Renewable Energy Parking Counter

Our capstone project seeks to remedy the parking situation at Cal Maritime for the benefit of student, faculty, facilities and police services. Creating a significant amount of additional parking spaces or refraining for allocating parking permits to students was not an option. We decided to install a parking counter in E and F lot, referred to as Egypt. The location was chosen as the first lot to have this parking counter installed. Based on the success of this parking lot counter we will recommend that all the campus parking lots (student and faculty) install similar systems which can be operated in conjunction with one another. The parking counter installed in Egypt measures the amount of vehicles moving into and out of lot using a pressure sensor. The pressure sensor was chosen for its ability to differentiate between a car entering versus a person or other subject entering the parking lot. It is crucial that our instruments work properly so we can obtain an accurate number of cars in the parking lot. The display is located down range of the parking lot and shows the available parking for students to see. The parking counter allows students to know where there is parking available and how many spots before they waste gas and time circling the campus. The project is judged by its accuracy to keep a proper count of the available parking spots in the Egypt parking lot. It is able to display the number of parking spaces in an easy to read fashion on the road below the parking lot. The majority of the power is from a renewable energy source. The main benefit to this project is the alleviated impact to parking on campus. The incline of the hill to Egypt is quite steep and generally lowers fuel economy in cars every drive up; the implementation of a display below the hill would allow for the prevention of an unnecessary trip to Egypt.

A project submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the B.S. degree. Department of Mechanical Engineering ME 494