost impossible for a building to operate without a center air system. In hot weather seasons, the system uses air-conditioning to cool the building and in cold seasons, it warms the building. Such system or similar is usually referred to as heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC). HVAC systems in Florida create significant electricity demand, particularly in summer. HVAC with both magnetic bearings and a variable speed permanent magnet motor creates a sustainable energy efficient system that is compact, lightweight and quiet. The system needs very strong permanent magnets. In fact, strong permanent magnets play an important role not only in enhancement of the efficiency of HVAC, but also in development of many new technologies that can help us to use energy efficiently. These magnets underlie the operation of alternators and generators. Permanent magnets provide essential components for improvement of the energy efficiency in many products including computers, mobile phones, electric cars and wind turbines [1]. It is clear that we rely heavily on strong permanent magnets and they will be an integral part to the advancement of technology. Currently the strongest Nd2Fe14¬B type or SmCo5 type permanent magnet contains rare earth metals, such as Nd, Dy and Sm because of the high energy product and coercivity. However, the constraints of rare earth suppliers, the environmental impact of the refining process, and price volatility call for research on using of rare earth metals more efficiently in development of permanent magnet. We will present our work on rare earth containing permanent magnets and how we can use rare earth metal efficiently in such magnets by application of high field magnet annealing.

We also pursue research on non-rare earth containing bulk permanent magnet materials that have potential to achieve similar magnetic strength and energy product as its rare earth counterpart. Materials with a magnetic anisotropy have been given much attention as a possible alternative to rare earth permanent magnets. I will present some of our work on permanent magnet model composites made of FePt and FePd. The systems have magnetic anisotropy and high coercivity and application of high magnetic field during the fabrication can enhance the magnetic properties.
In addition to Fe based permanent magnet materials, we also studied Mn based permanent magnets. In this system, we can make the magnet materials with neither rare earth nor noble metals. A simplest model magnet material is Mn-Ga alloy. This system has many intermetallic compounds that show high coercivity, therefore can be used as permanent magnets. In my presentation, I will report that we were able to prepare bulk Mn-Ga permanent magnet alloys using new approaches. The new Mn-Ga materials have coercivity 30% higher than previous achievable values in bulk Mn-Ga.


Energy Efficiency and NRCE: A Needed, Country, State and Industrial Policy/Program-Cristian Cardenas-Lailhacar, Universidad de Investigacion de Tecnologi­a Experimental YACHAY, Urcuqua­, Ecuador


The world dependence on energy, particularly on fossil fuels, is an addiction that is having a
tremendous impact all over the globe. How much is being used, how much is left, and the
consequences of its use are every day questions. A healthy economy certainly relies not only on
the abundance of energy resources, but on their kind, quality, and on how efficiently they are
used. It is clear then that the path to follow should be energy efficiency and the use of
nonconventional renewable energy (NCRE) sources. Solar Energy is one these.
In this paper we show a new mathematical interpolation technique which, by using historical and
current solar radiation (SR) data, for a given period and region, provides a pretty accurate SR
forecast for the next period considered. The algorithm is based on a mathematical expansion
around a minimum of SR in the catchment region of the cycle considered. Future solar radiation
profile values depend on some variables and past radiation. The purpose of this research is to
have an insight into the amount of SR available in a given region, area, surface, etc., and new
expressions and variables for the SR. Among them are the associated force constants, the
maximum SR, when it will occur, etc. The algorithm provides new expressions for current SR
techniques. Preliminary results of the interpolation technique are shown, with encouraging

Energy Efficient Transportation – John Nuszkowski, University of North Florida


Energy is a vital part of society. We use energy in industry, transportation, and our modern way
of life. Continual innovation is required to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency to
displace foreign oil importation in the transportation and heavy-duty vehicle sectors. The
transportation industry currently consumes 30% of the U.S. energy. This is a local, state,
country, and global issue.

