WANTED: Participants for PV-GEMS Demonstration Project

WANTEDHomeowners in select locations are wanted to participate in a home energy retrofit study—PV-GEMS (Photovoltaic Powered, Grid Enhanced, Mechanical Solution) Demonstration Project—conducted by the Florida Solar Energy Center® (FSEC®), a research institute of the University of Central Florida.

PV-GEMS demonstration

Photograph of shed with photovoltaics on roof, and mini-split air conditioner attached to side.





Rendering of PV-GEMS shed showing internal components (left) and PV-GEMS prototype (right).

What is this study about?

UCF’s FSEC is conducting a study funded by the U.S. Department of Energy to learn about how heat pumps for heating, cooling, and water heating can be mostly installed external to the home, in a shed, to minimize disruption to homeowners. Highly efficient heat pumps have the ability to significantly reduce energy used for heating, cooling, and water heating in existing homes.

What does participation involve?

Participation involves allowing FSEC to coordinate installation of the PV-GEMS shed and components by licensed contractors. This includes a new water heater that will replace the current water heater, and a new heat pump that will augment the home’s existing heating and cooling system. These components will partially be powered by solar panels and batteries.

Home energy use data will be collected for 6-8 months prior to installation, and 12 months after installation.

Does my home qualify for the study?

FSEC is currently recruiting in select manufactured housing communities. Homes that qualify for the study need to meet the following criteria:

  • House has at least two full-time occupants.
  • House does not already have a heat pump
  • Existing heating and water heating systems more than 10 years old
  • Existing electrical panel capable of dedicating a new/existing 35-40A breaker

Why should I sign up for the study?

Collected data will inform researchers as to how energy efficiency heating, cooling, and water heating equipment can be installed more quickly and easily. You will be eligible to keep the components at the end of the study.

How do I participate?

Specific criteria is needed for the study. Find out if you qualify by contacting the research team at 321-638-1450 or e-mail martin@fsec.ucf.edu.

Research Team

Portrait of Eric Martin Portrait of Karen Fenaughty
Eric Martin
Principal Investigator
Carlos Colon
Co-principal Investigator
Karen Fenaughty
Research Analyst and
Recruitment Coordinator

For more information on PV-GEMS, visit the PV-GEMS project page: