2022 EnergyWhiz Winners

Junior Solar Sprint

Green Division (Grades 3 – 5)EnergyWhiz sun logo holding Earth in it's hands.
Best Design
1st Place – The Limo – Pine Crest School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Kris Swanson
2nd Place – The PC Mobile – Pine Crest School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Kris Swanson
3rd Place – HELIOS – The Bonds – NSU University School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Michele Murray-Garren
Most Innovative
1st Place – The Limo – Pine Crest School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Kris Swanson
2nd Place – Ocean Odyssey – Buck Lake Elementary (Tallahassee)
Teacher – Kim Perez
3rd Place – Mordor – Buck Lake Elementary (Tallahassee)
Teacher – Kim Perez
Race
1st Place – Sun Runners – Orlando Science (Orlando)
Teacher – Amy Trujillo
2nd Place – The Bonds – NSU University School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Michele Murray-Garren
3rd Place – The Lightning Sharks – NSU University School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Michele Murray-Garren

Blue Division (Grades 6 – 8)
Best Design
1st Place – The Rovers – Parkland STEM Club (Plantation)
Teacher – John Garren
2nd Place – The Milwee Falcons – Milwee Middle (Longwood)
Teacher – Carol Unterreiner
3rd Place – Meowzster – Cornerstone Learning Community (Tallahassee)
Teacher – Karen Metcalf
Most Innovative
1st Place – Panther Engineering G8 – Pine Crest School (Ft. Lauderdale)
Teacher – Kris Swanson
2nd Place – The Rovers – Parkland STEM Club (Plantation)
Teacher – John Garren
3rd Place – Meowzster – Cornerstone Learning Community (Tallahassee)
Teacher – Karen Metcalf
Race
1st Place – The Rovers – Parkland STEM Club (Plantation)
Teacher – John Garren
2nd Place – Meowzster – Cornerstone Learning Community (Tallahassee)
Teacher – Karen Metcalf
3rd Place – The Milwee Falcons – Milwee Middle (Longwood)
Teacher – Carol Unterreiner

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UCF Awarded Department of Energy Grant to Study Method for Reducing Energy Use by 50-75% in Older Homes

UCF, one of seven teams selected by the Department of Energy to demonstrate innovative building energy retrofits, will determine if a pod system with heating and cooling capabilities is effective for retrofitting thousands of homes, including affordable housing.

PV-GEMS prototype pod system comprised of 300W PV modules, a heat pump water heater, minisplit AC, battery and controller.
PV-GEMS prototype systems were designed with energy simulations in Phase 1, while this award for Phase 2 will be demonstration and deployment. Illustration Credit: Nick Waters.

ORLANDO, March 30, 2022 – The University of Central Florida was recently awarded a grant worth $4.4 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to determine if a pre-packaged pod is an effective method to deploy very efficient heating, cooling and water heating systems to thousands of homes.

The DOE awarded $32 million to seven teams that will manage 30 demonstration projects nationwide. Finding effective ways to retrofit existing and older buildings to be more energy efficient is critical considering there are 130 million buildings in the United States today and about 75% of them are expected to still be standing in 2050, according to the DOE. Upgrading older homes is often expensive and intrusive, which makes homeowners less likely to make the investment. The pod system holds promise because it is expected to reduce energy use by 50-75% and is less disruptive to install, according to researchers.

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