Vehicle Efficiency – Operating a vehicle’s engine and transmission at their highest efficiency
point can provide opportunities for complete powertrain strategies to reduce fuel consumption
while maintaining adequate vehicle performance. An onboard GPS device allows future road
grades to be calculated from GPS coordinates and topographical maps. This generates a
prediction of the road grade ahead for the moving vehicle that can then be used to estimate the
power required and deliver only the necessary power to propel the vehicle through the upcoming
terrain. The knowledge of future road grade through predictive calculations provided a cycle
weighted fuel economy benefit of 0.1-0.2% compared to only knowing the current road grade.
Real time information about changes in aerodynamic drag due to wind can be a useful in look-ahead control systems. With the reduction of the aerodynamic drag experienced by vehicles, a
lower aerodynamic drag force results in lower engine power demands and therefore lower fuel
consumption. It was seen that the vehicle required up 30% more power to overcome
aerodynamic drag from wind gusts just under 5m/s and the average power to overcome
aerodynamic drag was approximately 10% greater than that needed in zero wind.
Advanced Combustion (AC) – The need to reduce engine emissions while retaining high engine
efficiencies has fueled AC engine research and development. Each of these advanced
combustion regimes essentially follow the same principle in which a homogeneous or near-homogeneous air and fuel mixture combusted at low temperatures can provide reductions in
oxides of nitrogen, soot and fuel consumption while observing increased brake-thermal
efficiency. The primary objective of this project was to characterize five specifically blended
fuels during AC operation focusing on which fuels best facilitate AC and more specifically
reduce emissions, while increasing fuel efficiency in comparison to the engine’s OEM operation.
Natural Gas (NG) Transportation – With the high cost of diesel (~$4.00/gal), low cost of NG
(~$1.75/diesel gallon equivalent), reduced dependence on petroleum imports (55% of the
petroleum consumed by the U.S. in 2011 was domestic), and increased dependence on domestic
NG reserves (92% of the NG consumed by U.S. in 2011 was domestic), NG utilization as a
transportation fuel is economically viable. Conversions of existing diesel ships and locomotives
to dedicated or dual fuel applications require fundamental understanding of combustion from
these types of engines due to the larger displacement and lower operating speeds as compared to
existing on-road engines. NG conversion systems allow individuals to use NG in place of
conventional diesel within a vehicle or engine they already own have become increasingly
appealing. In general, these dual fuel conversion kits have been targeted towards legacy era
engines without exhaust after-treatment.

Energy-Aware Database Disk Storage System- Yicheng Tu, Bo Zeng, Peyman Behzadnia, Wei Yuan, University of South Florida


Energy consumption has become the first-class optimization goal in design and implementation of the computing systems. The database storage system is the major consumer of the energy in the modern data centers. In this talk, we present results of our recent research funded by FESC and NSF on designing energy-aware database storage systems. Given that the dynamic power management (DPM) techniques are the most common methods used to save energy in disks, we integrate our DPM model into the data management policy of the database management system (DBMS) in order to minimize the power consumption of the database disk storage while satisfying the given performance bound. We evaluate our proposed ideas through running experimental simulations. Our preliminary results clearly show promising energy savings in this context.


Tuesday, May 13- 11:25-12:10 pm


Track I: Natural Gas and Marine Energy

The Direct Use of Natural Gas – Scott Ranck, Florida Public Utilities Company


This brief presentation will propose increasing the direct use of natural gas to commercial and residential consumers will have very positive benefits for the entire state of Florida. This is a much more conservation friendly vehicle to use natural gas energy. Currently, Florida’s electric generation uses 64% natural gas. It can be argued as a nation shifting to natural gas for a primary fuel for electric generation is the major cause of our carbon emissions being reduced.

In the process of electric generation and distribution 68% of the total energy is lost, only delivering 32% to the home or business. On the contrary from well head to the home or business the direct use of natural gas delivers 92% of the original energy. As a result, costs, emissions, the need for new electric generation, and peak demand issues are reduced.

There are hurdles to overcome. With cooling the dominant energy user, there needs to be a viable natural gas residential (3-5 ton) heat pump developed. Small commercial (8-30 ton) units need to have lower first costs to compete. Affordable natural gas heat pump units would be a game changer. The best all round water heaters on the market today are natural gas condensing units coming in as high as 96% efficient. Another challenge is the need for natural gas infrastructure throughout the state. Currently, there is only approximately 10% saturation.

