Power Conservation for Traffic Detection Sensors

You see them along every highway – traffic counting monitors collecting data essential for city and highway planning. Many of them are powered by solar energy or batteries with limited energy supplies.

An Ontario company providing advanced highway detection technologies approached Durham College for help to find ways to extend the operating life of existing traffic detection sensors through energy harvesting components and intelligent energy management strategies.

North Line Canada collaborated with Durham College to test hardware and develop a prototype to test the possibility of obtaining sufficient voltage/current from a miniature hybrid power harvesting generator to power temporary and in-road sensors and detectors.

Durham College faculty and students developed a power conservation module by designing and implementing a smart sleep system. The battery life of road sensors is increased by stopping the draw of battery power when no activity is detected on the road. This way, traffic sensors have a longer active life. As an outcome of this project, a new technology has been developed and will be implemented in remote monitoring of highway traffic.

This device will enable North Line Canada to fill a gap in traffic and highway management using new harvesting energy principles to store energy in solar as well as super capacitors. It will give the company an advantage and make it more competitive in this sector.

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