Independently Ran Renewably Integrated System for Crosswalks

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Sponsors Dr. Johnson
Team Light The Way Bringing light to crosswalk signs all over campus
Duration Fall 2020 - Spring 2021
Faculty Adviser Brian Johnson K
Mentor Brian Johnson K, Smadi Abdallah and Phillip Hagen
Client University of Idaho ECE
Team Members
  • Charlie Dimke
  • Jason Floyd
  • Kathryn Warner

The goal of the project is to create a safer way to cross the street on campus. Currently, it is not uncommon to cross the street and have cars drive by while in the crosswalk. In order to prevent this, Team Light The Way is designing a crosswalk sign lighting system that will help open the eyes of drivers to students crossing the street. The final design will be independently ran by renewables, with an adjustable mounting system to ensure that it can be attached to a variety of poles. Our system is the Independently Ran Renewably Integrated System, or I.R.R.I.S.

Problem Definition[edit | edit source]

The objective is to create self lighting system, separate from the power grid, that can light crosswalk signs to alert drivers of pedestrians in the crosswalk. The lighting system will need to be adjustable for different sign shapes, as well as different mounting situations as polls and signs may differ in shape and size.

Background[edit | edit source]

We are electrical engineering students who want to make campus as safe as it can be. Over the last 3 or 4 years, all of us have experienced a "near-miss" of drivers entering the crosswalk while we were crossing. In leaving University of Idaho, we want to leave a positive mark for students who follow. The safety of students on campus is very important to all of us, and we cannot think of a better legacy to leave.


Deliverables[edit | edit source]

Our design will be a proof of concept that will meet the following requirements:

  1. Primary – Goals that WILL be accomplished by the end of Spring 2021
    1. Lighting Rig
    2. Solar Panel
    3. Battery Storage
    4. Power Management
  2. Secondary – Goals that we will STRIVE to complete by the end of Spring 2021
    1. Integrated Wind Turbine & Waterwheel
    2. Rain Catch
    3. Other Power Storage Means
  3. Tertiary – Goals that we would LIKE to accomplish by the end of Spring 2021
    1. Automatic, low or no power, solar panel orientation

Specifications[edit | edit source]

Image Description/Specifics
Model 2.png
This is our final design and what we hope to get similar to in our prototype
Wiring 2.png
Basic wiring diagram of the system.

Value Proposition Statement[edit | edit source]

Many of the crosswalks signs around campus lack cautionary flashing LEDs bordering the signs to alert drivers of pedestrians entering crosswalks. These signs are attached to various sized poles and signposts. To enhance pedestrian safety, the goal of this project is to augment existing signs with flashing LEDs, self-powered unit, and adjustable mounting systems. Our team will research innovative means to power the system through renewables. Current market solutions require the removal of existing signs and installation of more expensive alternatives. This project will save money by adding to existing signs without the need for extensive construction.

Design Considerations[edit | edit source]

  • Battery Storage Technology
  • Different size poles and signs
  • City sign lighting requirements
  • Power requirements of system
  • Size of Solar Panel

Purchased Components[edit | edit source]

Image Product Link Description
[1] The panel is approximately one square foot and has a 20W output. This meets our design specifications for powering the microcontroller and LEDs while having a small footprint.
LED yellow.jpg
[2] These LEDs are the 1/4" required by the NIATT requirements, and will be easily mounted to our needs. They are 12V LEDs that are water and weather damage resistant.
Battery 1.jpg
[3] The battery is a highly efficient 12V 7Ah battery. It weighs 2lbs 2oz, and charges 5x faster than a typical 12V battery. This battery is compact, allowing us to have a small footprint on the pole.
[4] Our selected enclosure is a NEMA 4X, IP66, 10in x 8in x 6in, wall mount, fiberglass reinforced polyester cover. The enclosure provides an ample degree of protection against rain, sleet, snow, dust, splashing water, and corrosion. It will be undamaged by any external formation of ice on the enclosure.
[5] The Pi 3 B+ will provide a closed SSID for communicating between the model 0 and itself. As a backup, the model 3 B+ also provides Bluetooth capability.
[6] The Pi 0 will be a sister controller in the other I.R.R.I.S. unit as an additional model 3 B+ is unnecessary in pairing. It will transcieve using the sister Pi 3 B+’s closed network.


[7] This relay will act as a switch between the battery and the lights, and will be controlled by the Raspberry pi.
Solar Charger.jpg
[8] The job of the charge controller will be to ensure a constant voltage output to the battery, as well as stepping down the voltage to a usable rate for the other components. This charge controller has two 5V 2.5A output USBs that will be connected to the Raspberry Pi 3.

Modeling Timeline[edit | edit source]

Image Date Description/Specifics
General System Model
1 December, 2020 This model represents the power delivered by the pv panel to the rest of the system and the storage in the battery. The integrated charge controller, which regulates pv panel output and battery cycle, is represented by a PID controller and triangle wave generator through an IGBT.
In-progress Model
3 December, 2020 This is the model of the PV array. It is represented as a single cell and its’ output has been scaled according to the pv panel data sheet.

Picture not available

7 December, 2020 We are developing a model in Cadence for our power network for the LEDs using a small power mosfet. The model is in progress and will be featured later.
Simulation 1.png
14 February, 2021 This is our final model, it proves our system is viable.

Final Product[edit | edit source]


Check Out Our Presentations[edit | edit source]

Team Member Biographies[edit | edit source]

Charlie Drimke

Major: Electrical Engineering
Bio: Charlie Dimke is from Asotin, WA and is studying Electrical Engineering, with an emphasis in power, at University of Idaho. She wanted to work on this project specifically because she herself has almost been hit by a car at night while trying to cross a crosswalk on campus. She wanted to work o na project that she ruly believed could make a difference.

Picture not available Jason Floyd

Major: Electrical Engineering
Bio: Jason Floyd is from Stone Mountain, GA. He enlisted into the USN in 2013 and is currently pursuing a career as an officer. With an electrical engineering degree in his sails, he hopes to sail ahead as a submarine officer. His passion for this project is driven by the need to make his adopted community safer.

Kathryn Warner.png
Kathryn Warner

Major: Electrical Engineering
Bio: Kathryn Warner is from Spokane, Washington. Upon graduation, she will begin work as an Electrical Engineer at Avista Corp, where she hopes to make her career. Kathryn's biggest hope is to make positive lasting change in her community through the power of engineering

Design Considerations[edit | edit source]

  • We will be using simulink to simulate our prototype before construction
  • We will be attaching to different size poles and signs around campus, canvasing will need to be done.
  • Limits of battery storage will need to be considared

Additional Documentation[edit | edit source]