If only 50% of people who currently have natural gas available converted water heating, cooking, clothes drying and heat, a Black & Veatch study showed at minimum we would remove 60 million tons of CO2.

Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel – Mark Thompson, Florida Public Utilities Company


Natural gas vehicles have been around for a long time but not until recently have we seen a true interest in the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and the conversion of commercial fleets, buses, waste trucks become a reality. In addition, there seems to be a push in the market for in-home fueling units for private vehicle users.

There are obviously many benefits to increasing the use of natural gas from a societal standpoint. Ninety seven percent of America’s natural gas is produced in North America. This means that every gallon of natural gas used in a vehicle equals one less gallon of petroleum that needs to be imported. Using natural gas as an alternative fuel can help reduce the billions the US spends on foreign oil every week. Every new NGV fueling station creates 45 new jobs within a 5-mile radius and every 1% increase in natural gas production can create 35,000 jobs.
Although these are nice statistics, most fleet operators’ interest in natural gas stems from the fact that natural gas can significantly reduce their operating costs and the more miles their fleet drives, the greater the savings. There are also savings in the maintenance of natural gas vehicles because natural gas burns cleaner than diesel. Manufacturers have also started to produce natural gas vehicles and there are currently 200 fleet options available in the US. Currently there are more than 50 different manufacturers producing 150 models of light, medium and heavy-duty Natural Gas Vehicles and engines. Also, fleets typically can take advantage of central fueling facilities which are more applicable to slow fill stations. These slow fill stations fill vehicles overnight making them ideal, and less costly to install, for fleets that are parked over night at a central location.
One concern that many fleet operators have had in the past is the servicing of natural gas vehicles. However, mechanics can be quickly and easily trained to support both vehicles & infrastructure .NGVs use similar engine designs, body structures, etc., than gasoline or diesel fueled cars and trucks.

There are currently 30 Natural Gas Vehicle fueling stations in Florida. Although this is a considerable increase from previous years, it is probably the number one concern of the industry. Most fleet operators prefer to own their own fueling stations and more public access stations are needed. When fueling stations are available throughout the state, more people will be willing to purchase natural gas vehicles without being concerned about where to fuel. This will definitely make a difference in the private users’ willingness to switch to natural gas.

The state has created an incentive program to increase the use of natural gas as a transportation fuel and encourage the conversion of private and governmental agency fleets. Many may not be aware of the availability of this funding and this presentation will focus on educating the audience on what is available.

So Natural Gas Motor Fuels are Cheaper than Oil: Does This Solve Our Energy Problem? – David E. Bruderly, Bruderly Engineering Associates, Inc.


The movement to low-cost, low-carbon natural gas motor fuels could be a major step towards solving Florida’s Oil Problem if implemented in ways that achieve environmental and security objectives that are not formally recognized by existing public policy goals or market forces. Jacksonville based businesses in the logistics sector are actively developing both compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied (LNG) natural gas motor fuel infrastructure to power cars, trucks, locomotives and ships. In spite of Florida’s long history as a pioneer in compressed and cryogenic gaseous fuels, project developers are being forced, out of necessity, to look out-of-state to develop and procure the technology and equipment needed to use this flammable, combustible gas. To date, there has been little, if any, support from the State of Florida to support RDD&D by Florida energy researchers.

For example, CSX has partnered with GE to develop / demonstrate / evaluate the use of LNG fuels to power locomotives. Two shipping companies, Crowley and Sea Star / Tote Marine, have committed billions to build at least four ocean going dual-fuel LNG powered ships to serve the Jacksonville – Puerto Rico trade routes. At least two companies, a Sempra / JEA partnership and Clean Energy, have announced plans to build cryogenic plants in Jacksonville to produce LNG to serve this emerging market demand. The methane could come from renewable sources, such as Florida biomass, in addition to fossil natural gas delivered to Jacksonville via pipeline. The Jacksonville Port Authority, Transportation Planning Organization and Transit Agency are each sponsoring aggressive market development and public outreach and education programs.


