Self De-Icing LED Signals

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General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(351)
Lead Organization: Kansas Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Aug 14, 2016
Solicitation Number: 1403
Partners: CA, KS, MDOT SHA, MI, NJ, PADOT, WI
Status: Contract signed
Est. Completion Date: Dec 30, 2020
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Contract End Date: Aug 14, 2019
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $360,000.00
100% SP&R Approval: Approved
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): David Behzadpour
David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Phone: 785-291-3847
Study Champion(s): David Northup
David.Northup@ks.gov
Phone: 785-296-3618
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
California Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
California Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
California Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2017 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2018 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2019 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2019 $0.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Angelo Nucci Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Angelo Nucci Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Ben Flanagan Heather Sorce 717-214-9508 hsorce@pa.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov

Study Description

Current solutions to the snow-clogged signal lights include manual labor of brushing snow off of the signal lens and spraying de-icing chemicals on the lens to prevent the buildup of snow and ice. These manual methods are laborious, adding an annual maintenance cost of $30.60 /signal light. Chemicals may also be harmful to the signal lens and the local environment.

Most of the electricity consumed by the LEDs actually becomes heat (70%) rather than light. The self de-icing LED signal light has self-efficacy for prevention of the buildup and accumulation of ice, sleet, and snow on the lens of the signals during wintery conditions. There is no need of additional heat generators (e.g., resistance wires or infrared LEDs) and sensors to control them. The self de-icing LED signal light harvests both the light and the heat generated by the same LED, thus, is more energy efficient than the existing “cool” LED signal light.

Given that 39 states and over 70% of the population of the United States and the entire country of Canada are located in snowy regions that receive at least five inches of snow each year, this problem of snow-clogged “cool” LED signal lights in cold winter is a very typical and expansive problem in which a viable retrofit has not been developed or tested that does not compromise the efficiency, brightness, and operation complexity of the system.

The new self de-icing LED signals have two significant benefits, including (i) safety and performance efficiency and (ii) overall user cost savings, which are expected to transform the use and operation of the existing signal lights in snowy regions in North America. Once validated in this proposed project, the self de-icing LED signal light is expected to be a viable retrofit to the existing “cool” LED signal lights and other obsolete energy inefficient incandescent signal lights installed at the highway signalized intersections and railroad wayside and at-grade crossings. Additionally, the self de-icing LED signal light is expected to extend into other rail applications (e.g., commuter or light rail), or in other surface transportation applications including airport taxiway/apron lighting and seaport applications located in cold weather zones. Although the self de-icing LED signals are targeted for colder weather regions, they can certainly be installed in warmer climate where they may see only a limited number of cold weather days.

Objectives

This proposed project will develop multiple prototypes of a new type of self de-icing LED signals for highway signalized intersections and railroad signaling applications and validate them using the field tests. The innovative concept — “Heated Lens Lighting Arrangement” — was thoroughly tested in 2014. A non-provisional patent application (No. PCT/US14/53503) was filed on Aug 29, 2014.

The self de-icing LED signal light is aimed to solve a well-known problem of the existing LED signal light that does not generate sufficient heat in the forward direction towards the lens of the signal necessary to melt snow and ice. Snow and ice can easily accumulate on the lens within the signal hood in wintery conditions and block light to the drivers of vehicles or locomotive engineers. This can decrease the performance of signalized intersections and railroads and also result in collisions in inclement weather conditions. This is a problem in the snowy regions in North America for which a viable retrofit has not been developed or tested.

Scope of Work

This proposed research project will develop and test different types of prototype self de-icing LED signals over a project period of three years. Such a long project period is needed because the prototypes need to be tested first in a closed-course setting and then in the field in sequence of two cold winter seasons. The prototypes will cover all types of the existing LED signals used in highway signalized intersections and railroad signaling applications, including highway intersection traffic signals (8” and 12”), repeater signals (100 mm), arrow signals (12”), pedestrian signals (12”, 16”x18”), railroad wayside signals (5 ½”, 8”, 12”), rail transit signals (12”), rail level crossing signals (6”, 8”, 12”) in red, green, yellow, lunar, and white light colors.

The plan of work includes nine tasks divided into four stages: (i) laboratory development and tests of the prototype self de-icing LED signals, (ii) tests of the prototypes on the roof of the engineering complex and refinements, (iii) field tests of the prototypes on identified highway signalized intersections and rail track sections as well as on-site demonstration, and (iv) project briefing and final report.

Comments

$300,000 is needed for this study.

We are looking for 5-6 partners to committ $20,000 per year for three years.

100% SPR Funding has been requested.

The TRB Rail Safety IDEA program has committed $50,000 and the TRB NCHRP Highway IDEA program has committed another $50,000, totaling $100,000 to fund an associated project, Self-Deicing LED Signals for Railroads and Highway Intersection.

Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Approved Waiver Approval of SP&R Waiver Pooled Fund Solicitation #1403.pdf Memorandum Public
Waiver Request 100% SPR Funds Request Letter Solicitation 1403.pdf Other Public
Acceptance Letter TPF-5(351) Acceptance Letter.pdf Other Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2016 Quarterly Report Sept 2016.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2016 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quater-2016 (2).pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2018_v2.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2019 Quarterly Report March 2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2019 Quarterly Report June 2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2019 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report December 2019 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report December 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2020[4].pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2021 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2021 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2021 SPR Quarterly Report TPF-5(351) September 2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Documents Attached
Title File/Link Type Privacy Download
Self De-icing LED signals Proposal self de-icing LED signals_5.pdf Other Public

Self De-Icing LED Signals

General Information
Study Number: TPF-5(351)
Lead Organization: Kansas Department of Transportation
Contract Start Date: Aug 14, 2016
Solicitation Number: 1403
Partners: CA, KS, MDOT SHA, MI, NJ, PADOT, WI
Status: Contract signed
Est. Completion Date: Dec 30, 2020
Contract/Other Number:
Last Updated: Oct 25, 2021
Contract End Date: Aug 14, 2019
Financial Summary
Contract Amount:
Total Commitments Received: $360,000.00
100% SP&R Approval:
Contact Information
Lead Study Contact(s): David Behzadpour
David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Phone: 785-291-3847
Commitments by Organizations
Organization Year Commitments Technical Contact Name Funding Contact Name Contact Number Email Address
California Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
California Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
California Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Nathan Loebs Sang Le 916-227-0701 sang.le@dot.ca.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Kansas Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Carla Anderson David Behzadpour 785-291-3847 David.Behzadpour@ks.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2017 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2018 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Maryland Department of Transportation State Highway Administration 2019 $20,000.00 Edward Rodenhizer Sharon Hawkins 410-545-2920 shawkins2@mdot.maryland.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
Michigan Department of Transportation 2019 $0.00 Erik Smalley Andre' Clover 517-749-9001 clovera@michigan.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Angelo Nucci Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
New Jersey Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Angelo Nucci Giri Venkiteela 6099632239 Giri.Venkiteela@dot.NJ.gov
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Ben Flanagan Heather Sorce 717-214-9508 hsorce@pa.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2016 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2017 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov
Wisconsin Department of Transportation 2018 $20,000.00 Brian Klipstein Ethan Severson 608-266-1457 ethanp.severson@dot.wi.gov

Study Description

Study Description

Current solutions to the snow-clogged signal lights include manual labor of brushing snow off of the signal lens and spraying de-icing chemicals on the lens to prevent the buildup of snow and ice. These manual methods are laborious, adding an annual maintenance cost of $30.60 /signal light. Chemicals may also be harmful to the signal lens and the local environment.

Most of the electricity consumed by the LEDs actually becomes heat (70%) rather than light. The self de-icing LED signal light has self-efficacy for prevention of the buildup and accumulation of ice, sleet, and snow on the lens of the signals during wintery conditions. There is no need of additional heat generators (e.g., resistance wires or infrared LEDs) and sensors to control them. The self de-icing LED signal light harvests both the light and the heat generated by the same LED, thus, is more energy efficient than the existing “cool” LED signal light.

Given that 39 states and over 70% of the population of the United States and the entire country of Canada are located in snowy regions that receive at least five inches of snow each year, this problem of snow-clogged “cool” LED signal lights in cold winter is a very typical and expansive problem in which a viable retrofit has not been developed or tested that does not compromise the efficiency, brightness, and operation complexity of the system.

