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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503

    Smile Florida Solar Energy Center Study

    Several months ago, when my 3.5-ton 1999 Rheem hp condenser started having problems, I discovered that the FSEC was soliciting participants in my county for an energy "study". It sounded like there might be some financial benefits attached to participation (maybe even a new heat pump?), so I submitted an application.

    Well, as you all know, my heat pump died in October and after much research, with the help of pro's in this forum, I finally had a 3-ton Carrier Infinity Green Speed installed last week, along with some "tweaking" of existing ductwork. I had already had ductwork sealed and insulation added as a result of an FPL blower door test that I paid for the end of July. And another "free" blower door/infiltrometer evaluation by a contractor hoping to sell me a replacement heat pump.

    So guess what? Now I'll get to find out just how well sealed the new ductwork is and how efficient the new heat pump is. I just got word the FSEC selected my home for participation in their study! They'll be here for 4 hours next Wednesday to perform another energy audit and to install energy monitors for selected equipment. My energy usage will be sent to them via wifi throughout the study period (6 months or so).

    Should be very interesting. And who knows, there could be a solar hot water heater in my future!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,315
    Sounds interesting and fun. Keep us updated with how this experience goes.

    I found the FSEC study on "cool roof" strategies very informative as we were deciding on how to carry out our own cool roof. Sure wish we had a FSEC equivalent here in Texas. That said, a lot of their study results easily carry over here, as much of our state is hot-humid, like Florida.
    • Electricity makes refrigeration happen.
    • Refrigeration makes the HVAC psychrometric process happen.
    • HVAC pyschrometrics is what makes indoor human comfort happen...IF the ducts AND the building envelope cooperate.


    A building is NOT beautiful unless it is also comfortable.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,331
    Ask them to monitor CO2 levels.. This will give some estimate of actual air change rates.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,270
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    Several months ago, when my 3.5-ton 1999 Rheem hp condenser started having problems, I discovered that the FSEC was soliciting participants in my county for an energy "study". It sounded like there might be some financial benefits attached to participation (maybe even a new heat pump?), so I submitted an application.

    Well, as you all know, my heat pump died in October and after much research, with the help of pro's in this forum, I finally had a 3-ton Carrier Infinity Green Speed installed last week, along with some "tweaking" of existing ductwork. I had already had ductwork sealed and insulation added as a result of an FPL blower door test that I paid for the end of July. And another "free" blower door/infiltrometer evaluation by a contractor hoping to sell me a replacement heat pump.

    So guess what? Now I'll get to find out just how well sealed the new ductwork is and how efficient the new heat pump is. I just got word the FSEC selected my home for participation in their study! They'll be here for 4 hours next Wednesday to perform another energy audit and to install energy monitors for selected equipment. My energy usage will be sent to them via wifi throughout the study period (6 months or so).

    Should be very interesting. And who knows, there could be a solar hot water heater in my future!
    NO ONE
    better to be selected for Study than a brilliant Young Lady _ FLORIDA Joy

    BUT FSEC picked the WRONG 6 months.
    The heat pump may run 100 hours in the December through February Period and
    you won't get to know Anything about summer cooling performance.
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    Ask them to monitor CO2 levels.. This will give some estimate of actual air change rates.
    Regards TB
    The homeowner agreement states they will perfom "indoor air quality tests, as applicable at the discretion of UCF/FSEC." To qualify for the study, no gas, oil, or other non-electric appliances are allowed and there's nothing stated in the agreement about CO2 testing. The following is included in the description of the initial energy survey:

    "measure the interior temperature and humidity levels, measure interior formaldehyde and total volatile organic compound concentrations, measure the tightness of the building envelope, measure leakage of duct work, measure energy use, and complete a homeowner satisfaction/home operation questionnaire"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    NO ONE
    better to be selected for Study than a brilliant Young Lady _ FLORIDA Joy

    BUT FSEC picked the WRONG 6 months.
    The heat pump may run 100 hours in the December through February Period and
    you won't get to know Anything about summer cooling performance.
    Dan, the young lady on the phone guessed at "6 months or so" when I asked how long the study would last. However, the agreement she sent me to sign actually states the study will last up to 2 years.