This activity could position Florida to leap-frog into a global energy leadership position with respect to the use of gaseous motor fuels. This sudden commercial interest in natural gas motor fuels could be the beginning of a paradigm shift; it could create opportunities for RDD&D to produce, distribute, store and use low-carbon methane and hydrogen much more efficiently and in ways that complement increased use of renewable energy sources. It could create outreach and education opportunities to help consumers regain control of motor fuel markets. While private capital has been earmarked to develop these initial ventures, the focus has been on proven, off-the-shelf technologies and business strategies. The opportunity for investment in RDD&D to support continued improvement in these technologies, not to mention approaches to deployment of infrastructure, has not yet been recognized by Florida academics or policy makers.

Crew Member Training Standards for Natural Gas-Fueled Ships – Dennis L. Bryant, Bryant’s Maritime Consulting


Currently, there are no international or federal requirements establishing training standards for crew members on ships using natural gas as fuel. The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has drafted special training requirements for such personnel, but those requirements have yet to be finalized and it will be some time thereafter before they come into force. The United States Coast Guard (USCG) has issued draft guidelines for training personnel on vessels using natural gas
as fuel. Even when finalized, those guidelines will not be directly enforceable. USCG regulations on this topic are at least two years away. Drawing on the current draft documents and related material, my presentation will provide an outline of the expected training standards for crew members on
ships using natural gas as fuel. The presentation will provide owners and operators of such ships, as well as training providers, with needed guidance, allowing them to move forward now, while minimizing duplicative training requirements in the future.


Evaluation of Viability of Combined Heat and Power Projects in Florida – David Richardson, Mark Cutshaw, Florida Public Utilities Company


Florida Public Utilities is interested in getting feedback on the potential for establishing a research project on the economic viability of combined heat and power generation in Florida. Of particular interest is the application and feasibility of micro or small scale CHP systems.

Micro CHP systems are designed to do two things, generate hot water and produce electricity. Hot water is produced with a liquid cooled internal combustion engine that generates heat which is then pumped through a heat exchanger. The excess heat of this process is then used to spin a generator to produce electricity (up to 4.7 kWh). There are many benefits associated with using micro CHP technology as well as drawbacks. Benefits include lower carbon emissions, lower electric bills, long maintenance intervals (4, 000 hours), 93% efficient v. 42% efficient from typical power plants, great fit for LEED and other “green” buildings and more. Drawbacks include first cost ($25K to $40K depending on configuration of the system), required spark spread between electric utility cost and natural gas costs, and applications typically require high heat load requirement. There is data available on micro CHP systems in other areas of the country but we are not aware of any studies that have been done in Florida.


Performance Evaluation and Field Testing of Gas Heat Pump – Rajeev Kamal, D. Yogi Goswami, University of South Florida


Background: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 87% of American households are equipped with air-conditioning. US expends about 185 billion kWh of energy annually on residential cooling. A Gas Heat Pump (GHP) provides efficient heating and cooling option with decentralized production of mechanical work for powering the cooling/heating cycle. GHP works similar to any other air-source heat pump, except that it relies on natural gas based internal combustion engine instead of electricity. Objective: This study aims to test GHP units installed at commercial buildings and a high school in Florida and evaluate their energy performance.

Methodology: This is a yearlong energy performance study based on actual measurements and computer modeling. The buildings and GHP units will be instrumented to measure the operating parameters including (i) capturing space and ambient temperatures, humidity, energy consumption of air handling units (AHU’s) and (ii) High Pressure (HP), low pressure (LP), HP side temperature, LP side temperatures, gas consumption and refrigerant flow rate etc. at different sections of the GHP units. A computer based model will then be used to project the performance of similar units at a third location of Okaloosa Gas Building in Santa Rosa Beach. Expected outcomes: This study will provide the avoided electric kWh demand, based on measured performance and projected energy use calculated for the test period for all three locations. These results will be compared to a conventional electric heat pump for the three locations using the validated computer model. An economic analysis of the operational costs of the two options will also be conducted.