The new self de-icing LED signals have two significant benefits, including (i) safety and performance efficiency and (ii) overall user cost savings, which are expected to transform the use and operation of the existing signal lights in snowy regions in North America. Once validated in this proposed project, the self de-icing LED signal light is expected to be a viable retrofit to the existing “cool” LED signal lights and other obsolete energy inefficient incandescent signal lights installed at the highway signalized intersections and railroad wayside and at-grade crossings. Additionally, the self de-icing LED signal light is expected to extend into other rail applications (e.g., commuter or light rail), or in other surface transportation applications including airport taxiway/apron lighting and seaport applications located in cold weather zones. Although the self de-icing LED signals are targeted for colder weather regions, they can certainly be installed in warmer climate where they may see only a limited number of cold weather days.

Objectives

This proposed project will develop multiple prototypes of a new type of self de-icing LED signals for highway signalized intersections and railroad signaling applications and validate them using the field tests. The innovative concept — “Heated Lens Lighting Arrangement” — was thoroughly tested in 2014. A non-provisional patent application (No. PCT/US14/53503) was filed on Aug 29, 2014.

The self de-icing LED signal light is aimed to solve a well-known problem of the existing LED signal light that does not generate sufficient heat in the forward direction towards the lens of the signal necessary to melt snow and ice. Snow and ice can easily accumulate on the lens within the signal hood in wintery conditions and block light to the drivers of vehicles or locomotive engineers. This can decrease the performance of signalized intersections and railroads and also result in collisions in inclement weather conditions. This is a problem in the snowy regions in North America for which a viable retrofit has not been developed or tested.

Scope of Work

This proposed research project will develop and test different types of prototype self de-icing LED signals over a project period of three years. Such a long project period is needed because the prototypes need to be tested first in a closed-course setting and then in the field in sequence of two cold winter seasons. The prototypes will cover all types of the existing LED signals used in highway signalized intersections and railroad signaling applications, including highway intersection traffic signals (8” and 12”), repeater signals (100 mm), arrow signals (12”), pedestrian signals (12”, 16”x18”), railroad wayside signals (5 ½”, 8”, 12”), rail transit signals (12”), rail level crossing signals (6”, 8”, 12”) in red, green, yellow, lunar, and white light colors.

The plan of work includes nine tasks divided into four stages: (i) laboratory development and tests of the prototype self de-icing LED signals, (ii) tests of the prototypes on the roof of the engineering complex and refinements, (iii) field tests of the prototypes on identified highway signalized intersections and rail track sections as well as on-site demonstration, and (iv) project briefing and final report.

Comments

$300,000 is needed for this study.

We are looking for 5-6 partners to committ $20,000 per year for three years.

100% SPR Funding has been requested.

The TRB Rail Safety IDEA program has committed $50,000 and the TRB NCHRP Highway IDEA program has committed another $50,000, totaling $100,000 to fund an associated project, Self-Deicing LED Signals for Railroads and Highway Intersection.

Title File/Link Type Private
Approved Waiver Approval of SP&R Waiver Pooled Fund Solicitation #1403.pdf Memorandum Public
Waiver Request 100% SPR Funds Request Letter Solicitation 1403.pdf Other Public
Acceptance Letter TPF-5(351) Acceptance Letter.pdf Other Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2016 Quarterly Report Sept 2016.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2016 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quater-2016 (2).pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2017 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2017.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2018_v2.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Sept 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report Dec 2018 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2018.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2019 Quarterly Report March 2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2019 Quarterly Report June 2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2019 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report December 2019 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2019.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_third quarter-2020.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report December 2020 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_fourth quarter-2020[4].pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report March 2021 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_first quarter-2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report June 2021 TPF Standard Quarterly Report Form TPF-5 351_second quarter-2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Quarterly Report September 2021 SPR Quarterly Report TPF-5(351) September 2021.pdf Quarterly Progress Report Public
Title File/Link Type Private
Self De-icing LED signals Proposal self de-icing LED signals_5.pdf Other Public

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