University of Central Florida (UCF) has been awarded more than $800,000 to support advanced energy-efficient building technology

projects and the development of training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators and energy auditors, the Department of Energy announced on Friday.

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

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

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

The UCF projects selected are:

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

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

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

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

Project award listing:

Advanced Building Control Strategies, Communications and Information Technologies for Net-Zero Energy Buildings: 12 selections


City, State

DOE Funding

Total Project Value

University of California

Berkeley, California



University of Southern California

Los Angeles, California



United Technologies Research Center

East Hartford, Connecticut



United Technologies Research Center

East Hartford, Connecticut



Emerson Electric Company

St. Louis, Missouri



National Semiconductor Corporation

Annapolis Junction, Maryland 20710-1118



Honeywell International, Inc.

Golden Valley, Minnesota



Siemens Corporate Research

Princeton, New Jersey



Philips Electronics North America Corporation

Briarcliff Manor, New York



Verified Energy, LLC

Rochester, New York



Johnson Controls, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Johnson Controls, Inc.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Analysis, Design and Technical Tools: 5 selections

University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida



Cornell University

Ithaca, New York



Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York



University of Washington

Seattle, Washington



Eaton Corporation

Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Building Envelope and Windows: 14 selections

Soladigm, Inc.

Milpitas, California



Southwall Technologies, Inc.

Palo Alto, California



Applied Materials, Inc.

Santa Clara, California



EverSealed Windows, Inc.

Evergreen, Colorado



Dow Chemical Company

Midland, Michigan



Dow Corning Corporation

Midland, Michigan



Pleotint, LLC

West Olive, Michigan



SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.

Faribault, Minnesota



3M Company

St. Paul, Minnesota



Syntroleum Corporation

Tulsa, Oklahoma



Traco Delaware, Inc.

Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania



Quanta Technologies, Inc.

Malvern, Pennsylvania



Industrial Science & Technology Network, Inc.

York, Pennsylvania



CPFilms, Inc.

Fieldale, Virginia



Residential and Commercial HVAC, and Crosscutting Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Research: 10 selections

University of Alaska

Fairbanks, Arkansas



PAX Streamline, Inc.

Novato, California



United Technologies Research Center

East Hartford, Connecticut



Chemtura Corporation

Middlebury, Connecticut



University of Central Florida

Orlando, Florida



Creative Thermal Solutions, Inc.

Urbana, Illinois



Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana




Cambridge, Massachusetts



General Electric

Niskayuna, New York



University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin



Water Heating, Residential and Commercial Appliances and Miscellaneous Electric Loads: 4 selections


Cambridge, Massachusetts



Whirlpool Corporation

Benton Harbor, Michigan



Porticos, Inc.

Morrisville, North Carolina



Stone Mountain Technologies, Inc.

Unicoi, Tennessee



Training Program Development for Commercial Buildings Efficiency Experts

To achieve the full potential of highly energy-efficient buildings, the United States needs commercial building experts who know how to properly run and tune building heating and cooling systems. The combination of efficient operations and advanced design will improve the internal building environment, including energy use, comfort, safety, and environmental impact.

The 13 projects selected today to receive up to $7.6 million to develop training programs for commercial building equipment technicians, building operators, and energy commissioning agents and auditors will leverage nearly $1.5 million in private industry cost share, for a total project value of nearly $9.1 million.

The training projects selected include:


City, State

DOE Funding

Total Project Value

Building Equipment Technicians: 4 Selections

International Union of Operating Engineers

Washington, D.C.



Gas Technology Institute

Des Plaines, Illinois



Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas



Northwest Energy Efficiency Council

Seattle, Washington



Building Operators: 4 Selections

University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Charlotte, North Carolina



The Research Foundation of the City College of New York

New York, New York



University of Turabo

Gurabo, Puerto Rico



University of Wisconsin

Madison, Wisconsin



Building Energy Commissioning Agents/Auditors: 5 Selections

Association of Energy Engineers

Atlanta, Georgia



University of Nebraska

Lincoln, Nebraska



New Jersey Institute of Technology

Newark, New Jersey



Portland Energy Conservation, Inc.

Portland, Oregon



Milwaukee Area Technical College

Milwaukee, Wisconsin



Source: West Orlando News, UCF Awarded $800,000 for Energy-Efficient Technology and the US Department of Energy.