Scaling relations for the model scale testing of hydrokinetic ocean renewable energy systems- Karl Von Ellenrieder, Valentine W., Florida Atlantic University


A non-dimensional dynamic scaling procedure that can be applied to subsurface and deeply moored systems, such as hydrokinetic ocean renewable energy devices is presented. Numerical simulations of prototype systems moored in 400 m of water are performed. Systems studied include: subsurface spherical buoys moored in a shear current and excited by waves; a subsurface ocean current turbine excited by waves; and a deeply submerged spherical buoy in a shear current excited by strong current fluctuations. The corresponding model systems are scaled based on relative water depths of 10 m and 40 m. For each test case studied the response of the model system closely matches the scaled response of the corresponding full-sized prototype system. The results suggest that laboratory-scale experimentation of complete ocean current renewable energy systems moored in a current is possible and should be pursued as a cost effective way of evaluating system performance.

Water Energy for Florida and the USA-George Meyer, Engineer & Energy Invest. Consultants


Electricity generated in our waters and electric vehicles are the only way to American recovery, energy independence and economic growth while keeping the air and water clean and global warming at a minimum. Water is the most abundant resource on our planet. The ocean’s energy is mainly caused by gravitation between the sun, earth, moon and solar heat. Rivers flow by gravity from mountains to the sea. A tiny fraction of the water’s usable power is sufficient to supply all mankind with electricity. Hydroelectric power is superior, lasts forever and is free to use. Modern technology suggests modular submerged Hydroelectric Power Plants (HPP’s) anchored on the ocean floor or in the riverbeds. They do not exist to the eye, are barely audible over the natural noise of the water and do not occupy precious land. Pump storage plants supply peak power. Phase I: We shall be independent from foreign energy within 10 years. Phase II: We shall only use clean renewable domestic water energy within 30 years. Florida has the longest coastline of all the states with tides on its gulf and Atlantic coasts. The Gulf Stream flows at an average speed of 4-6 mph, the continental shelf extends wide into the ocean. Water energy is predictable, providing a reliable source for electric power. Phase I: The goal of this phase is to reduce and eventually eliminate petroleum imports. In 2009, we paid approximately $500 billion to foreign nations for imported oil, which is mostly used for transportation. The industry must concentrate on infrastructure from power plants to distribution, power storage and plug stations. Rules must be changed. The auto industry is ready to sell fully electric vehicles (EV). It costs about 1/5 to drive an EV, even with electricity from conventional power plants. What stops us from using EVs? There is no infrastructure to charge and service EVs. However, the existing installations, services and supply network of oil companies can be used and extended to suit EV needs. The petroleum industry can use hydropower to their advantage. Phase II: The goal is to generate enough hydropower to cover 95% of all energy needs. Subsidies should be completely eliminated. Tax incentives may be given only for sellable power, i.e. MWh produced and usable. Monies like the $14.7 billion spent in 2010 will be used as pay for work done, not as subsidies. Florida’s population is growing rapidly. The desired hydropower by 2050 is 90-115GW. The expected annual consumption is 400-500 TWh. Five thousand jobs are assumed to be needed per $1 billion capital expenditure (1 job=$200,000 capital). Two thousand jobs are required for operation, maintenance, repair, etc. per 1 GW installed capacity. Capital cost for power plants is expected to be $1.2 billion/GW. Operation and maintenance will become routine. Petroleum, coal and gas will be here for generations. Water energy can make oil companies sell less and become more profitable for generations. They can get wealthier than ever by selling hydropower now and oil much longer. They want their share of the long-term future. Now there is a chance to own HPPs like oil wells and plug stations like gas stations. Fossils are too precious to be burned, they can come to new life as plastics, drugs, fertilizers and even food.