    Should be very interesting!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by Shophound View Post
    Sounds interesting and fun. Keep us updated with how this experience goes.

    I found the FSEC study on "cool roof" strategies very informative as we were deciding on how to carry out our own cool roof. Sure wish we had a FSEC equivalent here in Texas. That said, a lot of their study results easily carry over here, as much of our state is hot-humid, like Florida.
    While the study will be conducted by FSEC, it was commissioned by Florida Power & Light (FPL). I think FSEC has done a number of studies for entities in other states, including Texas. I'm sure the FSEC would be happy to do a study in your area if your local power company asked. I believe at least some of the funding comes from federal grants from the DOE. You could ask your local power company if they'd be interested in commissioning the FSEC to do a study in your area. As a matter of fact, here's a Sep 2012 FSEC publication that documents their study of homes in San Antonio.

    http://fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/...CR-1933-12.pdf

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,270
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    Dan, the young lady on the phone guessed at "6 months or so" when I asked how long the study would last. However, the agreement she sent me to sign actually states the study will last up to 2 years.

    Should be very interesting!
    I guess I'LL have TO STUDY WITH YOU?!
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    The homeowner agreement states they will perfom "indoor air quality tests, as applicable at the discretion of UCF/FSEC." To qualify for the study, no gas, oil, or other non-electric appliances are allowed and there's nothing stated in the agreement about CO2 testing. The following is included in the description of the initial energy survey:

    "measure the interior temperature and humidity levels, measure interior formaldehyde and total volatile organic compound concentrations, measure the tightness of the building envelope, measure leakage of duct work, measure energy use, and complete a homeowner satisfaction/home operation questionnaire"
    This will be great. VOC formaldehyde is good. I just completed a year of monitoring a GS.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    SW FL
    Posts
    6,270
    Program description ... effectiveness of FL Building Codes.

    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/research/...deresearch.htm
    Designer Dan
    It's Not Rocket Science, But It is SCIENCE with "Some Art". ___ ___ K EEP I T S IMPLE & S INCERE

    Define the Building Envelope and Perform a Detailed Load Calc: It's ALL About Windows and Make-up Air Requirements. Know Your Equipment Capabilities

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by dan sw fl View Post
    Program description ... effectiveness of FL Building Codes.

    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/research/...deresearch.htm
    I wasn't aware of that study. Wouldn't qualify anyway... my house was built in 1980. The one I applied for is an FPL retrofit study for 30 homes in Brevard and 30 homes in Dade/Broward counties.

    http://www.fsec.ucf.edu/en/research/...plretrofit.htm

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Madison, WI/Cape Coral, FL
    Posts
    6,331
    Quote Originally Posted by Florida Joy View Post
    While the study will be conducted by FSEC, it was commissioned by Florida Power & Light (FPL). I think FSEC has done a number of studies for entities in other states, including Texas. I'm sure the FSEC would be happy to do a study in your area if your local power company asked. I believe at least some of the funding comes from federal grants from the DOE. You could ask your local power company if they'd be interested in commissioning the FSEC to do a study in your area. As a matter of fact, here's a Sep 2012 FSEC publication that documents their study of homes in San Antonio.

    http://fsec.ucf.edu/en/publications/...CR-1933-12.pdf
    No %RH data. Passive fresh air ventilation, guess it is not important. To bad, wonder why.
    Regards TB
    Bear Rules: Keep our home <50% RH summer, controls mites/mold and very comfortable.
    Provide 60-100 cfm of fresh air when occupied to purge indoor pollutants and keep window dry during cold weather. T-stat setup/setback +8 hrs. saves energy
    Use +Merv 10 air filter. -Don't forget the "Golden Rule"

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Florida Space Coast
    Posts
    503
    Quote Originally Posted by teddy bear View Post
    No %RH data. Passive fresh air ventilation, guess it is not important. To bad, wonder why.
    Regards TB
    The stated goals of this Texas study related specifically to energy consumption and peak demand. I'm not surprised that comfort considerations would be outside the parameters of the study.

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