Track II: Education

Renewable Energy Education Program at USF’s Patel College of Global Sustainability – George Philippidis, University of South Florida


At the heart of sustainable economic growth lies renewable energy production, which is expected to quadruple by 2050 creating significant employment, investment, and tax revenue opportunities. Given Florida’s rich natural assets of year-round warm weather, sunshine, and biomass, the State has a unique opportunity to become a national leader in the development of sustainable power and fuels. A key component of such an undertaking is the specialized education required to prepare a workforce capable of running and managing a green economy that will be increasingly dependent on solar, wind, biomass, and other forms of renewable energy. With the financial support of FESC and the Energy Office at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the Patel College of Global Sustainability at the University of South Florida is developing a new concentration in Renewable Energy as part of the College’s existing M.A. in Global Sustainability. The program’s goal is to place Florida in a position to educate, train, and prepare students for the green jobs of today and tomorrow. The new concentration area will consist of two graduate courses (6 credit hours) that address the two constituents of renewable energy, transportation fuels and power. The courses are “Renewable Transportation Fuels” and “Renewable Power Portfolio”. The goal of the former is to educate students in the technology and business aspects of green fuel production for vehicles and the aviation sector, whereas the goal of the latter is to educate students in the technology and business aspects of the various forms of renewable power generation.
The courses will be taught by renewable energy experts and will involve invited speakers from the private sector, from USF’s Clean Energy Research Center, and from other Florida and national Universities. Assessment and evaluation that include review by subject matter experts, student assessments tools, and summative evaluation will be performed to ensure the development of high quality content at the onset and to disseminate valuable feedback from students for continuous quality improvement.



“Buildings and Energy: Design and Operation vs. Sustainability- An Energy Engineering Course for Florida-specific Building Design & Operation – Prabir Barooah, University of Florida


The building sector is the largest consume of energy in the US and the State of Florida, ahead of transportation and industry. A typical energy use by Florida households is 40% higher than the U.S. average. As energy is resources are dwindling, it is crucial to proactively seek ways to improve new and existing buildings- energy efficiency. To achieve higher standards in building design and operation, a solid foundation of energy engineering and sustainability principles is essential. Currently, there are no courses offered to students or industry professionals with a distinct focus on energy in built environment, specifically for the design and operation in Florida’s distinct climate conditions. Another limitation of existing courses is that they are focused on either design or operation, while they impact energy use in an intertwined manner. This course therefore emphasizes operation of buildings as much as their design. The course is planned to be offered starting Fall 2014 in a distance education format through the University of Florida’s EDGE (Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering) program. Course material will also be made available through FESC website.

Educating on Economic Realities of Sustainable Energy- Mark Jamison, University of Florida


Energy sustainability is a popular topic, but fact based and analytically rigorous discussions of the economic realities are rare. Florida students and other Floridians need to understand these realities so that they can make sound business and career decisions and to be informed citizens. FESC has provided funding to UF’s Public Utility Research Center to create a class “Energy Sustainability” for upper level undergraduates on the economics of energy sustainability. The class is funded for two offerings and will be video recorded so that it can be made available for Continuing Education.


Introducing Specialization in “Sustainable Energy Systems” for Under-Graduate Students in Engineering at the University of West Florida – Bhuvaneswari Ramachandran, University of West Florida


The objective of this proposal is to introduce a specialization in “Sustainable Energy Systems” for Undergraduate Engineering students at the University of West Florida that could also be used to educate industry professionals towards workforce development. The courses have been designed from the perspective of energy system planning, a subject that has always been complex and evolving rapidly during the past 10-15 years to accommodate dramatic changes in the industry. These changes include the ongoing transformation of the nation’s generation portfolio from being heavily dependent on fossil fuels to one that is heavily dependent on renewables (especially wind and solar) and the need for operating competitive electricity markets. The courses designed under this specialization will assist professionals in understanding the limits of our present energy systems and lead us to a future in which we can continue to provide reliable and secure energy resources for improved human quality of life. The proposed specialization program focuses on electrical engineering sources and systems that are non-polluting, conserving of energy and natural resources, economically viable and safe for workers, communities and consumers. Coursework takes a systems level and interdisciplinary approach to solving seemingly intractable sustainable energy problems, as opposed to single disciplinary and locally optimized approaches destined to yield marginal positive impacts. Students will be able to create study programs suited to their interests and aspirations through their choice of electives and design projects. The course is electrical engineering-based but also covers a wider range of topics including economics, sustainability and environmental studies.

The University of West Florida (UWF) is a public university based in Northwest Florida with multiple instructional sites and a strong virtual presence. UWF is committed to planning and investing strategically to enhance student access and educational attainment, to build on existing strengths and develop distinctive academic and research programs and services that respond to identified regional and state needs in the complex 21st Century global society. UWF offers over 500 fully accredited online course sections each semester that lead to undergraduate and graduate degrees as well as credit-earning certificates. The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UWF offers Undergraduate degrees in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ABET accredited) and professional development courses in Power and Energy Engineering to Gulf Power, an electric utility owned by Southern Company. The management and supervisors at Gulf Power are very pleased with the technical content and delivery of these courses and are eager to partner with UWF on this venture in sustainable energy systems engineering.

With UWF’s strong network of area partners in technology, military and other educational institutions, and with an expanding regional presence, the impact of this proposed program will be widely felt. The program will cater to the needs of working professional in the public or private sector, including public agencies, utilities involved with energy conservation, energy consultants, business owners and sustainability managers. The program is also ideal for better understanding of sustainable energy management. Upon successful completion of the program, the students will have gained knowledge about the principles of sustainability management and the impact of climate change law on businesses and government, have the necessary skills and knowledge to make assessments and analyze and manage issues related to energy use, climate change and sustainability, and focus their career on clean energy.


Industrial Energy Efficiency Education – Nina Stokes, M Barger, Dr. Richard Gilbert, FLATE at Hillsborough CC


In 2008, Florida’s legislature directed, via FESC, the Florida Energy Systems Consortium, the State’s University and College system to develop applied research and specific technical education pathways to allow Florida to meet its 2020 energy generation and demand criteria. The current strategy is entertaining a mix of conventional, nuclear, solar and bio-fuels for generation and a range of options to make Florida “green” within a “smart” grid. In that same legislative action, FLATE, the National Science Foundation Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence for Florida, was commissioned to partner with FESC to prepare and execute a technician workforce plan that will put that energy workforce into place on time. The new Industrial Energy Efficiency specialization track and college credit certificate (CCC) for the AS/AAS degree in Engineering Technology, comes at a time when green job sectors such as energy efficiency, are flourishing. Interest in reducing operating costs through energy efficiency maximization is growing significantly, both in Florida and throughout the nation. Collaboration with industry subject matter experts has allowed the energy efficiency specialization curriculum to be tailored to match training directly to industry needs.



Sustainable Floridians Program – Strengthening Your Sense of Place-Kathleen C. Ruppert, University of Florida – Program for Resource Efficient Communities


Objectives: This session describes the Sustainable FloridiansSM (SF) program, an innovative Extension educational effort with the mission of guiding Floridians on how to take individual responsibility for protecting Earth’s limited resources and strengthening their sense of place. The program is currently jointly administered and enabled through UF/IFAS’ Program for Resource Efficient Communities and Florida Cooperative Extension Service County Faculty in the counties participating in the program.

Methods: Initial financial support for program development originated with a US DOE ARRA grant fund in UF/IFAS’ Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences. UF/IFAS’ Program for Resource Efficient Communities, using partial support from FESC, assisted in program development and has taken on the role of statewide coordination. The SF program itself, offered through individual UF/IFAS Cooperative Extension Service offices, offers citizens, business people and government officials training about green and sustainable practices. Operated as a teaching program in some counties and a volunteer program in others, this interactive class brings in local knowledge, creates group discussion and promotes lasting behavioral change. PowerPoint presentations, evaluation tools, along with other educational materials are available to County Extension faculty through a SharePoint site. Topics include: Why Should You Care?, Consumerism, Energy, Food Systems, Water: Florida’s Lifeblood, Landscaping and Community Leadership and Engaging Others. Other topics under development including: Transportation (revised), Sea Level Rise and Climate Change, Biodiversity and Economics. Ongoing financial support for statewide program development and coordination is being sought to continue the program.

Results: Through a discussion-to-action format, the program educates participants about making wise use of resources, making households and communities more resilient and financially sound, and understanding the impact of individual lifestyle choices. All of this revolves around Florida-appropriate targeted information that motivates participants to implement conservation and efficiency actions while creating opportunities for community-level leadership. Both quantitative (decreased energy, water and transportation fuel use) and qualitative approaches (leadership opportunities and efforts) will be used in the monitoring, measurement, and verification of the SF program.

Conclusions: Primary program goals are: improved environmental and financial resilience for participants and communities; providing information that identifies Florida-appropriate targeted actions for conserving resources, including energy and water; motivating participants to implement conservation and efficiency actions that save resources and money; and providing a forum that promotes sustainability leadership within the community. Those completing the Sustainable Floridians program become active participants in the mission of the Florida Extension Service to transform societies through lifestyle choices and behaviors while strengthening their sense of place.



Two Alternative Fusion Energy Confinement Concepts: Spheromaks and Laser-Assisted Muon Catalyzed Fusion – Charles A. Weatherford, Florida A&M University


Almost all of the US investment in fusion energy is flowing into the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) tokamak (Cadarache, France) and the NIF (National Ignition Facility) laser facility (Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory). ITER continues to experience cost over-runs and the break-even is constantly being pushed into an indefinite future. NIF uses 192 laser beams to compress deuterium and tritium pellets inside a gold hohlraum to produce fusion. There has been significant progress on NIF towards break-even, but substantial problems remain and the plans for a fusion reactor using NIF technology appear to the author to be uncertain. Another technology receiving sizable US investment is the Sandia Z-pinch which produces X-rays with exploding wires. The position taken by the author is that we may not currently know the science and technology which will lead to a working fusion reactor–much fundamental science needs to be studied in the field of nuclear fusion and it is very dangerous to close-off funding for alternative confinement concepts. This paper will describe two alternative confinements concepts (acc) under study at the Center for Plasma Science and Technology (CePaST) at Florida A&M University (FAMU): Spheromaks, and Laser-Assisted Muon Catalyzed Fusion (LAMCF). FAMU-CePaST has an operational Spheromak called the STPX. The STPX stands four meters high and is two meters wide at the vacuum vessel. The STPX achieves plasma temperatures of 300 electron volts (3.5 million degrees Kelvin) and electron currents of 600 kiloamps. The STPX does not achieve plasma confinement by external magnetic fields, but rather by a self-confining Taylor state which lasts for several microseconds. Disruptive plasma phenomena such as magnetic re-connections are being studied on the STPX. These types of alternative designs for a fusion reactor are much less expensive than the extremely large and expensive ITER. Instead of large-scale centralized fusion devices like ITER, Spheromak reactors would provide distributed power sources and several of them could provide energy to power a small town. Another acc being studied at FAMU-CePaST is LAMCF–in fact, the “laser-assisted” component is an original concept proposed by the author. LAMCF confines deuterium and tritium by using a muon (elementary particle with the same charge as an electron but 200 times the mass) to form a molecule. The laser will be used to speed up the catalyzes cycle using the science of Quantum Control (QC). The basic ideas of LAMCF will be described.


Challenges in Quantifying Optimal CO2 Emissions Policy – Theodore J. Kury, University of Florida- Public Utility Research Center

Implementing public policy without understanding its economic impacts can be costly and unproductive. This problem is paramount when a price of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is considered as a vehicle for abatement. The United States Congressional Budget Office, Environmental Protection Agency, and Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration have all released their estimates of the macro-economic impact of various proposals for environmental legislation. The focus of these studies is on the level of output variables such as the amount of CO2 emissions, the cost of emissions allowances, and the broad impact of increased electricity prices, rather than on the marginal effects of policy change. This paper utilizes a model that simulates the dispatch of electric generating units in the state of Florida and demonstrates how incremental cost of abatement curves may intersect with a the marginal benefits of CO2 reduction at many levels of abatement, allowing for different characterizations of the “optimum”. Therefore, agreement on the marginal costs and the marginal benefits of CO2 abatement can be seen as a necessary condition for the determination of an optimal level of abatement, but not a sufficient one.